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Comics for Social and Communicative Behavior
Vera Bernard-Opitz | Illustrations by Andra Bernard
Future Horizons / Softcover / 2021-05-01 / 194917767X
Autism Spectrum (Self Help) / Autism Spectrum
price: $21.99
113 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

In their early school years, children focus on reading, writing, and arithmetics. For success in life, social skills and a positive personality are equally important. While curricula for core school subjects are abundant, materials on social behavior and character building are harder to find.

This workbook provides a clear teaching structure for these important teaching targets. It features over 130 comics of everyday problems, along with possible solutions. Eight key long-term targets are addressed, including:
• reliability
• teamwork
• self-control
• empathy
• communicative competence

Using this tool, all students can be encouraged to adopt the positive behaviors that are important in school, family and later work life.

Table of Contents:


Method of the Social Cartoon Curriculum

A) Examples for positive behavior in elementary school

STAR Program

S = Safety First

T = There and Ready

A = Act responsible

R = Respect self and others

S - Safety First
• Wearing a helmet
• Paying attention at the swings

T - There and Ready
• Arriving on time to class
• Not interrupting in class

A - Act responsible
• Helping a classmate with nose bleeding
• Handing back a lost wallet

R - Respect self and others
• No burping
• Respecting classmates from different cultures

B) Long-Time Goals (LTG) for social behavior

LTG 1 Being kind, popular and making friends

STG 1 Following instructions
• Cleaning up your room
• Coming when called

STG 2 Taking the perspectives of others
• Being careful on stairs
• Comforting your neighbor

STG 3 Helping and respecting others
• Letting younger siblings win
• Offering a seat to someone on the bus

STG 4 Being helpful
• Helping a classmate with his homework
• Helping your dad with washing the car

STG 5 Being humble
• Not bragging about your skills
• Not bragging about your possessions

LTG 2 Being responsible and reliable

STG 1 Respecting instructions
Respecting school decisions
Respecting behavior rules

STG 2 Doing what you promised
Doing your homework
Answering text messages

STG 3 Doing what is expected
Writing an essay
Unloading dishwasher

STG 4 Taking responsibility for others and the environment
Taking a classmate in a wheelchair along

STG 5 Time management and being on time
Not showering for too long
Arriving on time for an internship

LTG 3 Having good team skills

STG 1 Setting team-goals
Following instructions during physical education class
Accepting team decisions

STG 2 Accepting criticism
Accepting critical arguments
Accepting critique about behavior

STG 3 Suggesting or accepting compromises
Choice of restaurants
Choice of movies

STG 4 Being fair
Dividing tasks fairly
Giving everyone a chance

C) Goals for positive personality characteristics

LTG 4 Being optimistic

STG 1 Never give up
Practicing swimming
Keep going when physical effort is needed

STG 2 Thinking positive about yourself and others
Don´t be envious
Don't take revenge

STG 3 Taking chances and giving others a chance
Including minorities
Including younger siblings

LTG 5 Dealing with frustration and using coping strategies

STG 1 Dealing with the fear of failing
Dealing with a rejection letter
Dealing with lack of popularity

STG 2 Dealing with losses and thinking positive
Divorce of parents
Loss of a school-friend

LTG 6 Being loyal and trustworthy

STG 1 Being loyal
Not making fun of your parents
Respecting teachers

STG 2 Being real and self-confident
Don't join when peers instigate trouble
Don't join dangerous activities

STG 3 Being honest even though you fear punishment or disadvantages
Admitting when you damaged something
Admitting when you stole something

LTG 7 Being self-controlled

STG 1 Being aware of yourself and others
Not annoying others by your monologues
Not everyone consider nail biting cool

STG 2 Dealing with stress
Using calming strategies during an exam
Don't be angry when bullied

D) Goals for communicative competence

LTG 8 Being a good conversational partner

STG 1 Giving compliments
About someone's clothes
About someone´s possession

STG 2 Apologizing and making up for mistakes
Apologizing when hurting someone
Apologizing when breaking something

STG 3 Clarifying misunderstandings
Clarifying wrong assumptions
Clarifying misunderstandings

STG 4 "You talk" instead of "Me talk"
Don't persevere about your favorite subject
Don't be a "show-off"

STG 5 Showing interest towards others and paying attention
Paying attention when success is mentioned
Paying attention when loss is mentioned

STG 6 Showing gratitude
For a dinner invitation
For a trip

About the Author:

Vera Bernard-Opitz is an American BCBA-D and German psychotherapist and behavior therapist, who has worked in Germany, Singapore, and the United States. She has assessed and treated more than 1000 children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in autism research centers, rehabilitation centers, special needs schools, and homes. She studied Psychology at the University of Göttingen, conducting her Ph.D. research in Göttingen and the University of California Santa Barbara. For seven years she headed the Psychological Services unit at a rehabilitation center near Heidelberg, where she set up behavioral programs for individuals with ASD. Her research on computer-assisted instruction was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). For twelve years she was Associate Professor of Psychology at the National University of Singapore, mainly teaching Abnormal Psychology and Behavior Modification. During this period she initiated the first autism program in Singapore (STEP), where she coordinated training and research activities at the Behavior Intervention Center of the university. Here in Southern California, she has supervised home-programs for a private ABA-company. For the last eight years she has been an international consultant, spearheading tele-health for individuals with behavior challenges and varying levels of capabilities. She has written several books focusing on behavior intervention, curriculum development and social skills training. The fourth edition of her curriculum guide Children and Adolescents with ASD has recently been published by Kohlhammer Publishing. Her cartoon-book Teaching-Goals: Communication and Social Behavior has just been published in German and is in manuscript in English by Future Horizon. She has edited the Autism Concrete Series with eight published books from internationally recognized authors. Vera Bernard-Opitz lives with her family most of the year in Irvine, California. She spends three to four months in her home in the nice city of Hildesheim from where she gives practice workshops throughout Germany.

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