Building Social Relationships

The Official Website of Scott Bellini's
Building Social Relationships Program

About the Building Social Relationships (BSR) Program

Too often social skill interventions are designed merely as a reaction to problem behaviors. This often results in parents and practitioners “chasing” problem behaviors while failing to systematically teach social skills. Social skills programming should be an essential aspect of every educational and therapeutic program for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. Unfortunately, few youth on the spectrum are receiving effective social skills programming. Many parents are tremendously concerned about their child’s social functioning and their future quality of life. They see their children struggling to build and maintain social relationships. They see them experiencing peer failure, rejection, and relentless bullying on a regular basis. Most importantly, they see their children dealing with intense social anxiety, depression, and social isolation. Not coincidentally, practitioners are often frustrated by the tepid results of their social skills program. 

Now, more than ever, our field and, more importantly, our children are in desperate need of effective social skills programming. The Building Social Relationships (BSR) program was developed based on the belief that we have long undervalued social skill instruction in our schools and clinics and that we have significantly underestimated the social potential of individuals on the spectrum. We don’t just need more social skills programming, we need better social skills programming. The BSR program was created to address the need for effective social skills programming. The BSR program is a systematic social skills program that begins with assessment, and ends with assessment. The program allows parents and practitioners to stop chasing behaviors by addressing the underlying causes of problem behaviors and social interaction difficulties. The BSR program does this by addressing both social cognitive processing and social skill performance. 

About the BSR Book

Released March 1st: Building Social Relationships-2! 

I am very excited to announce the release of my new book, Building Social Relationships-2 (BSR-2).  BSR-2 expands the work of the original, and widely distributed BSR book that was named the Literary Work of the Year by the Autism Society of America. If you enjoyed the original BSR book, you are going to love BSR-2! It is infused with the lessons I have learned these past two decades as a researcher and clinician.

BSR-2 provides readers with a conceptual framework to improve their understanding of social functioning in youth on the autism spectrum. One very important change is apparent in the second edition: BSR-2 emphasizes the importance of targeting both social skills and social-cognitive processing. This is reflected in the revisions to the “Thinking” component of the “Thinking, Feeling, Doing” conceptualization introduced in the original book. BSR-2 highlights the roles of social problem solving, observational learning, and attention in addition to the roles of knowledge, perspective taking, and self-awareness covered in the original book. To reflect this in practice, BSR-2 divides the intervention strategy chapters into strategies to teach social skills and strategies to teach and activate social-cognitive processing. The book will teach readers how to assess and teach social skills and activate social cognitive processing in both children and adolescents. 

There are numerous modifications and improvements throughout the book, including many new and/or improved intervention strategies and updates in the area of social skills assessment and progress monitoring. BSR-2 contains over 40 detailed instructional strategies, new sample session structure plans, and includes a revised version of the Autism Social Skills Profile (ASSP-2), an instrument designed to measure social competence in youth on the spectrum. As an added bonus, in addition to having unlimited use of the instrument, readers of BSR-2 will also have access to normative data for the ASSP-2 which will allow them to convert raw scores to standard scores for progress monitoring purposes. 

BSR-2 will guide readers on the path to better programming and improved social outcomes. It will allow parents and practitioners to practice with purpose and to systematically address the social skill and social cognitive needs of youth on the autism spectrum.

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