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The Science of Making Friends: Helping Socially Challenged Teens and Young Adults

Friday, November 15, 2013 8:08 am EST

While a number of programs help young children with social challenges develop social skills, until now there have been no such approaches for older kids and adults. THE SCIENCE OF MAKING FRIENDS is based on UCLA's acclaimed PEERS program, the only research-based approach in the world to helping adolescents and young adults with social challenges--such as those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, bipolar, or other conditions--make and keep friends.

THE SCIENCE OF MAKING FRIENDS: Helping Socially Challenged Teens and Young Adults (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley brand; $25.95; Paper; ISBN: 978-1-118-12721-6; October 2013) includes concrete rules and steps of social etiquette identified through research. Parents can use THE SCIENCE OF MAKING FRIENDS to assist in improving conversational skills, expanding social opportunities, handling peer rejection, and developing and enhancing friendships. Lessons are taught using sample narratives and dialogue, followed by key rules and steps.

Each chapter of THE SCIENCE OF MAKING FRIENDS provides helpful overview information for parents; lessons with clear bulleted lists of key rules and steps; and expert advice on how to present the material to a teen or young adult. Chapters end with a short “Guide for Teens & Young Adults,” which provides direct guidance to those with social challenges. Throughout the book are role-playing exercises for practicing each skill, along with homework assignments to ensure the newly learned skills can be applied easily to a school, work, or other "real life" setting. The bonus DVD shows role-plays of skills covered, demonstrating the right and wrong way to enter conversations, schedule get-togethers, deal with conflict, and much more.

All the social skills programs on the market for the socially-challenged (those with autism, ADHD, etc.) focus on young kids. What about teens and adults? THE SCIENCE OF MAKING FRIENDS is the only evidence-based approach that teaches friendship skills to teens and young adults. It covers choosing friends, communication skills, bullying, and more.


Mike Onorato
Associate Director - Publicity

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