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It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success

It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success

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Item #:9780743254656B
As any parent, teacher, coach, or caregiver of a learning disabled child knows, every learning disability has a social component. The ADD child constantly interrupts and doesn't follow directions. The child with visual-spatial issues loses his belongings. The child with a nonverbal communication disorder fails to gesture when she talks. These children are socially out of step with their peers, and often they are ridiculed or ostracized for their differences. A successful social life is immeasurably important to a child's happiness, health, and development, but until now, no book has provided practical, expert advice on helping learning disabled children achieve social success. For more than thirty years, Richard Lavoie has lived with and taught learning disabled children. Rick's pioneering techniques and practical strategies can help children ages six to seventeen: Overcome shyness and low self-esteem; Use appropriate body language to convey emotion; Focus attention and avoid disruptive behavior; Enjoy playdates and making friends; Employ strategies for counteracting bullying and harassment; Master the Hidden Curriculum and polish the apple with teachers.

Product Details

    Author: Richard Lavoie (Author) , Michele Reiner (Preface) , Rob Reiner (Preface) , Mel Levine (Foreword)
    Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (October 3, 2006)
    Softcover: 394 pages
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0743254651
    ISBN-13: 9780743254656
    Product Dimensions: 9.00" l x 6.10" w x 1.00" h
    Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

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.
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"Some learning challenged students are gifted socially, while others painfully struggle. Rick Lavoie's new book is a wonderful resource for parents and professionals alike who seek to guide those in need through their social and emotional hurdles."

-- Barbara Wilson, M.S. Ed, Director, Wilson Language Training

"In a book that is very readable and filled with a broad array of practical, hands-on suggestions, Rick Lavoie addresses issues that are central to building a healthy sense of self-worth within students who often see themselves as not fitting in or equal to others. In short, this book is a tremendous contribution from a professional who has been a leader in the field of learning disabilities for well over a quarter century. A must read!"

-- Donald Deshler, University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning Department of Special Education

"I have frequently had the privilege of hearing Rick Lavoie speak to parents of children with learning disabilities. His knowledge of these disabilities and his sensitivity to the experience of the child, parents, and family are blended with wise and practical advice. I often leave these presentations thinking how great it would be if more parents could hear Rick speak. It's So Much Work To Be Your Friend is like sitting through a Rick Lavoie lecture but leaving with a full set of notes and practical ideas. Thank you, Rick, for sharing your sensitivity and knowledge and your special ability to communicate."

-- Larry B Silver, M.D., author of The Misunderstood Child

"Filled with wisdom, experience, sense, soul, and practical guidance for the everyday social matters of life, It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend offers heartfelt hope and practical help for just about every social problem children with learning disabilities experience. As with all good friends who bring comfort and practical guidance, you will visit with this book again and again. It's a social support system no parent or teacher should be without."

-- Mary Fowler, author of Maybe You Know My Kid and Maybe You Know My Teen

"The most painful part of loving a child with learning disabilities is feeling helpless when we watch them struggle with social isolation and rejection. It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend will empower you to step in and assist your child with practical solutions to their social skills problems."

-- Kate Kelly, author of You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!

"Rick Lavoie has written a truly remarkable book. He has poignantly captured the particular social skills problems faced by many children and adolescents with learning disabilities, and he outlines realistic strategies that parents and professionals can use to improve the social skills of these youngsters. Rick's knowledge, warmth, caring, and empathy are apparent on every page of this wonderful book."

-- Robert Brooks, Ph.D., author of The Self-Esteem Teacher and coauthor of Raising Resilient Children

"As a mother who has been on this journey, I know It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend will touch the lives of every parent who is raising a child with learning disabilities. I have long believed that difficulties with social skills cause the most heartache of all, and I am thrilled to discover a book that finally addresses this often overlooked issue. Rick shares his knowledge with wisdom, good humor, and deep respect for the remarkable students who teach us all."

-- Anne Ford, chairman emeritus, National Center for Learning Disabilities and author of Laughing Allegra

"An excellent resource! Rich with insights and specific suggestions to help all children master the challenges of forming satisfying social relationships."

-- Adele Faber, coauthor of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

"Rick Lavoie combines his unparalleled knowledge and experience with his extraordinary warmth and eye for detail to produce the best guide of its kind ever written. This unique book breaks new ground, a major achievement from a grand man who almost single-handedly has opened the eyes of the world to the subjective experience of learning differently. If you are a parent of such a child, or if you care about such children, you must have this book. The knowledge in it can turn a painful childhood into a joyful one."

-- Edward Hallowell, M.D., coauthor of Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction

"Some learning challenged students are gifted socially, while others painfully struggle. Rick Lavoie's new book is a wonderful resource for parents and professionals alike who seek to guide those in need through their social and emotional hurdles."

-- Barbara Wilson, M.S. Ed., director, Wilson Language Training

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.

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