If you are a parent or teacher looking for a guide to teaching social skills, Susan Diamond’s “Social Rules for Kids” is a terrific place to start. Published by AAPC (Autism Asperger Publishing Company), this book covers skills related to talking and listening, making friends, school, bullying, and more.
One feature I particularly appreciate is the shortened social narrative style for each skill, combined with a rule-based approach. For example, Rule #2 deals with “chit-chat” by simply explaining the benefits of chit-chat, what it is, how it looks/sounds, and a key idea to remember. Because the social narrative aspect is shortened, each skill is covered on a single page. That probably lessens anxiety for both kids and adults, while also making the book easier for kids to read. If necessary, this abbreviated version could be expanded through role play and even longer narratives, using the book as a model.
The wide range of topics is excellent for high functioning kids. Helping students walk away from cliquey groups and avoiding bragging are two skills which would benefit most kids in middle school, for a start. And there are plenty of “survival” skills, such as “No Means No” and “Be Funny But Not Too SIlly.”
Come to think of it, this book would be helpful for ALL kids! Please check out AAPC and sign up for their newsletter. They have awesome resources on all things autism! You can follow them via Twitter and Facebook. You may also enjoy Julie’s blogs as much as I have; they’re authentic, encouraging accounts of her life with an autistic daughter.