Declarative Language Handbook: Using a Thoughtful Language Style to Help Kids with Social Learning Challenges Feel Competent, Connected, and Understood

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Do you know a child that gets upset when their routine changes? They might also struggle to see the big picture, to make friends, to problem solve in real time, and to read nonverbal communication. Meltdowns, tantrums and other challenging behaviors might be common.

This book was written to teach you how making small shifts in your language and speaking style will produce important results. You will stop telling kids what to do and instead thoughtfully give them information to help them make important discoveries in the moment. These moments build resilience, flexibility, and positive relationships over time.

You might be a therapist or a teacher, or you might be a parent, grandparent, or babysitter. Your child might have a diagnosis such as autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD or Non-Verbal Learning Disability. But they might not. No matter your child’s learning style, this book was written to help you feel equipped to make a difference, simply by being mindful of your own communication and speaking style.

“What if people mostly used language with you to tell you what to do or to tell you that you should have done it better? I think you’d agree, that would get discouraging rather fast! For individuals with social learning challenges, this is too often their experience. Through this handbook, Linda guides us to notice how a shift in our use of language (from imperative to declarative) can fundamentally shift how children relate to us and the world around them. Through many practical examples and tips for developing our own use of declarative language, Linda provides us the tools to build positive, pro-active relationships with the individuals we parent, teach or counsel.”
Michelle Garcia Winner, Founder of the Social Thinking Methodology
Speech Language Pathologist, MA-CCC

“When I heard that Linda Murphy was writing “Declarative Language Handbook”, a hallmark of RDI, I knew that our Autism and Communication worlds were about to be influenced by the cutting edge thinking of a truly remarkable expert in the field. What I wasn’t prepared for were the crisp, practical, useful guidelines that will make this the most important book on the shelf of clinicians and parents dealing with autism.”
Rachelle K. Sheely PhD President & Co-Founder of RDIConnect

“The shift to increased student agency and teachers as coaches is dependent on a new kind of language in the classroom. Declarative language elevates teaching to that new level.”
Melissa Andrichak MAT, First Grade Teacher

“As a seasoned clinician, I found that when I changed my language from imperative to declarative, I started to notice new competencies of children. I am continually amazed at how simple (but difficult!) changes in my language can be so powerful and bring about incredible changes in a short time. We are so fortunate to have Linda explain the principles of Declarative Language in a book.”
Martha Bargmann MS, CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children

“Finally! An easy to read book that meets parents and educators ‘in the trenches’ with information and strategies that help our kids learn critical thinking, social problem solving and executive functioning skills. This book is proof of how making small shifts in our language can have far reaching results.”
Beckham Linton M.A., CCC-SLP, Social Learning Consultant /Coach

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Declarative Language Handbook: Using a Thoughtful Language Style to Help Kids with Social Learning Challenges Feel Competent, Connected, and Understood

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