Sustainable Social Skills

This innovative, behaviour management programme engages children in three-dimensional learning to develop social skills and embed them for life.

This structured and engaging programme focuses heavily on teaching children how to work together to improve their communication, interpersonal relationships and group skills. In turn these skills enable them to self-regulate and self-manage their behaviour.


About the Book

Sustainable Social Skills is a proprioceptive program, producing prolific positive changes for children and adolescents with social skills deficits.

This program is guaranteed to engage your most reluctant learners, through guided group interaction and physical challenges!

Usually, kids absorb social skill passively through a variety of ways – TV, interaction with their families, in the classroom and in the playground. But kids with ASD, Learning Difficulties and other disabilities aren’t able to gain social skills this way.

To be able to learn social skills, kids have to have social antennae. Not only do those antennae need to be out there interacting with the world, they need to have the processing ability to organize the incoming stimuli in the brain.

Kids with ASD, Learning Difficulties and other disabilities have to use their cognitive abilities instead of their antennae to solve social challenges. This means they’re solving social situations using the same problem-solving ability they use to solve Math’s problems, so they miss subtleties and as a result, can totally misjudge social situations.

So these vital “life” skills have to be directly taught to these children. For kids to be able to take in and learn to decode social skills these lessons need to be delivered in a format that children find engaging and fun.

The Sustainable Social Skills programme grew out of this need, and has been succeeding for over ten years in changing the lives of children, their families and school communities in amazing ways!

The programme has been developed to include realistic situations and lesson plans, using a tried and true formula that can be replicated each week, to create extremely positive learning situations that embed social skills for life!

  • Hands <br />On Hands
  • Lesson-By-Lesson <br />Goals Lesson-By-Lesson
  • Lesson <br />Plans Lesson
  • Refinement <br />& Development Refinement
    & Development

About the Authors

Mike Belnap

Mike Belnap has been a passionate, resourceful, skilled, and innovative teacher for over 42 years who is highly respected by parents, students and his peers. He has taught across most curriculum and subject areas in 4 different countries, High School and Primary, in private and public schools and in urban and isolated situations.

He has Bachelor of Science and a Diploma of teaching from Oregon State University. In his early years as a teacher he taught Science, Mathematics, Outdoor Education, Health and Biology in large High Schools in Australia. He has also worked in private industry as a laborer in factories, Agriculture, and the building trades, and in management in the Yacht Charter and Tourism business.

From his earliest teaching days, he always seemed to gravitate to helping the more disinclined, socially and academically challenged learners. Drawing on his life and educational experiences, he was actively practicing inclusion well before the concept became the new flavor. Mike has established many alternative learning, multimodal and communally relevant teaching programs throughout the decades of his educational career.

Upon the arrival of his first son, born with Down syndrome, 35 years ago, he and his wife began a life long learning journey into disability, ability, early intervention, developmental delay and inclusion. They both completed further training in Special Education and shifted their teaching focus to inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream school classrooms and curricula.

Mike is currently Head of Special Education services at Currimundi State Primary School in Queensland, Australia. While working at Currimundi, he drew on his life journey and teaching experiences to develop, implement and evaluate the Sustainable Social Skills program over a period of 10 years, and is still doing so today.

Nelle Frances

Nelle Frances' life experiences as the daughter of an ASD father, mother of an adult son with Asperger’s Syndrome, and a Special Needs educator with more than 16 years experience in Primary and High Schools, fuels her passion and drive.

In 2001 Nelle's son transferred to Currimundi Primary School and she met Mike Belnap – an instant alliance of like-minds! Her son began attending Social Skills lessons with Mike, and she witnessed first hand the Program’s unique ability to change lives and greatly improve outcomes for children who are disengaged from learning and education.

Nelle's passionate about the link between sensory issues and behaviour. This lead her to develop her Sensory Detective® Workshop, and since 2001 she has been presenting this high-impact Professional Development session around Australia, with a particular focus on regional and/or remote areas.

Nelle is also author of

  • the Ben and His Helmet series of fiction books for children
  • Asperger Child Simply Explained - a resource for parents and Professionals
  • Sensory Awareness Training – a program for children aged 5-15

Nelle believes that raising awareness and educating others is the only way to effect real and lasting change in the lives of those with different abilities, and those who display challenging behaviours.