Brookes releases highly effective tool to teach social skills to students with autism spectrum disorders

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Posted on: June 7th, 2013

Brookes Publishing Contact:
Sharon Larkin
Brookes Publishing
410-337-9580 x151

BALTIMORE, Maryland (June 7, 2013) – For students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or similar characteristics, social relationships and social thinking can pose persistent challenges. The Social Compass Curriculum, a story-based intervention package now available from Brookes Publishing, is a highly effective way to teach social skills to students with autism spectrum disorders in upper elementary and middle school (4th-8th grade).

Designed for school-based social skills training in a group format (4–6 students, ideally including peers without autism), The Social Compass Curriculum helps students learn the critical skills that make up successful social interaction. Educators get 24 lessons that help students make progress in 4 key areas: nonverbal communication, emotion, social problem solving, and “we” skills for effective conversation. The curriculum includes clear directions, engaging activities, and visual supports (including full-color social skills flashcards and a quick-reference poster to hang in the classroom). Because the curriculum focuses specifically on evidence-based practices described in the 2009 National Standards Report, educators can be confident that they’re using effective, research-supported interventions with their students.

The Social Compass Curriculum is already getting positive feedback from the autism community. Belinda Karge, Director of Project AIMS (Autism, Inclusion, Math and Science) at California State University Fullerton, says the curriculum “will enhance the lives of children with autism and those on the spectrum. This is a must-have curriculum for every teacher!”

For more information on The Social Compass Curriculum, visit

About the Authors:

LouAnne Boyd, M.A., BCBA, is a private practitioner and the owner of ABAcus: Behavioral Tools for Social Engagement. In addition, she is Autism Coordinator for the North Orange County Special Education Local Plan Area in California. LouAnne conducts social skills groups in her community for both students with autism and neurotypical children. She conducts staff and parent trainings for social, communication, and behavioral interventions for home and school. LouAnne teaches graduate-level courses for in-service special educators focused on evidence-based interventions in the classroom at California State University, Fullerton. Since the early 1990s, she has served in clinic, community, and school settings. Her current interests include assessment, intervention, and generalization of social skills training.

Christina McReynolds, Ed.S, M.S., BCBA, is a behaviorist at the North Orange County Special Education Local Plan Area, where she is Autism Coordinator and supports five surrounding districts through research, professional development, and consultation for staff who work with individuals with autism. She is a Nationally Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), has a master of science degree in education, and has credentials in educational leadership, special education, and early childhood special education. She is also certified in behavior intervention case management, crisis intervention, and behavioral intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. She has been involved with individuals with disabilities since the late 1990s and has worked as a teacher, coordinator, and university instructor. Christina coauthored The Social Compass Curriculum as a response to the tremendous need for social cognition support that has been apparent throughout her career. She has conducted several research projects and presented at conferences throughout Orange County.

Karen Chanin, M.S., P.P.S., is a school psychologist and behavior analyst. She currently supports the North Orange County Special Education  Local Plan Area as its autism program specialist/school psychologist. Karen has more than 13 years of experience in working with children who have special needs. She holds a master of science degree in counseling: pupil personnel services, with advanced specialization in school  psychology. Her experiences in working with children diagnosed with autism include providing in-home and at-school behavioral services, providing one-to-one support in the classroom, supervising staff working with children at home and at school, training teachers and other staff members on applied behavior analysis strategies, consulting with teachers, conducting assessments, and training others in autism-specific assessments.

About Brookes Publishing:

Brookes Publishing is a leading publisher of practical, research-based resources that boost the learning and success of all people, with and without disabilities. For 35 years, the company has partnered with top experts on trusted books and tools that improve lives—from the critical early years through adulthood. Brookes Publishing is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.