Social Skills Training For Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome and Social-Communication Problems is an invaluable resource for parents and educators. BALTIMORE– For many veterans with schizophrenia, deficits in social skills commonly associated with the disorder can make maintaining relationships and achieving personal goals extremely challenging. The VISN 5 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) oversees implementation of social skills training programs across the VA health system. Since 2008, 465 clinicians and some peer-support technicians have gone through the two-day training and six-month follow-up consultation that enables them to establish and operate SST programs in sites across the country.
Goldberg’s group provides ongoing consultation to clinicians to assist with implementing the programs in a variety of settings. A group-based behavioral intervention, SST teaches expressive and receptive skills, starting with listening and letting speakers know they are being heard.
It includes assessment and intervention strategies to support individuals with social, emotional, and communication deficits. The VA’s Social Skills Training (SST) program helps these veterans acquire the skills they need to effectively engage in social interactions, set and reach goals and take critical steps on the road to recovery.

Through the program, they learn how to communicate more effectively, integrate more actively into society and adopt roles and goals that relate to living a meaningful life,” said Richard W. As each clinician typically runs several groups of six to eight patients, hundreds of veterans have had the opportunity to participate. Groups operate within Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Centers (PRRC), as well as inpatient and outpatient clinic settings. Our ability to implement the training across the country speaks to the VA’s commitment from the top down to assure that veterans have access to effective treatments for schizophrenia,” Goldberg said.
Through very structured role-play, group participants learn how to communicate their feelings, make requests, assert themselves, engage in conversation and manage conflict in the contexts of friendships, dating, vocational and work settings, health maintenance and alcohol- and drug-related challenges. The author, Jed Baker, has ample experience supporting students with social interaction deficits as director of social skills training for special education in New Jersey. Goldberg, PhD, director of the VA Psychosocial Rehabilitation Training Program at the VA Maryland Healthcare System in Baltimore and associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Baker provides strategies that are feasible and easy to implement within the home and school setting.

The first section of the book provides an overview of Asperger’s Syndrome, assessment tools for social skills training and behaviour management, and strategies to promote generalization. The second section focuses on social skill lessons that are broken down into six categories: Conversational Skills, Cooperative Play Skills, Friendship Management, Self-Regulation, Empathy, and Conflict Management. Specific skills are targeted under each category, such as getting to know someone new, joining others in play, sharing a friend, problem solving, and accepting criticism.
Each skill includes specific instructions on how to teach the skill and a worksheet for the child or adolescent. This book is a must-have for anyone working with individuals who require additional social support. Click here to buy Social Skills Training For Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome and Social-Communication Problems from the POPARD Amazon Bookstore.

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