NO ONE TO PLAY WITH: The Social Side of Learning Disabilities by Betty B. Osman

NO ONE TO PLAY WITH: The Social Side of Learning Disabilities

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Elaborating on one of the themes of her excellent overview, Learning Disabilities: A Family Affair, Osman writes here of the difficult interpersonal aspects of learning disabilities. As infants, teens, and adults, those with learning disabilities typically have one or more traits that lead to poor relationships: impulsiveness, immaturity, poor judgment, and lack of social perception. Examples from the lives of students Osman has tutored and counseled demonstrate the problems and how they may be handled. Even at two days of age, husky Tommy had trouble settling down, and at 18 months ""he raced rather than toddled""; so his parents kept him out of social situations--until their pediatrician suggested pull toys and hammering sets as outlets for his excess energy. At 15, Jack was ""small, late to mature physically, impetuous""--and completely unaware of the way he came across to others when he tried to act important and used foul language; only the tough kids responded to him until his parents and counselor guided him to the photography club and the stage crew. Mary L. would do well in a new job, but when given additional responsibilities ""inevitably 'flunked' "" since she found it hard to turn down a promotion. In specific areas, a chapter on possible crises of family living--moving, separation and divorce, death of a loved one--suggests that LD youngsters' concrete thinking processes and sense of responsibility make them more vulnerable to problems, and increase the importance of parental honesty and openness in communications. Twelve dos and don'ts (""Don't feel guilty and blame yourself for your child's learning disability""; ""Be prepared to accept the disorganization and absentmindedness that often accompany learning disabilities"") and lists of possible questions to ask at school conferences (""Is he included in play at recess?"" ""Does he work independently or is he at the teacher's desk too often for help or reassurance?"") provide some concrete guidance. Sound and variously illustrative, if not especially meaty.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1982
ISBN: 0878796878
Publisher: Random House