Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management: Help for Children and Teens with ASD [level 1]

Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management is a downloadable eBook designed to help "special needs" children and teens develop the ability to effectively communicate and socialize in the "neurotypical" (i.e., non-autistic) world.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 1 (Aspergers, High-Functioning Autism) characteristically have very individual diagnostic profiles with symptoms falling in the areas of communication, socialization, and restricted interests. Most notable is the impairment in communication and social interaction, a far-reaching challenge which impacts daily activities and relationships at home, school and work.

Though they want to be accepted by their friends, Aspergers and HFA children tend to be very hurt and frustrated by their lack of social competency. Their inability to “connect" to others is made worse by the negative feedback that these "special needs" children receive from their painful social interactions (e.g., bullying, teasing, rejection, etc.). The worse they perform socially, the more negative feedback they get from peers, so the worse they feel and perform. Due to this consistent negative social feedback, many children and teens on the autism spectrum feel depressed, anxious and angry, which just compounds their social difficulties by further paralyzing them in social situations.

Social problems typically occurring in ASD children and teens include the following:
  1. These young people take things very literally. This may mean that it becomes difficult for them to follow a lot of what their peers are talking about.
  2. Neurotypical peers may get the Aspergers or HFA child into trouble because, while often bright in some subjects, he is gullible when it comes to social behavior.
  3. Some children and teens with the disorder learn that they have to ask a question to start a conversation, but then, instead of listening to the answer, they ask question after question, in effect drilling their peers and making them feel uncomfortable.
  4. Their difficulties reading social cues cause them to irritate peers. Difficulties in reading social cues range from (a) trouble understanding the zones of personal space, causing them to stand too close to others, to (b) a lack of basic conversation skills.
  5. They have passions, certain things that they focus on, but they may have a hard time talking about anything else, which is often annoying to peers.
  6. They may not understand social banter, and so they become easy targets for bullying and teasing.

As the years go by, are you seeing your ASD youngster rapidly becoming reduced to a person who is surviving on:
  • Anger
  • Being a mistake
  • Depression
  • Hate
  • Isolation
  • Low self-esteem
  • Resentment
  • Sadness
  • Self-hate

If so, then alarm bells should be going off. You know changes need to happen!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers or HFA child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually. Thus, the best treatment for children and teens on the autism spectrum is, without a doubt, “social skills training.”

A major goal of social skills training is teaching the child about the verbal and nonverbal behaviors involved in social interactions. Unfortunately, many children and teens on the spectrum have never been taught such interpersonal skills such as "small talk" in social settings, the importance of good eye contact during a conversation, knowing when to speak – and when to listen, etc.

In addition, many of these children have not learned to "read" the many subtle cues contained in social interactions (e.g., how to tell when someone wants to change the topic of conversation or shift to another activity).

Social skills training can help these "special needs" children learn to interpret these and other social signals so that they can determine how to act appropriately in the company of others in a variety of different situations. Social skills training assumes that when children improve their social skills or change selected behaviors, they will raise their self-esteem and increase the likelihood that others will respond favorably to them. The child learns to change his “social behavior patterns” by practicing selected behaviors.

Testimonial: "We have stopped going to "therapy" (which wasn't helping much anyway), and I am ready to begin the work of teaching these skills to my Aspergers son. My husband has agreed to help with this endeavor as well. Thank you so much for your help and guidance. We are finally making some progress now."  ~ Liz

Testimonial: "This ebook is a practical guide for understanding the numerous social challenges of children with Asperger Syndrome. As a school counselor at the elementary level, your information has been a valuable resource for me. I truly appreciate the work that you do." ~ Katherine

Testimonial: "Your guidebook provides a handy reference for parents to the most important social skills and their behavioral steps. I liked the fact that each step includes a rationale for why it is important and hints on how it can best be applied. Thanks for helping both me and my Aspie." ~ Tanya

Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management eBook is guaranteed to (a) improve your child's social-behavior and self-esteem, and (b) provide you with the most effective teaching tools needed for social skills training.

Helping Aspergers and HFA children overcome the emotional scars that result from being rejected and ridiculed by peers is tough!  If you don't know how, that is...

In this eBook, parents will learn how to:
  • employ key concepts and interventions of social skills training
  • help your child to "fit in" with his peer-group
  • manage social awkwardness, avoidance and indifference
  • use social stories to teach social skills
  • teach non-verbal communication skills
  • help your child overcome "social anxiety"
  • help your child deal with rejection, frustration and loneliness
  • deal with your child's aggression and retaliation toward others
  • ...and much more!

