Pick of the Week: “Fitting In and Having Fun” Vol. 4: High School Life

There are many behaviors that high school students are expected to recognize and display. Students need to be aware of these implicit expectations in order to make good choices, become more independent, and form healthy relationships. This week only, we are offering a 15% discount off of the video modeling program “Fitting In and Having Fun”, Vol. 4: High School Life to help your high school student improve their social awareness. Enter BLOGFITN2* at checkout to apply these savings to your online order.

This video modeling DVD follows a teen named Jon as he learns to navigate high school by becoming more aware of the unspoken rules his teachers and peers expect him to know. The DVD includes the TD Social Skills exclusive “What they’re thinking” insight windows to help students realize the impact of their behavior on others. Actual high school peer mentors who offer advice on how to solve teen problems are also featured. “Springboard to discussion” questions explore each topic further to help students to better understand and improve social exchanges.

Watch the video below for a preview!

Fitting In and Having Fun, Volume 4: High School LifeThe social situations reviewed on this DVD are:

  • Getting Organized
  • Classroom Protocol
  • Sharing Conversations
  • Staying Calm to Problem-Solve
  • Showing Empathy
  • Manners Count
  • Dealing With Stress
  • Embarrassing Situations
  • Falling Head Over Heels

This week only, save 15% on your order of “Fitting In and Having Fun”, Vol. 4: High School Life by using the promotional code BLOGFITN2* at checkout!

*Offer is valid until November 5, 2013 at 11:59pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in the promo code at checkout!

Pick of the Week: “You Are a Social Detective!” CD

You Are a Social Detective! Interactive CD teaches children ages 7-12 to become better social thinkers by putting on their detective hats and deciphering both expected and unexpected social behavior. This week, we’re offering a 15% discount on the You Are a Social Detective! CD to help parents and professionals introduce the Social Thinking® Vocabulary to their students. Enter the promo code BLOGDTV4 at checkout to save 15% on your purchase this week.

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Users will rely on their social “tools” — their eyes, ears, and brains — to make smart social guesses and investigate clues to see how others’ emotions and responses are connected to their own behavior. The program has 6 exciting levels with more than 200 video prompts to break down social situations into functional terms, including:

  1. Understanding Others’ Comfortable/Uncomfortable Thoughts
  2. Understanding Others’ Expected/Unexpected Behaviors
  3. Guessing Others’ Thoughts and Emotion
  4. Making Smart Guesses
  5. Using Your Tool Box Items (Eyes, Ears & Brain)
  6. Using Social Mapping

The software uses interactive video scenarios of real students to engage the user to answer questions, make smart social guesses and establish outcomes. All entries are scored over time so parents and educators can track progress and customize levels.

This software is compatible with Windows 98 or above and MAC OS X or above.

*This offer expires on October 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces in the promo code at check out!

Pick of the Week: Funny Faces

This week’s Pick of the Week features the interactive game Funny Faces, which promotes children’s recognition and awareness of emotions and expressions. Teaching student son the autism spectrum to recognize facial expressions is a key step in ultimately reducing their stress and anxiety by teaching them how to express their needs and wants and how to best interpret the actions of the people around them.

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This week only, SAVE 15% on your order of the Funny Faces game by entering in the promotional code BLOGFNNY5 at checkout!

Funny Faces requires players to take turns mimicking a face from a game card, while the other players try to guess the expression and match it to one on the board.


Kids will have fun while being asked to recreate and identify the game’s silly faces. The game includes 60 face cards, 30 face tiles, and a mirror so players may practice their funny faces!

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Take 15% off your order of Funny Faces by entering in the promo code BLOGFNNY5 at checkout!*

*Offer expires on July 15th, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces after the Promo Code when you enter it at checkout!

Pick of the Week: The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules

It’s not easy for any teen or tween to fit in, but it can be especially tough for Asperkids. Jennifer O’Toole knows this first-hand, and has written a book she only wishes she had when she was a teen with Asperger Syndrome.

This week only, save 15% on The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules by entering in BLOGASP7 at check out!

In The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules, O’Toole doesn’t offer advice on what Asperkids should not do, but on what they should do with witty and wise insights into baffling social codes. With helpful tips, practice scenarios, checklists, and quizzes, Asperkids will learn how to:

  • Thank people, apologize, and offer compliments
  • Build and maintain genuine friendships and how to deal with bullying
  • Actively listen and have a meaningful conversation
  • Step back and see the “big picture” instead of focusing on the details
  • Make a correction and let go of the need to be right

This week only, take 15% off The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules in your online order by entering in the promotional code BLOGASP7 at check out!*

*Offer expires on July 8th, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces after the Promo Code when you enter it at checkout!

