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Relationship Development Intervention with Young Children: Social and Emotional Development Activities for Asperger Syndrome, Autism, PDD and NLD Paperback – February 15, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

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The book is applicable for parents of those on the spectrum, children and adults on the spectrum, teachers, counsellors and anyone involved with, and wishing to help, those to whom social skills do not come naturally... The book is divided into sex levels from novice right through to partner. Each chapter has a similar format which makes it familiar and easy to use. After an initial summary and explanation about the purpose of the section, plus coaching tips, a series of worksheets and activities are provided with clear objectives and instructions. Creative coaches can adapt and extend many of the ideas. Each sheet has a simple objective e.g. In the novice stage, developing attentiveness to communication is a formative skill... Overall this is an extremely useful book with some stimulating and enjoyable exercises that could easily be used as the bases for a parent-let group. Many of the exercises could be carried out by motivated individuals with one or more willing partners. This is good value for money due to the quality and number of worksheets. -- AS Teens The book contains step by step well laid out activities to teach and encourage skills such as attending, social referencing, improvisation, co-creativity and collaborating, among many others. It is a very much a user friendly 'manual' and will be great for planning play dates. The first book is aimed at ages 2 - 8 -- Peach This Publication is much more than a book, it is a prescription of detailed objective-based interventions in developmental progression for children aged 2 to 8 to develop friendships, relationships and appropriate social behaviour. This manual is suitable for parental use and is an excellent frame of reference to adopt when working with children to acquire relationship skills. It discreetly covers attention, motivation, eye contact and management. This book is not the fix-it model for relationship difficulties, but I fail to see how even implementing one of the activities could not have a positive outcome for both child and therapist. -- NAPOT It provides a wealth of activities, following a developmental model, for therapists, teachers and parents. The authors suggest that children with autism do not develop friendships just by being among peers, but need strategies and activities to develop the foundations of social referencing, regulation of their own behaviour, and practice in becoming a social partner. The activities focus on teaching the child how to see others as real people, develop a curiosity for social interaction, become a team member, and adapt in social settings. Although some initial activities are a little unorthodox, they are fun and designed to provide the scaffolding needed to teach relationship skills. -- Bulletin

About the Author

Clinical Psychologists and husband/wife team Steven Gutstein and Rachelle Sheely are founders of the internationally known Connections Center for Relationship Development and the Monarch Therapeutic School. Dr. Gutstein, author of Autism/Aspergers: Solving the Relationship Puzzle and Dr. Sheely, a nationally respected expert in Autism, reside in Houston, Texas with their two daughters Esther and Hannah. Dr. Gutstein has spent over twenty years as a professor, researcher and clinician, creating powerful tools for social and emotional growth.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 331 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (February 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843107147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843107149
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 8.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 80 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found Drs. Gutstein and Sheely's new book very helpful for implementing the Relationship Development Intervention curriculum for our son who has Asperger's.
The Activities were presented in a very user friendly format in a step-by-step manner. The corresponding Objectives were clearly stated, and it will be easy to monitor his progress. I know that these objectives will be beneficial when planning for his IEP at school next year.
I've always wished that our son came with a manual....well now I've got one. Thanks.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Nice Norway on November 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a mother of two, I like to help my kids, in everyway posible, to grow up as wholesome happy persons. I have a 3 year old who at home is a normal kid, but at school, parties or just anywhere else she won't speak and is in a constant state of panic and anxiety. I have read so many books on anxiety and other related pathologies without finding a real way to help her. This wonderful program RDI has helped my daughter in an incredible way! She is now a happier child, communicates more with all her family and extended family. And she is starting to make friends and interact with other children and adults just like any other kid. I am also using the program with my older daughter to help her in the building of her friendships. This book is not just for autistic kids.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Horn on March 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
The title of thie book is a little misleading, as the book is not really a downward age-extension of Gutstein's other RDI book but an expansion of exercises useful for the first 3 stages of RDI. Therefore, it is THE book for most parents of children with ASD, as usually these are the stages you end up starting with/on when doing the RDI exercises with your child. And, having more than double the options for the exercises is very helpful. I strongly recommend this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Maria Toledano on February 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book gives excellent advice to parents on ways for parents to help their autistic child develop socially. The principles are laid out clearly and activity descriptions are easy to follow. Unfortunately, for us, the beginner activities are nearly all too difficult for my child. As the book makes the objectives for each activity clear, parents can, if necessary, invent easier activities to meet them. I would recommend it but I understand the authors no longer do, saying that RDI has moved on since its publication and that the book no longer represents what RDI is about.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rachael L. Friesen on August 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a school social worker and I facilitate a social skills group daily with students with Autism. I love this book and consider it my Bible for social skills activities. It is based on research, has an excellent theory, the activities are in sequential order of development and short and sweet to perform.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Irish Kriss on May 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book helpful, but difficult to implement as a program on my own. I spoke to a few people who practice RDI and it seems that in order to really be successful at it, you would need the constant feedback of someone trained in RDI, because progress is very individual. Plus new ideas and techniques have been added and some discarded since the 2002 publication of this book. If you go to an RDI practitioner, you will have access to an entire database of videos of other parents going through the activities. In the end, I used some of the helpful tips from the book; but chose not to go any further with RDI, due to the expense of the program and the progress my son was already making without it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cyber Gypsy on October 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son and I love the games in this book, and we often end up in fits of laughter.

I also love RDI because it doesn't feel like therapy - it just feels like playing! The games are light and non invasive, and don't involve analytical thinking or psychology etc. This is perfect for my son as he tends to think too much about things. These games get right outside of linear thinking and work on relating.

Highly recommended!
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Relationship Development Intervention with Young Children: Social and Emotional Development Activities for Asperger Syndrome, Autism, PDD and NLD
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