Successfully learning and generalizing of appropriate interactions requires lots of practice. Children with the disorder often do not have the skills to initiate and sustain mutual relationships. They need to be explicitly taught the components of friendship or relationships.

Social skills are critical for long term success. Sometimes referred to as Emotional Intelligence, it is a combination of the ability to understand and manage one's own emotional state and the ability to understand and respond to other people. Although social skills include understanding and using social conventions, it also includes the ability to understand the "Hidden Curriculum," the ways in which peers communicate and interact, reciprocity and the ability to build interpersonal relationships.

Difficulty managing one's own emotional state, especially temper tantrums or aggression in response to frustration, is common in children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism. Most of these children are less mature than their neurotypical peers, and may reflect less understanding of how to manage their own emotions.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders commonly have difficulty with emotional self-regulation and understanding emotion. Difficulty with social situations is a component of the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders, which reflects deficits in understanding and expression their own emotional states.

The ability to understand others' emotional states, wants and needs is critical not only for success in school, but also success in life. It is also a "quality of life" issue, which will help children on the spectrum build relationships, find happiness and succeed economically.

So, don’t wait until your child experiences years of peer-rejection, ridicule and bullying to educate him or her on the ins-and-outs of this world’s hidden "social agenda." Start preparing your child for the future, and there’s not going to be a better time to start – then NOW!

Testimonial: "I often felt separated from my daughter by a curtain of silence and a wall of resistance. Often times, no matter what I said or did, I simply could not seem to make a true connection with her (if that makes sense). Thanks to the section in the book on communication skills, my daughter and I are having regular heart-to-heart talks (something I had given-up on years ago). I don't know where we would be without your help. Thank you." ~ Robert

Testimonial: "You helped me understand all the factors that may be limiting my son's ability or willingness to communicate - from social pressures to brain differences - from personality traits to a simple lack of vocabulary." ~ Grateful mum of Shaun

Testimonial: "Thanks for helping me to help my Aspergers child to communicate better, solve conflicts better, and cooperate within a group setting. I gave this information to his teacher too. He is doing so much better now. Also, thanks for promptly responding to my questions about creating a good social story for his school anxiety issues." ~ Shelly

Parent Coaching: In addition to the eBook, you will have access to me as your personal parent coach. Always feel free to email me [mbhutten@gmail.com] with questions as often as needed while you begin to teach your child how to relate to others in a meaningful way. I can usually respond within 24 hours.

Bonuses: I've recently added 6 additional eBooks that supplement the Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management eBook:
  1. Promoting Social Reciprocity in Younger Children with Asperger’s and HFA
  2. Backward Chaining: A Cure for Task-Frustration
  3. Helping Your Child to Eliminate Thinking Errors
  4. Asperger's Children and Resistance to Change
  5. The Power Card Strategy
  6. Developing Friendship Skills: Help for Kids and Teens on the Autism Spectrum

Money-Back Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with the Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management eBook after examining it for 30 days, just let me know and I’ll refund your money – that’s how confident I am that these skills will assist your child in having a better quality of life. And you can start within 5 minutes from now!

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About the Author

Mark Hutten, M.A. is the creator of Online Parent Support. He is a parent-coach (Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology) with more than 30 years’ of experience. He has worked with hundreds of children and teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and presents workshops and runs training courses for parents and professionals who deal with Autism. Also, Mark is a prolific author of articles and ebooks on the subject.

Contact Information

Online Parent Support, LLC
Phone: 765-810-3319
Email: mbhutten@gmail.com

Testimonial: "My child had great difficulty in getting along with peers. He would often control the situation, which resulted in his friends becoming very annoyed, which in turn caused him to escalate to a tantrum. We rarely have this problem now. Thank you for the good advice." ~ Miss P.

Testimonial: "My little guy didn't have any friends. He didn't like board games because he had a few rough experiences trying to fit in and play games with his friends.  Also, he wasn't aware that some of the other children made fun of him and that some of his behavior triggered their ridicule. But since we've been working on a few skills (particularly through role playing), he can now play with friends without upsetting them and starting a huge argument. You've been a big help Mark. Will keep you posted, as we have a lot of work to do yet." ~ Katrina

Testimonial: "When my 7-year-old son  was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, I didn't know where to turn, what to do, how to cope. This eBook has been my life-line since then and was always a source I could turn to. I am on the upper end of things as he just started the second grade yesterday. These years prove to have different challenges than there were in the pre-school years. Thanks for the support." ~ Colleen

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