Building Social Skills Resources
Learning to successfully interact with others is one of the most important parts of a child’s development. This can be yet another stumbling block for children with learning disabilities (LD): many struggle to develop the skills they need to be competent in social situations. But as a parent, you have the power to help guide your child to social success.
In addition to the resources available on LD.org, check out this collection of websites, books and organizations that can help you help your child build social skills.
It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success by Richard Lavoie, Touchstone, 2006: Making and keeping friends can be a major struggle for children with LD. In this book, LD expert Rick Lavoie offers practical approaches for parents to help their children develop the social skills they need to make friends and succeed at home, school and in the community. If you prefer video, Lavoie has a DVD available that covers much of the same content as the book.
Jarvis Clutch: Social Spy by Mel Levine, Educators Publishing Service, 2001: This engaging, creative book gives students in grades 5–8 a bird’s eye view of middle school social life, pointing out difficult situations and giving kids advice and tips to help them improve their social skills to navigate the world of middle school. The book includes a “Guidelines for Use” section to help parents and professionals use the text most effectively.
Learning and Teaching Social Skills: A Relationship-Based Approach: While this article by Dr. Adam Cox focuses primarily on non-verbal learning disabilities, it provides a helpful overview of the social and emotional challenges that are common to many students with LD.
Socially ADDept: Teaching Social Skills to Children with AD/HD, LD, and Asperger’s by Janet Giler, Jossey-Bass, 2011: This book offers an easy-to-follow program for parents and educators to help children ages 8–13 with LD learn the hidden rules of social behavior—everything from body language to being a good listener to dealing with teasing.
Teaching Social Skills to Kids Who Don’t Yet Have Them: Students who struggle with social skills can be a challenge for teachers. This article, written for teachers, discusses ways that social skills training can be practiced in the classroom to help students with LD and ADHD learn to interact more positively with others.
Top 6 Tips to Teach Kids to Make Friends: If your child is struggling to make friends, it can be difficult to know how to help. These six tips are a good place to start because they offer simple, practical steps parents can take daily to support their child with LD in making and keeping friends.
Using Children’s Literature to Teach Social Skills: Children’s literature can be a valuable tool in teaching social and friendship skills. This article explains how to do it and suggests appropriate texts to use with elementary school students.