The Rules of Social Relationships
Grandin and Barron, in the middle of this book, present ten unwritten rules of social relationships. All of them make it very clear that social relationships are complex, changeable, and difficult to grasp. For example, rules one through three state:
- Rules are Not Absolute. They are Situation-based and people-based.
- Not Everything is Equally Important in the Grand Scheme of Things.
- Everyone in the World Makes Mistakes. It Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Day.
Of course, no one could argue with these "rules." But in fact they're not rules: they're guidelines which provide remarkably little help when assessing real life situations. Perhaps this is inevitable, since real life is rarely easy to assess. But for readers seeking real guidance -- these guidelines are not particularly useful.
A Reflection, Not a Handbook
The bottom line is that, while this book is a fascinating read, it is not a handbook. The authors include suggestions on how to work with children to build an understanding of social skills, but those suggestions appear to be ideas as opposed to tested techniques.
I highly recommend this book to interested autistic and neurotypical readers who want a perspective on social interaction from an autistic perspective. This is not, however, the book to grab as you are putting together a lesson plan!