Customer Reviews: Social Skills Activities for Special Children
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on October 30, 2001
Does your child come home from grade school complaining about other children? Is he or she having a tough time at recess? Do you get notes home from the teacher saying your child is daydreaming during instructions, or not behaving appropriately in the cafeteria-- even though your child has no special behavioral or cognitive problems? This might be the book for you.
This book is useful for almost any elementary aged child, and especially for the many that need to heighten their social skills. Depending on the child, some lessons will be more beneficial than others. For example, both my children enjoyed the unit on relating to peers. All kids grapple with "sharing friends", being a fair friend, listening to others, etc. Other units deal with respect for authority, procrastination, listening to instructions, etc. The subjects of this book are not commonly "taught" at school, and are also often overlooked at home, because everyone is so busy trying to play soccer and the violin and chess and do homework and gymnastics. Yet mastering the skills taught in this book will determine much of the success your child experiences throughout school, and probably life. Although we like to think our kids will learn the lessons in this book by following our good examples, or perhaps just by osmosis, fact is, most 2nd-4th graders could use a little review on the niceties of human interaction.
The book is really a workbook with instructions for the teacher, followed by a workpage for the child. I presume it was designed for school social workers to use with kids of various abilities. My children, who seem perfectly normal, like doing the worksheets, and especially enjoy the funny illustrations of children exhibiting inappropriate behavior. A little humor never hurt when delivering a message to an eight year old, eh?
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on November 4, 2002
I found this book to be extremely helpful for my highly-functioning autistic child. It covers a vast range of situations and involves the student in thinking about solutions and coming up with their own answers. I like it so much that I'm buying one for one of his teachers as well. It is geared to higher functioning students -- others could use this as a framework and simplify things a bit, or try Carol Gray's book "The New Social Story Book" which is written much more simply and directly. It's also an excellent book, but was too simple for my needs.
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on January 30, 2007
Although there were a couple of two star reviews, there were more strongly positive reviews so I thought to try this with my 4-6 grade students in special education. First, I have to address the drawings in this book. While I understand that the drawings were simple for the probable saving of time, they were completely racially stereotypical and innacurate, and I took offense to that, especially knowing that many of my students would take note of that (ex. Asians with slanted lines for eyes and names such as Ping, and African American students with big lips and noses). Plus the activities were just too simple, with little room for discussion and growth. While the book is for "special children", they can still have good discussions and come up with own scenarios and do not need answers so clearly obvious. There are just too many items to tackle in this book and nothing is gone into with any depth. I just could not see myself using anything in this, so in fact sent it back. I am glad for the many who were able to make this work for them so easily. I am just not one of them.
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on October 24, 2002
This book is tailored for older children and even then it's not well written for them. The written details are too numerous to keep the young child's attention. There are not enough picture illustrations and the situations described herein are not general enough to fit society as a whole. There is too much of a focus on the "wrong" things to do in school verses the right things. Many of the suggestions and story's of how children did things the wrong way can backfire on parents and actually give children ideas of the wrong things to try. Much of the book could not be used for our home and school life situations. Few children will stay captivated by this book. My eldest child who is gifted thought it was boring and many of the issues she couldn't even relate to. My youngest was in over his head and I had to skip reading the long drawn out situations and paraphrase things to keep his attention.
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on October 17, 2007
This book is helpful for the social skills group that I run, however the book has worksheets, not activities to do with the kids. It is mostly focused on behavior in school. It is a good supplemental tool for me.
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on April 19, 2008
I am a special education teacher who used this book while teaching middle school students, (high functioning autism, emotional disability, non-verbal learning disability, Asperger's Syndrome) who have social intelligences that range from 1st-3rd grade. The book was used as a guide throughout the year with other activities that I created to foster growth in social-emotional areas of learning. The students found the worksheet scenarios relatable and easy to understand. I would have to agree with another commenter that the children depicted and names of children in the book fulfill stereotypes of races and nationalities. Being an educator, I took the opportunity to teach my children about cultural awareness and breaking down stereotypes depicted in the book. The students were able to identify and discuss the illustrator's point of view about his perceptions and stereotypes of people. We created are own social story worksheets with better representations of people. The book is best used as a guide.
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on July 30, 2003
I found this book to be very helpful in working with students both individually and in groups. I used the activities for students ages K-5. Everyone enjoyed the activities, and the structure of the lessons helped me to guide discussions and have questions prepared to ask even on the busiest of days!
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on November 11, 2015
I was given the luck of getting to teach a behavior class to some of my Special Ed students. There was a general idea of what I need to teach, but no curriculum or resources whatsoever. This book has been a lifesaving Godsend. The lessons are organized in a logical order and deal with issues that are completely relevant to my elementary aged students with issues learning proper school behavior. I would like it if the lessons were a little more involved and longer lasting; but these lessons are a great starting point and help me organize how I will teach my class. I just find other lessons online to supplement the lessons in the book...or come up with my own ideas! I'm so happy I found this book!
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on February 21, 2016
This has proven very effective for my students. It helps them to really think about each scenario that is given and it also provides different worksheets and role playing activities which help the kids process the hypothetical situation. You will have to come up with more ideas for having it generalize into the gen ed classroom, but it's really a great place to start.
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on October 1, 2001
This book was not appropriate for the students in my TMI classroom, but was designed for higher functioning students and would be a great tool for students with milder impairments.
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