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Title: Topics in Autism - Reaching Out, Joining In Teaching Social Skills to Young Children with Autism
Author: Weiss, MaryJane, Ph.D., BCBA & Harris, Sandra L. Ph.D.
One of the most important yet difficult skills for children with autism to learn is effective social interaction. This book introduces social skills programs to parents of preschool- and kindergarten-aged children diagnosed with one of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), including Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, and PDD: Not Otherwise Specified. The book is based on the authors' decades of clinical experience using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a proven educational method, to teach social skills at home and school. This book focuses on four broad topics: play skills; the language of social skills; understanding another person's perspective; functioning in an inclusive classroom. This book helps parents to work with their child's strengths to improve social skills. Following the suggestions and exercises in this book, parents can teach children to: pretend-play, use toys appropriately, know when to use conventional responses like - excuse me - tell jokes, recognise that others' feelings and thoughts are different from their own, and initiate social interaction with peers. Included are tips for using games, modelling, rewards, role play, videos, activity schedules, and social stories to teach social skills and make the learning experience fun for parents and children. A case study of one family's efforts and successes provides a real-life example that's informative and reassuring. Appendices listing resources such as books, games, and activities give parents additional material to explore.