Socially ADDept: Teaching Social Skills to Children with ADHD, LD, and Asperger's

Socially ADDept: Teaching Social Skills to Children with ADHD, LD, and Asperger's

Socially ADDept: Teaching Social Skills to Children with ADHD, LD, and Asperger's

Socially ADDept: Teaching Social Skills to Children with ADHD, LD, and Asperger's


Decodes the often confusing rules of social behavior for all children

"Socially ADDept" helps educators and parents teach the hidden rules of social behavior to children with limited social skills, notably those with special needs like ADHD, learning disabilities, Asperger's and high-functioning autism, Tourette Syndrome, and nonverbal learning disabilities. The author provides all the information parents and professionals need to know to help kids learn social skills in simple, concise explanations. The book is divided into eight sections that educators can use as teaching units or parents can work through one week (or month) at a time. Includes a way for children to see themselves and how their behavior looks to others Deciphers the complex rules of nonverbal language into friendly, bite-sized morsels that kids can understand Offers a field-tested collection of suggestions and strategies for parents and professionals who want to enhance a child's social competence

"Socially ADDept" is presented in a hands-on workbook format, complete with reproducible student worksheets that are also available for free download from the publisher web site.


All authors have a story about why they do what they do, and mine probably began with my having an undiagnosed learning disability. This disability was never labeled as such because I functioned above grade level. It wasn’t until I got into college and failed the introductory English writing exam that I ever had to take any remedial classes. I was lucky because I was gifted in mathematics and abstract reasoning and managed to get through graduate school, though it took a lot of starting and stopping to finally get my PhD. I began focusing on learning disabilities as a problem or issue only when my son was diagnosed in kindergarten.

By the time my son was eight, I had learned a lot about learning disabilities and made it a focus of my doctoral studies. From watching Rick Lavoie’s video, Last One Picked, First One Picked On, I knew my son needed to learn social skills. In 1993, there were not a lot of books or curricula for teaching social skills to children with learning disabilities or ADHD. I hired two therapists from Los Angeles, Karen Horowitz and James Kehr, PhD, who showed me their method of conducting social skills groups. After their training—and reading every curriculum I could find—I eventually wrote the ADDept Curriculum, a ten-week program for children who are in mainstream classes and are having trouble socially.

As I started to train therapists, I saw we needed a training video, so I produced From Acting Out to Fitting In (1998). One of the surprises that came from this experience was seeing that everyone associated with the project—the editor, the director, the cameraman, and the grip—all either had ADHD or learning disabilities themselves or knew someone who did. The film (now available on DVD) has helped many professionals learn how to run social skills groups. It has been gratifying to see that the ADDept program is now used in many school districts in the United States and abroad.

It seemed like a logical progression to write up the parent version of the ADDept Curriculum, and so with the help of Christine Nolt, Socially ADDept: A Manual for Parents was first published in 2000. It has been reprinted four times over the last ten years before being acquired by Jossey-Bass this year. This edition includes all the old material as well as new exercises that focus on children with Nonverbal Learning Disability as well as Asperger’s Syndrome. Although the needs of each subgroup of children are quite different, the fundamentals of teaching social skills to children remain the same, despite their different disabilities.

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