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It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success Paperback – October 3, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743254651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743254656
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Life without friends is a lonely and barren existence," but that's a common fate for children who fail to develop proper social skills, writes veteran special education teacher Lavoie in his insightful guidebook to helping children with learning disabilities overcome social skill deficits. Eschewing sink-or-swim and carrot-and-stick approaches, Lavoie stresses communication and patience for parents looking to guide their children through the maze of social interactions encountered daily, from arranging successful play dates and navigating the hidden curriculum of school, to language difficulties, social anxieties and family issues. Lavoie, who has taught and worked in the special education field for over 30 years, shows how to detect learning disabilities, discusses their impact on a child's social development and provides strategies (most notably his "Social Skill Autopsy") for implementing behavior change. Organized by the different types of social skills-those commonly used at home, at school and in the community-Lavoie's text is refreshingly free of jargon and is suitable for both spot- and cover-to-cover reading. Though aimed at parents of learning disabled children, this comprehensive guide will be handy for any parent whose child has trouble socializing at school or home.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The best guide of its kind ever written. . . a major achievement." -- Edward Hallowell, M.D.,Coauthor of Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction

More About the Author

Richard Lavoie, M.A., M.Ed., has worked as a teacher and headmaster at residential special education facilities for the past thirty years. He holds three degrees in special education and serves as a consultant to several agencies and organizations. The father of three adult children, he lives with his wife in Barnstable, Massachusetts. He welcomes visitors to his website at www.ricklavoie.com.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to parents and teachers!
A. Cecil
You should explain the expectation beforehand and then if the child behaves you would say, "You have been so good that I think you deserve some dessert."
V. McEnroe
Lavoie provides such a kind way of encouraging success!
L. Litzinger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By zhivago on June 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Writing as someone who has lived with learning disabilities for nearly 50 years now, I cannot say strongly enough that I sincerely wish all of my teachers and parents had read this book. I will go a little further than that---I wish the pastoral counselor, psychologist, and psychiatrists that I have dealt with as an adult would read this book.

This book brought back memory after memory of times that I have been misunderstood (and rejected) by those around me, and also times that I have greatly misunderstood social and job-related incidents (and acted inappropriately as a result). Some of the long-lasting psychological damage that I have had as a result could have been alieviated if only those around me had been aware of the difficulties that I was having (and continue to have).

Notice that I did not say that the misunderstandings and social errors I make would have stopped. I don't think they would have.

The book does not offer any cure-alls. Its biggest contribution is to increase the understanding of the social ramifications of learning disabilities. I have found that very few normal people have any understanding of this at all; and their response can be quite damaging.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By V. McEnroe on November 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son is not ADHD or LD, but he does have problems with social situations, organizational skills, short attention span, etc. This book addresses a lot of those things. A good portion of the book does not apply to my son because academically he is ahead of his peers and this book assumes that kids with social deficiencies also suffer academically. There are several chapters devoted to specific LDs which I skipped. This book helped me to be more understanding of children with attention problems because there are neurological reasons that make it very difficult for them to make socially acceptable decisions and remain focused on tasks. In the beginning there is a long list of behaviors that these children have and so many of them described my son.

One part that I found very useful was the part in the introduction that explains why punishment does not correct poor behavior patterns. It will stop it for that episode, but not have lasting results. Also you should not say, for example, "If you behave in the restaurant then you can get dessert." Not getting dessert would be punishment. The child will be resentful and probably act the same way at the next restaurant. You should explain the expectation beforehand and then if the child behaves you would say, "You have been so good that I think you deserve some dessert." The child will feel a since of accomplishment which leads to them wanting to behave better.

Also in the introduction is a 5 step approach of how to analyze with your child a social problem he encountered to help him figure out on his own what he did wrong and what he should have done.

Another part that was extremely useful was the chapter on having friends over for visits and house "rules" you get your child in the habit of following so your child becomes a good host.

All in all this is one of the best books I have read on helping children cope with attention and social problems.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Patricia McGuire MD FAAP on July 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, I have spent a great deal of time working with children like Rick Lavoie talks about in his book. These children want to have friends and want to be good friends to others. They struggle to understand the social underpinnings, however, which leads to misunderstandings and sorrow from losing friends, or not even beginning to make a friend. This book looks at the neurodevelopmental issues that these children face, provding the adults who live and work with them more insight into their struggles. He basically is challenging us to step back and decipher what the child's intent was in a situation, rather than just jump to conclusions that frequently are very negative toward the child.

Whether the child has ADHD, learning disabilities, Asperger Syndrome, or some other disability/disorder, taking time to understand why the child's attempts at social interaction is not working, and developing a plan of intervention and accommodation based on that understanding is what will make a positive difference. I think that all parents, teachers, and other professionals who work or live with these children should read this book.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L. Litzinger on September 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although there is often a social gap between children with disabilities and their peers, Lavoie thankfully gives parents the necessary skills to remedy this.

This book is also important to parents of children with physical disabilities, parents who are wrestling with the importance of teaching eye contact, body language, modulated voice volume, and cleaner eating habits to their non-LD, but spastic child. Lavoie provides such a kind way of encouraging success!

Fantastic book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By PS on December 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm just through the first few chapters, and love this book. It's easy to read and gives a complete picture of how learning difficulties affect our children in all areas: academic, emotional and social skills. I wish all teachers would read it. A great gift for anyone who wants to learn and help these kids. Buy this book and spread the word - learning social skills is so difficult for kids whose brains are wired differently and these skills will have a huge impact on their lives.
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