About Us

What is Building Buddies?

Building Buddies is an exciting new company designed to provide training and support to children and young people with social difficulties.

Social skills are the rules we follow within society that help us engage and connect with others around us. They explain what we are expected to do in a given situation, how we should do it and when. Social skills are not explicit, we don't always know we are following social rules and quite often do not think about it.

When we are with people who are lacking in social skills we start to notice they aren't following the rules. People may stand too close, or not look at you when talking to you or may not speak at all. This is often the case with people with Autism. The triad of impairments emphasises the deficit in social communication, social imagination and social interaction in relation to Autism. By understanding this triad and focussing on the behaviours within it we can break these down and teach them systematically to our children and young people.

Building Buddies aims to teach these skills through group workshops and specialised training for parents and caregivers.

Check out our services for more information.

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About Me

My name is Joanne Barry, I am a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) with 10 years experience working with children and adults with Autism, chromosome disorders, learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.

I studied at Ulster University where I recieved and BSc in Social Psychology with a Diploma in Industrial Studies and a MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis. In 2015 I completed my Board Certification exam and started to build Building Buddies.

As I have experience both with children and adults I can see how Autism carries across a life span. I have seen first hand the difficulties adults faced in their work environment due to their inability to understand social scenarios. I have been in classrooms where children have struggled to understand what is expected of them.

This is why Building Buddies was formed. When we break down what social skills are and teach them in managable chunks we can help support a child to congratulate his friend for winning at sports day without a tear being shed. We can expand on what people with Autism talk about so others want to engage with them and we can help people be understood.