It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend

 
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Product Description

"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 conversations and doesn't follow directions. The child with visual-spatial issues loses his belongings and causes his siblings to be late to school. The child with paralinguistic difficulties appears stiff and wooden because she fails to gesture when she talks. These children are socially out of step with their classmates and 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. His bestselling PBS videos, including How Difficult Can This Be?: The F.A.T. City Workshop, and his sellout lectures and workshops have made him one of the most popular and respected experts in the field. At last, Rick's pioneering techniques for helping children achieve a happy and successful social life are available in book form. It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend offers practical strategies to help learning disabled children ages six through seventeen navigate the treacherous social waters of their school, home, and community. Rick examines the special social issues surrounding a wide variety of learning disabilities, including ADD and other attentional disorders, anxiety, paralinguistics, visual-spatial disorders, and executive functioning. Then he provides proven methods and step-by-step instructions for helping the learning disabled child through almost any social situation, including choosing a friend, going on a playdate, conducting a conversation, reading body language, overcoming shyness and low self-esteem, keeping track of belongings, living with siblings, and adjusting to new settings and situations. Perhaps the most important component of this book is the author's compassion. It comes through on every page that Rick feels the intensity with which children long for friends and acceptance, the exasperation they can cause in others, and the joy they feel in social connection. It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend answers the most intense yet, until now, silent need of the parents, teachers, and caregivers of learning disabled children -- or anyone who is associated with a child who needs a friend."

Customer Reviews:

  • Book review
    This book is great. It is useful for anyone raising, teaching or dealing with a child with ADHD, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. I am raising a grandchild with these problems and I have shared this book with everyone involved with him....more info
  • Richard Lavoie brings seasoned knowledge and advice
    As a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, I have spent a great deal of time working with children like Rick Lavoie talks about in his book. These children want to have friends and want to be good friends to others. They struggle to understand the social underpinnings, however, which leads to misunderstandings and sorrow from losing friends, or not even beginning to make a friend. This book looks at the neurodevelopmental issues that these children face, provding the adults who live and work with them more insight into their struggles. He basically is challenging us to step back and decipher what the child's intent was in a situation, rather than just jump to conclusions that frequently are very negative toward the child.

    Whether the child has ADHD, learning disabilities, Asperger Syndrome, or some other disability/disorder, taking time to understand why the child's attempts at social interaction is not working, and developing a plan of intervention and accommodation based on that understanding is what will make a positive difference. I think that all parents, teachers, and other professionals who work or live with these children should read this book....more info
  • Overrated
    The entire book could have been distilled down to one or two useful pages. A typical example of the author's predilection to stating the obvious in expert-speak: "Generally children will send discernible non-verbal signals when they are ready to end a conversation with an adult. They often begin to stare off into space or become silly. It is time to end the exchange."

    And then there are the self-promoting anecdotes such as, "It is encouraging to meet alumni from the 90's who had been exposed to intense social skill instruction during their high school years. Their conversational entrees are far more appropriate and effective: 'How are Mrs. Lavoie, Christian, Danny and Meggi?' 'How long will you be in the area?' 'How are things on Cape Cod?'"

    If you can bring yourself to wade through the superfluous chit chat and you've never read anything on this subject before, it may be worth buying used....more info
  • Extremely Useful
    My son is not ADHD or LD, but he does have problems with social situations, organizational skills, short attention span, etc. This book addresses a lot of those things. A good portion of the book does not apply to my son because academically he is ahead of his peers and this book assumes that kids with social deficiencies also suffer academically. There are several chapters devoted to specific LDs which I skipped. This book helped me to be more understanding of children with attention problems because there are neurological reasons that make it very difficult for them to make socially acceptable decisions and remain focused on tasks. In the beginning there is a long list of behaviors that these children have and so many of them described my son.

    One part that I found very useful was the part in the introduction that explains why punishment does not correct poor behavior patterns. It will stop it for that episode, but not have lasting results. Also you should not say, for example, "If you behave in the restaurant then you can get dessert." Not getting dessert would be punishment. The child will be resentful and probably act the same way at the next restaurant. You should explain the expectation beforehand and then if the child behaves you would say, "You have been so good that I think you deserve some dessert." The child will feel a since of accomplishment which leads to them wanting to behave better.

    Also in the introduction is a 5 step approach of how to analyze with your child a social problem he encountered to help him figure out on his own what he did wrong and what he should have done.

