Friday, March 4, 2011

Socially ADDept (review)

Socially ADDept, Teaching Social Skills to Children with ADHD, LD, and Asperger's, Revised Edition, is a brand new offering from Jossey-Bass teacher and Janet Z Giler, Ph.D., a marriage and family therapist who is experienced in working with teachers, families, and mental health professonals who work with, live with, individuals with ADHD, LDs, and Asperger's.

In a three-section layout, Dr. Giler guides readers through What Parents and Teachers Need to Know 9 (Chapter 1 is available here.); The Socially ADDept Lessons (ten of them); and Appendices. The table of contents is here.

My child does not have an Aspie label; she does have attention issues and learning disabilities. Our intervention of choice is a developmental one that grows joint-attention by starting with foundations and growing them, instead of using rote rules as compensations. While I am not comfortable using every lesson, there are some solid self-awareness lessons that we can incorporate into our developmental approach. Some of the lessons address skills by using compensations that are too explicit, to artificial, too rule-based for me, and quite frankly, we've been able to bypass some of these lessons altogether by conquering some of the challenges in the book by addressing them naturally from an experience-based developmental, relationship approach.

I'm going to pick and choose the lessons that fit our approach, and there are quite a few of them. Other lessons will guide me as we begin to host more play dates and meet people in our new location after our move. Dr Giler spotlights some concepts I have put on the back burner and may need to bring forward at our house. (I will completely ignore the lessons about eye contact; one of our goals is referencing for meaning, and I don't want to confuse my girl and make her think referencing is about eye contact, because it's not.)

If you like rule-based social skills classes, you may like this book. Priced at $29.95, the book is easy to follow; the lessons are arranged in a way that makes them visually appealing on the page (there is not too much info on a page, for example), and I think that either a professional or a laymom or dad can use them. The paperback is the size of a sheet of copy-paper; it is designed to lie flat on a copy machine for easy duplication for groups.

Dr Giler's web site is

Jossey-Bass Teacher sent me a copy of Socially ADDept, Teaching Social Skills to Children with ADHD, LD, and Asperger's, Revised Edition, by Dr. Janet Z. Giler, for review purposes. I am not paid for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

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