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Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism: New Edition with Author Updates Paperback – April 1, 2017
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“If you’ve ever wondered, ‘What is going through my child’s mind? Why can’t he get social interactions?’ then this book is for you! ‘A-ha!’ moments abound.”
Veronica Zysk, editor of Autism/Asperger’s Digest and this book, both published by Future Horizons.
About the Author
Temple Grandin earned her Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Illinois, and became an associate professor at Colorado State University. Dr. Grandin is one of the most respected individuals with high-functioning autism in the world. She presents at conferences nationwide, helping thousands of parents and professionals understand how to help individuals with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and PDD. She is the author of Emergence: Labeled Autistic, Thinking in Pictures, Animals in Translation (which spent many weeks on The New York Times Best-Seller List), The Autistic Brain, and The Loving Push, co-written with Debra Moore, Ph.D. One of the most celebrated -- and effective -- animal advocates on the planet, Dr. Grandin revolutionized animal movement systems and spearheaded reform of the quality of life for the world's agricultural animals.
Veronica Zysk has been working in the field of autism since 1991. She served as Executive Director of the Autism Society of America from 1991-1996, and then joined Future Horizons. She was the visionary for the first national magazine on autism spectrum disorders, the Autism Asperger's Digest, winner of multiple Gold awards for excellence. In addition to her writing collaborations with Ellen Notbohm (1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger's; Ten Things Every Student with Autism Wishes You Knew), she has co-authored and/or edited 14 other books on autism and Asperger’s, working with noted authors such as Temple Grandin, James Ball, and Michelle Garcia Winner. Veronica makes her home in the beautiful western mountains of North Carolina.
Sean Barron is a very interesting and intelligent man who has faced the challenges of being on the autism spectrum. He's progressed to the point that it is difficult to even realize that he once was truly impacted by autism/Asperger's syndrome. Sean is a graduate of Youngstown State University, and works as a reporter for the Youngstown Vindicator. He has multiple degrees and his latest degree is in journalism. He's a freelance writer and lives independently. Sean co-authored There's A Boy in Here with his mother, Judy Barron.
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Top Customer Reviews
I really feel that anyone who is working on social skills with someone on the autistic spectrum should read this book. I have looked at plenty of other books on teaching social skills, but there are some things that the books written by non-autistic authors just don't cover. Temple and Sean give frequent accounts of their reactions in social situations during various points in their lives, followed by explanations of why they reacted this way and what their rationale was at the time. There is a ton of really useful information here!
One point perhaps worth mentioning is that the focus of this book is very much on teaching those on the autistic spectrum about the rules and expectations of our society, so know that going in. This is a point that people may feel differently about - while some people advocate teaching these things to varying degrees, there are those who (in my understanding, at least) advocate for autism culture and believe in less 'adjustment' on the part of people with autism and instead more acceptance of the autistic way of doing things. Either way, I think there should be something in this book for many different types of readers, be it a background in teaching social skills, a look at sociology, two interesting partial auto-biographies, etc.
One important theme is that professionals often don't know what they are talking about and may do more harm than good, though many are trying and helping. Often, determined parents and common sense are the best approach, though understanding how to teach the autistic mind is difficult.
For example, one mother was aggravated over her son's tracking dirt in, constantly telling him to wipe his shoes and punishing him over time. One day she noticed as he came in that he bent down and carefully wiped the top of his shoes. Once she demonstrated what she meant by wiping one's shoes, there was no more problem.
Kids are unique. Being corrected about how to place eating utensils and napkins at a dinner table is a helpful learning experience for Temple, but a depressing condemnation for Sean. He sees his error as incompetence and something everyone else knows. Must first gain a perspective on how important this error is in the broader scheme of things.
The first half gives insights into how these two learned things and why they had troubles. The second half of the book gives ten rules of life that autism makes it difficult to understand and suggests ways of teaching these.
For example, how do you teach someone to rank rules in a situation where several rules apply and they conflict with each other?? This is something most people do automatically. If you don't realize that this is an issue with Aspie/autist kids, they can make some really bad choices. So the IEP goal becomes: "student will learn to rate the relative importance of following conflicting rules in a given situation and follow the rule that is most important." That way teachers and parents realize that the various rules have to be articulated, discussed, ranked, and then how to apply the rules in different situations has to be taught. Difficult, but possible.
This book is brilliant. Anyone can benefit from learning these "rules"; any parent of any teenager, NT or spectrum, can use these rules to help teens work through the shark pool of high school interactions and become more socially skillful people.