    Another part that was extremely useful was the chapter on having friends over for visits and house "rules" you get your child in the habit of following so your child becomes a good host.

    All in all this is one of the best books I have read on helping children cope with attention and social problems. ...more info
  • Another hit from Rick LaVoie!
    I bought this book at the recommendation of my child's pediatric psychologist- it is a great help for parents of kids with learning disabilities and other challenges. I am familiar with Rick LaVoie from his other works and his incredible video series called "Fat City", in which he shows parents and teachers just what it is like to walk a mile in the shoes of the kids who deal with these challenges daily. I would highly recoomend both this book and the video series to anyone whose child is having trouble with social skills and/or facing a learning disability. ...more info
  • Good as far as it goes
    This book provides what sound like good tips for helping a child struggling with social skills. Whether they work, I really can't say, as applying everything here would be the work of a lifetime.

    My major complaint about the book is the lack of research showing that this approach really works. Lavoie mentions research findings in one or two places in the text, but mostly he seems to be relying on his own experience working with kids. This is supplemented with what he admits is nothing more than "conventional wisdom" and "generally accepted rules of thumb". Some of Lavoie's "conventional wisdom" struck me as highly unlikely, such as his statement that child development is generally smoother in larger families. The research I've seen on the subject tends to show that only children generally tend to do better than children from larger families.

    My son has Asperger's syndrome (a mild form of autism). After 8 years of trying to help my boy, I am beginning to get a little weary of all the advice I receive. I've spent a fortune on therapists of various types, each one pushing his own agenda. Where's the proof that Lavoie's approach works with anyone other than Lavoie's own patients? For that matter, how do I know that Lavoie's own patients really improved their social skills, compared to other kids whose parents tried some other way? There are a lot of charlatans out there preying on the hopes of desperate parents. I wish I knew whether or not Lavoie is one of them. ...more info
  • Richard Lavoie brings seasoned knowledge and advice
    As a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, I have spent a great deal of time working with children like Rick Lavoie talks about in his book. These children want to have friends and want to be good friends to others. They struggle to understand the social underpinnings, however, which leads to misunderstandings and sorrow from losing friends, or not even beginning to make a friend. This book looks at the neurodevelopmental issues that these children face, provding the adults who live and work with them more insight into their struggles. He basically is challenging us to step back and decipher what the child's intent was in a situation, rather than just jump to conclusions that frequently are very negative toward the child.

    Whether the child has ADHD, learning disabilities, Asperger Syndrome, or some other disability/disorder, taking time to understand why the child's attempts at social interaction is not working, and developing a plan of intervention and accommodation based on that understanding is what will make a positive difference. I think that all parents, teachers, and other professionals who work or live with these children should read this book....more info
  • Fills a huge void!
    Although there is often a social gap between children with disabilities and their peers, Lavoie thankfully gives parents the necessary skills to remedy this.

    This book is also important to parents of children with physical disabilities, parents who are wrestling with the importance of teaching eye contact, body language, modulated voice volume, and cleaner eating habits to their non-LD, but spastic child. Lavoie provides such a kind way of encouraging success!

    Fantastic book!

    ...more info
  • Book: It's So Much Work To Be Your Friend
    I received this book in perfect condition and am very pleased with the entire process from purchase to receipt....more info
  • Every Teacher Should Read
    As I read the book I came away with loads of useful strategies to use when dealing with students that have social issues. I highly recommend this book to parents and teachers!...more info
  • Read this book!
    Writing as someone who has lived with learning disabilities for nearly 50 years now, I cannot say strongly enough that I sincerely wish all of my teachers and parents had read this book. I will go a little further than that---I wish the pastoral counselor, psychologist, and psychiatrists that I have dealt with as an adult would read this book.

    This book brought back memory after memory of times that I have been misunderstood (and rejected) by those around me, and also times that I have greatly misunderstood social and job-related incidents (and acted inappropriately as a result). Some of the long-lasting psychological damage that I have had as a result could have been alieviated if only those around me had been aware of the difficulties that I was having (and continue to have).

    Notice that I did not say that the misunderstandings and social errors I make would have stopped. I don't think they would have.
    The book does not offer any cure-alls. Its biggest contribution is to increase the understanding of the social ramifications of learning disabilities. I have found that very few normal people have any understanding of this at all; and their response can be quite damaging....more info

 

 
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