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A video interview with

Rick Lavoie, M.A., M.Ed.

Special Education Expert

Rick Lavoie is an internationally known expert on children with learning disabilities, a best-selling author (It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success), speaker, and workshop leader. Many parents and educators know Rick from his popular videos How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop, Last One Picked, First One Picked On, and When the Chips are Down: Learning Disabilities and Discipline.

The clip below, Undeerstanding Your Child, is excerpted from our PBS show, Empowering Parents. See a selected list of Lavoie's books.

Biography

Rick Lavoie served as an administrator of residential programs for children with special needs for 30 years. He holds three degrees in Special Education and holds two Honorary Doctorates in Education from the University of Massachusetts and Mitchell College. He has served as a visiting lecturer at numerous universities including Syracuse, Harvard, Manhattanville College, University of Alabama, University of Melbourne and Georgetown.

His numerous national television appearances include The TODAY Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, ABC Evening News, and Walt Disney Presents. Lavoie has delivered his message to over 500,000 parents and professionals throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

He has served as a consultant on Learning Disabilities to several agencies and organizations including Public Broadcasting Service, New York Times, National Center for Learning Disabilities, USA Today, Girl Scouts of America, Child Magazine, INSTRUCTOR Magazine and National Public Radio. In 2009, Rick was the recipient of the Learning Disabilities Associations of America’s Samuel Kirk award.

Rick’s experiences at residential schools provided him with a “living laboratory” in which he developed and refined his methods and philosophies related to the education of children and adolescents with special needs.

Lavoie is the author of the book It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success. The book addresses the direct link between learning disabilities and social skills issues that many children face. Lavoie provides specific strategies for parents, teachers and caregivers about how to assist the child in making and keeping friends.

Most parents and professionals know Lavoie through his award-winning videos How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T.  City Workshop, Last One Picked, First One Picked On: The Social Implications of Learning Disabilities, and When the Chips are Down: Learning Disabilities and Discipline. His recent videos Beyond F.A.T. City: A Look Back, A Look Ahead and It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success are among the most widely distributed films in the educational media.

His newest book and PBS DVD on student motivation The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child were featured in USA Today.

Rick and his wife, Janet have three grown children and live in the shadows of historic Fenway Park in Boston.

Learn more at Rick Lavoie's website.

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"You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me." — Strickland Gillilan