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.

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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.

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.