Pick of the Week: “I See I Learn” Books

Early childhood is a period of vital learning through sensory experiences. Visual learning and comprehension are expressed long before children learn to read and utter a wide range of vocabulary. The I See I Learn series by visual learning specialist Stuart J. Murphy applies this natural capacity of young children with engaging and stimulating stories that are reinforced with visual strategies that help young learners prepare for school and other situations.

I See I Learn BooksThe I See I Learn series introduces a neighborhood of gentle, caring individuals, who respect and nurture each other. The stories are infused with experiences in which our fictional friends Freda, Percy, Emma, Carlos, Camille, and Ajay learn basic life lessons by effecting positive results.


This week only, SAVE 15% on the I See I Learn books, by entering in the promo code BLOGISIL3 at checkout.

The books are divided into the comprehensive domains of Social and Emotional Skills. Each title addresses a particular issue relevant to the experiences of young learners. In Percy Gets Upset, readers learn how to deal with frustration. Good Job, Ajay! helps children build confidence. Emma’s Friendwich explores the fun and challenges of making friends. In Camille’s Team, the gang must work together to share in the fun and learn cooperation. Percy Listens Up gently helps children understand that not listening often leads to missing out on great fun. And Freda Stops a Bully explores how it feels to be teased and bullied and what strategies kids can use to stop it.

Informative illustrations paired with diagrams that illustrate various issues encountered in children’s daily lives help make these lessons easier for young learners to remember.

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Additional activities and questions in the back of the books also help educators and caregivers further explore each issue discussed in the stories with their children.

Experts in the field of educational development for young children agree that learning tools need to have the ability to apply children’s own viewpoints in solving the conflicts that they may face on a daily basis. Stuart J. Murphy does this exactly with a positive-child approach in his series. Each layout – each word – reflects Murphy’s ability to see scenarios and dilemmas “as a child” and to present them in natural, kid-friendly language with solutions that make sense from their perspectives. The dynamic illustrations in each story are engaging and help generate excitement in young learners when you decide to introduce a new title.

BLOGISIL3 Promo Code

This week only, SAVE 15% on any one of our selections from the I See I Learn series by Stuart J. Murphy, by entering in the promo code BLOGISIL3 at checkout.*




*Offer expires on May 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces after the Promo Code when you enter it at checkout.

Pick of the Week: Bullying & ASD – The Perfect Storm – NEW from Autism Partnership

Work in Progress v6 Cover.inddBullying & ASD: The Perfect Storm – the brand new booklet and DVD from Autism Partnership – comes at a most important time. Recent school bullying and cyberbullying statistics show that:

  • 1 out of 4 kids are bullied
  • 77% of students are bullied either mentally, verbally or physically
  • Cyberbullying statistics are rapidly approaching similar numbers, with 43% experiencing cyberbullying
  • Of the 77% of students that said they had been bullied, 14% of those who were bullied said they experienced severe (bad) reactions to the abuse

Bullying is a real and pressing issue in our schools and online, and children with autism spectrum disorder are especially at risk. In the most recent volume of the Work in Progress Companion Series, Doctors Leaf, McEachin and Taubman explore not only the reasons that children with ASD are targets for bullying, but more importantly, they offer realistic and attainable strategies for kids on the spectrum.  

Several traditional methods of dealing with bullies are explored in this booklet and DVD, including avoidance, informing an authority figure, and fighting back.  In addition, there are strategies for educating and preparing the victims so that students with ASD can better combat bullying.  The included DVD features over an hour and 40 minutes of footage including advice from experts, one-on-one interviews with students, and real classroom brainstorming sessions where students with autism spectrum disorder are shown:

  • The difference between teasing and bullying
  • How to avoid the behaviors invite bullying, including determining the important difference between “cool” and “uncool”
  • When and when not to listen to peers
  • How to react to a bully

This week only, save 15% on the important new booklet and DVD – Bullying & ASD: The Perfect Storm -  by entering the promo code BLOGBASD2 at checkout.

*Offer expires on April 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces after the Promo Code when you enter it at checkout.

Our new catalog is here!

And it’s a big one for us – Volume 30! Over 18 years and 30 catalogs, our mission has always stayed the same: to educate and empower children with autism and special needs. We’re so proud of our 30th Catalog and we think you will be quite excited by the 70 new products that we’ve added. We’ll be highlighting and featuring some of our best new products in our Pick of the Week segment so be sure to keep an eye out for special offers by joining our mailing list.

The new catalog contains all of your favorite go-to’s, like the Language Builder and the Time Timer, along with spectacular new products for Early Interventionteaching social skills, developing conversation and so much more.

You can always request a paper catalog on our site, or you can click here for our fully interactive e-catalog that enables you to dowload, print and link back to the products on our site.

We’re thrilled to share this milestone with you and can’t wait to hear your thoughts on our new products.

Wait, What Are We Talking About?

