Big Picture Thinking : Using Central Coherence Theory to Support Social Skills: A Book for Students paperback book cover
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Big Picture Thinking : Using Central Coherence Theory to Support Social Skills: A Book for Students

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Publication Date:
August 31, 2011
Print Length:
196 pages

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Does your student have difficulties in understanding the big picture and supporting details? This can help.

Many people who have difficulties with social cognition, including those on the autism spectrum, do not see the big picture of a situation. That is, they tend to focus, or even hyper-focus, on details and have difficulty recognizing the main idea, topic or general point in conversations, stories or pictures. This is often referred to as challenges in central coherence. Good central coherence skills are essential to success in (a) reading comprehension across all school subjects including math word problems, (b) establishing school or work priorities, and interacting with others.

BIG PICTURE THINKING: USING CENTRAL COHERENCE THEORY TO SUPPORT SOCIAL SKILLS was written to help students with autism and related disabilities use individual pieces of social information fit into a larger context, so that they may begin to become big picture thinkers and, therefore, be more successful.


BIG PICTURE THINKING is a wonderful book for parents, educators, and other professionals who want to help children understand their social world. As a speech-language pathologist, I highly recommend this book because it not only defines the various areas of social communication, including turn taking, showing interest, tone of voice, and more, but also provides fun activities that engage children to learn. The book also contains easy-to-follow short stories with terrific thinking questions to prompt children to focus on important details. Collucci visually shows how the pieces of social skills fit together as a whole to give children a picture and perspective, thus allowing them to build cognitive awareness and become more successful in their social interactions. --Susan Diamond, MA, CCC, speech-language pathologist, author of SOCIAL RULES FOR KIDS

This book is extremely user-friendly, and I can see myself using it on a regular basis in my career as a speech-language pathologist. The layout is simple and predictable, perfect for use with students with social-cognitive challenges. The graphics add to the overall feel of the book and provide that extra visual support that these students so desperately need. Collucci should be commended on her work. She is a beacon of light in the often dark tunnel of autism spectrum disorders and related disorders. She is able to illuminate what others may fail to see ... the person within the diagnosis. This book is a testament to her unique understanding of how students' minds work and what they must be taught in order to be able to see the 'big picture.' --Faith Bell, MS, CCC-SLP, Paterson Public Schools

I highly recommend this book to anyone who regularly comes into contact with children as they acquire the interaction skills we need to use daily. Collucci details the social-cognitive areas of language that are often overlooked, although they are the crux of difficulty for many children. What is particularly special about this book is that Collucci breaks down aspects of social behavior, describing them in specific detail so that people experiencing such difficulty no longer have to be out of control or overwhelmed. In addition, she discusses, in a point-by-point manner, aspects of social interaction not usually covered to ensure they can be addressed and developed. --Margaret Meth, PhD, CCC-SLP, BRSCL, clinic director, William Paterson University

About the Author

Aileen Collucci is a licensed speech-language pathologist with a private practice in Little Falls, NJ. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of persons with social-communication deficits. Aileen has over 18 years of experience in the field, which includes developing and leading a successful social-communication skills group intervention program in Fairfield, NJ. She has conducted training workshops for parents of children with special needs and educational professionals in many areas including social skills intervention planning, autism and pragmatic language development and disorders. She holds a Master s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from New York University and state licenses in Speech and Language Pathology in both New Jersey and New York. She also maintains a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Aileen has a considerable interest in working with families to encourage carry-over of socialization and communication skills from the clinic to other contexts and she frequently consults with parents and school districts to better understand how to incorporate social-cognitive interventions into the educational programs of students with autism and related language-based learning difficulties. When she isn t working Aileen enjoys spending time with her son Cary, her family and friends.

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