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Learning About Friendship

Learning About Friendship

Haitham Al-Ghani | Kay Al-Ghani



Making friends can be a challenge for all children, but those with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) can struggle more than most. This collection of ten fully-illustrated stories explores friendship issues encountered by children with ASD aged four to eight and looks at how they can be overcome successfully.

Key problem areas are addressed, including sharing, taking turns, being a tattletale, obsessions, winning and losing, jealousy, personal space, tact and diplomacy, and defining friendship. The lively and entertaining stories depersonalize issues, allowing children to see situations from the perspective of others and enabling them to recognize themselves in the characters. This opens the door to discussion, which in turn leads to useful insight and strategies they can practise and implement in the future. Each story has a separate introduction for adults which explains the main strategies within it.

This book will be a valuable resource for all parents and teachers of children with ASD, along with their friends and families, and anybody else looking to help children on the spectrum to understand, make and maintain friendships.

Overall, this book serves as an excellent resource for parents, teachers, and assistants of children with AS and HFA. It provides a door through the wall that prevents children from grasping key social concepts. And, for children, it provides warm, compassionate, and clear social guidance, and helps to set them up for a lifetime of success in a world they struggle to understand.'

'Learning About Friendship is an excellent book. My 8 year old son Aiden has high-functioning Autism so this has been perfect for our family. I really appreciated the user-friendly way this book is put together. The social stories included in each chapter were really easy for us to use as-is with our son. It has been so helpful that we actually sent it to school with Aiden for his Aid to use with him as necessary. The stories are easy to understand and deal with stuff that we deal with daily. The illustrations helped to keep Aiden's attention focused on the story. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a kid on the spectrum.

Tara's View on Books Blog
Ms Al-Ghani has a way with words, and I find her introduction and overviews of great interest. Her stories will be of real use in the classroom.
Each chapter starts with an explanation to the adult, parent or carer and raises awareness of some of the common pitfalls. This is then followed by a social story to illustrate how they can be overcome. I enjoyed both aspects of these scenarios for several reasons... it is apparent from the text that her intuitive approach works - she gets the quirks and triggers - in that although you are working on one particular skill, there can be lots of other issues that interfere with the main plan... she reveals parental errors in a kindly manner. We know our mistakes, or some of them at least, and she understands why we made them... she used our children's most common obsessions in the social stories - which is a great short cut for us parents as we don't need to re-write them to fit our children- thank you!... I would recommend this book, although as I already said, it's designed for high functioning and asperger children, many of the social stories are easily adaptable for other children... As a final note it would be remiss of me not to mention the illustrations that accompany the stories which are clear cut, black and white line drawing - perfect for my guys who always (used to) had a hard time with photographs of real people and color pictures. The're a wonderful and useful addition that complement the stories rather than detract form them. It wasn't so long ago that there were whole shelves of books which were off limits because the pictures triggered all kinds of unpleasantness.
Whitterer on Autism
K.I. Al-Ghani is a special educational needs teacher who has worked for more than 30 years in the field of education. She is currently a specialist teacher for inclusion support and is involved with training professionals, students and parents in aspects of ASD. As an author and a mother of a son with ASD, she has spent the last 20 years researching the enigma that is autism. Haitham Al-Ghani is an author, illustrator and cartoon animator. He earned a triple distinction in multimedia studies and was the 2007 winner of the Vincent Lines Award for creative excellence.
This book concentrates on children with Asperger Syndrome and High-functioning Autism and is designed to address many of the difficulties these children experience with friendships. However, even if your children have not yet reached this stage of development, the book can still be a useful tool... The book covers ten difference scenarios. Each chapter starts with an explanation to the adult, parent or carer and raises awareness of some of the common pitfalls. This is then followed by a social story to illustrate how they can be overcome. I enjoyed both aspects of these scenarios.
Whitterer on Autism