I typically work with very young learners in Early Intervention but there was a time I was working with older children, which necessitated work on conversation skills and topic maintenance. With the start of a new academic year and changes to my caseload I am currently finding myself with students who again need some assistance in this area.  Children with autism spectrum disorders often struggle in conversations because of limited or restricted interests, attending issues, difficulty determining what is relevant or salient to the topic and might also struggle with the rapid transitions necessary to shift between speaker and listener.  This change in my caseload has meant that I’ve found myself digging into old files and unearthing some ancient DIY efforts of mine that I had used in the past.  What I came across that I wanted to share was a visual support that I had used in small groups to facilitate a variety of skills.  It’s something I called Chit Chat and it helped to cue the students in shifting from speaker to listener while maintaining a balance in the conversation with turn taking and reciprocity as well as staying on topic.

The idea was that we would all sit down for a “chat” and initially I would go first in order to model how the board was used rather than providing explicit instruction until the group could use the board on their own and I could fade myself out of the conversation.  The first speaker would choose a token corresponding to a topic of interest, make a statement relevant to the topic chosen and then pass the token to a friend.  The token would provide a prompt for the speaker to maintain the chosen topic as well as cue the rest of the group to visually reference the child whose turn it is to be speaker.  Depending on the level of the group I would individualize the number of conversational exchanges on one topic required before bridging to a new topic. The group I was working with at the time was able to talk about more general topics but this could be individualized to more specific topics depending on the group of students you are working with.

I’m excited embarking upon a new academic year with all it’s unique challenges and successes and am happy to dust off Chit Chat and give it another whirl this year with all new students.  I would be curious to hear from other educators and therapists what tools they’ve created that they find themselves going back to year after year.  You might be surprised what you find at the bottom of your file cabinet!

Also, check out this great link I stumbled across from POPARD Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders in British Columbia, Canada.


Introducing our new All About Social Skills! Catalog: Teaching Tools for School-Age Students with ASD

We’re thrilled to introduce our new All About Social Skills! Teaching Tools for School-Age Students catalog! As our students and children have made such incredible progress, one of the greatest challenges they face lies in the realm of social skills. We scoured the sources and have come up with a group of books, flashcards, and CD/DVDs that we think will help your students navigate their homes, schools and communities with confidence.

We’re excited to introduce you to Michelle Garcia-Winner whose books and curriculum offer a treatment framework and curriculum that target improving social thinking abilities in individuals with ASD from kindergarten through grade 12.

The Skillstreaming series is a social skills training program that employs a four-part approach – modeling, role-playing, performance feedback, and generalization – to teach essential prosocial skills to children and adolescents. Skillstreaming is an evidence-based strategy to systematically teach social skills and a variety of behaviors, from academic competency and playing sports to daily living and making friends. There are books and skill cards for Skillstreaming in Early Childhood as well as Skillstreaming the Elementary School Child.

The new Explore Social Skills Introductory Kit provides a full-year curriculum focusing on the development of 50 social skill sets for students in grades 6-12. The kit includes a Teacher’s Manual, Student Book, Flashcard Set and Video Modeling DVD. The skills addressed are those essential to attaining social competency and success in school, the community, and the workplace.

And these are just some of the products featured in our new All About Social Skills! catalog. You’ll also find our best-selling books such as Crafting Connections, Social Skills Solutions, and the Social Skills Picture Book.

In celebration of the publication of our new catalog, we’re offering 15% off on ALL of the materials featured in All About Social Skills! Teaching Tools for School-Age Students. Redeem your savings by entering the Promo Code BLOGABS3 at checkout.

*Offer expires on October 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. Not compatible with any other offer. Be sure there are no spaces after the Promo Code when you enter it at checkout.


The Success of Early Intervention!

The other day our wonderful consultant Stacy Asay came to chat. Stacy has been working with young children in early intervention for 15 years.  Whenever we look at new products or books, we always ask her to give us an opinion on its value to teaching children on the autism spectrum.

We were discussing the benefits of Early Intervention – what kids on the spectrum are like when they are two years old and the amazing skills and capabilities that they acquire through applied behavior analysis and verbal behavior teaching.  Children who can’t make words or eye contact at 2 are able to hold long discussions about their favorite topics at 4.

As Abigail and I started thinking about the astounding success that these children have been making over the years, it dawned on us that our mission here at Different Roads is being fulfilled by these kids!

Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of children diagnosed with autism, giving them tools needed to find success in gaining independence.  We just figured out that by the time our pre-school students get to a school age program, they know how to label, ask questions and do math.  What they need is guidance in social skills.

We are amazed by the progress of so many of our young students…..we know that our products have made a difference and we’re so happy to share in each child’s success. Many of you have stories of these successes. We hope that you will find the time to share stories of the new capabilities and skills that your child has acquired through early intervention.