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Building Social Relationships:
A Systematic Approach to Teaching Social Interaction Skills to Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Social Difficulties

by Scott Bellini, Ph. D.

Item: 9781931282949

Format: softcover

Parents and professionals often ask how to teach social skills and how to design social skills programmes for children with ASD. Often they are seeking answers to basic questions such as “where do we start” and “what strategies do we use”. This book addresses the need for social programming for children and adolescents with ASD by providing a comprehensive five-step model. The model incoroprates the following five steps: assess social functioning, distinguish between skill acquisition and performance deficits, select intervention strategies, implement intervention, and evaluate and monitor progress. This model will also show you how to organise and make sense of the myriad of social skills strategies and resources currently available to parents and professionals - it is not meant to replace other resources or strategies, but synthesise them into one comprehensive programme.

This is the point where I share some sobering news: There is no single intervention strategy that will teach the child with ASD to be successful socially! But don’t fret, several strategies can be used in combination to teach the child to be successful socially. The social skills strategies that I implement primarily come from a behavioral, cognitive, cognitive-behavioral, and social-learning theory perspective.

In the field of autism spectrum disorders, we professionals sometimes spend so much time arguing about what path to take, and not to take, that we often leave parents confused and frustrated regarding available service options. In social skills instruction a multitude of effective intervention strategies can be used to enhance and foster social success for children with ASD. The trick is to select strategies that are most effective for a given child’s needs. Interventions that work for one child may not work well with another child. I spend countless hours reviewing the social skills strategies and programs that are on the market, searching for strategies to add to my ever-expanding intervention tool chest. In reality, it is a notebook of strategies and ideas that I keep. I recommend that you do the same.
Building Social Relationships should be required for anyone who wants to teach students with autism spectrum disorders to develop social relationships. It is comprehensive and turns a series of lessons into skills that will generalise. Dr. Bellini says it best, ‘This book is different. It is for parents and professionals who operate under real-world circumstances, and who want to teach children with ASD how to be successful in real-world situations.’ The book will be required for any graduate or undergraduate student I teach as well as a recommended reading for any teacher or parent for whom I give a workshop or inservice. Thank you, Scott, for creating this much-needed resource.”
- Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D., international speaker and writer on autism spectrum disorders

“This sensitive, clear, and easy-to-read book offers an innovative approach to the core challenge of all autism spectrum disorders. The book provides a vast menu of choices to help people with autism spectrum challenges achieve social fluidity and success. Scott Bellini is a great example of learning from the best. His own positive attitude and great social skills are reflected in his approach to this vital information.”
- Susan J. Moreno, president, MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome

“Finally! A social skills book that combines practical sense and offers everyday solutions. Many practitioners are great about spouting theory, but parents don’t want theory; they want to know what they can do for their child today. This book lays it out in terms that are applicable for home and school!”
- Melanie Maxwell, parent of a child with ASD

“I am very excited about this book. It answers a lot of questions for teachers who work with children with autism. It is easy to read and follow, gives insight into the way children with ASD view the world and those around them, and presents a step-by-step model for how to plan instruction for children with ASD. I will start using the information immediately with my students.”
- Elizabeth Babin, spedial education teacfher, early interventionist, Lafourche Parish Public School System


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