Why Do I Have To? A Book for Children Who Find Themselves Frustrated by Everyday Rules
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Why do I have to go to school before the show that I am watching is over? Why do I have to wear shoes and a jacket when I go outside? Rules like these can be really frustrating - but they don't have to be!
Why do I have to? looks at a set of everyday situations that provide challenges for children at home, with their friends, and at school. Laurie Leventhal-Belfer empathises with childrens' wishes to do things their way, explains clearly why their way does not work, and provides a list of practical suggestions for how to cope with these challenges and avoid feelings of frustration. This is the ideal book for children who have difficulty coping with the expectations of daily living, as well as for their parents and the professionals who work with them.
Preface. Rules that can be frustrating at home: Why do I have to: Go to school before the show that I am watching is over? Wear shoes and a jacket when I go outside? Eat when I am not hungry? Rest when I am not tired? Go to the bathroom when I do not need to go? Share toys if I am still using them? Turn off the television or computer before my show or game is over? Stop talking about things that I like? Rules that may be frustrating about friends: Why do I have to: Play with my play date when I would rather play by myself? Say thank-you for a present that I do not like? Go to a friend's house when I would rather stay home? Let other kids play a game the "wrong" way? Apologize to other children for hurting them when they hurt me first? Listen to a friend talk about something that I do not find interesting? Rules that may be frustrating at school: Why do I have to: Listen to a story that I already know? Let my hands get dirty? Say hello with words instead of giving a friend a big hug or slap on the back? Only talk about what the teacher asked about? Tell my friends that I am no longer playing the game when they can see for themselves? Ask my teacher if I can leave the room? Sit in a chair to do my work when I work better standing up? Be quiet when I am working? Explain to an adult why I got into a fight when they should know? Do homework after I have been working in school all day? Appendix: Goal Chart.
"Dr. Laurie clearly understands how children with limited flexibility and difficulty coping think and respond. She has used her clinical experience to teach us how to help these children succeed. Dr. Laurie has provided a format, similar to 'Social Stories', for reducing stress in daily life and for minimising conflict stemming from unwritten or everyday rules. While there is no one solution for every child, the stories can be easily adapted for each child. She encourages children to be participants in determining solutions to their problems by providing simple, not simplistic, methods that work." - Teri Wiss
"If you want a child with Asperger's syndrome to comply with a social or family rule, it is very important to explain the logical reason to comply. Laurie's book provides the logic for compliance that will be invaluable for parents and teachers. I know this book will become regular bed time reading and be used many times at home and at school." - Professor Tony Attwood
Laurie Leventhal Belfer is a practicing clinical psychologist. She is the founder and director of The Friends Program, a therapeutic group program for young children with Asperger's Disorder and their families. She is also a member of the Adjunct Clinical Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, The Division of Child Psychiatry, Stanford University. She co-authored "Asperger's Syndrome in Young Children, A Developmental Guide for Parents and Professionals", also published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Luisa Montaini-Klovdahl is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice who is privileged to work with children and their families. She has worked with Laurie in The Friends Program for nearly a decade.