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"Patience You Must Have My Young Padawan" Yoda and Asperger Syndrome
Many therapists are frequently frustrated when presented with a client who has Asperger syndrome as they often manifest a variety of deficits that are beyond the scope of many well-intentioned therapists. Techniques that have been successfully used for years with student who struggle in the classroom setting are often ineffective when dealing with Asperger syndrome and leave both the student and educator frustrated. Frequently these clients develop significant stress due to faulty social-pragmatic communication and anxiety. It is this stress that creates the subsequent behavioral issues resulting in emotional outbursts that many professionals find extremely difficult to manage. Emotional self-regulation is a major concern for individuals with Asperger syndrome and many commercially available products that attempt to teach self-regulation through social skill development are not appropriate with this population. As a result, functional carryover is often lacking.
This presentation will discuss the importance of effective social-pragmatic communication to life success with special emphasis on understanding how Asperger syndrome impacts social effectiveness. It will incorporate classic quotes from Yoda as they relate to Asperger syndrome with the intention to motivate clients to achieve social success.
Participants will learn evaluation techniques that target the elusive behaviors of this highly specialized population as well as how using the concepts of Theory of Mind, Executive Functions, Central Coherence and Emotional Intelligence can enhance both diagnostics and treatment intervention. Issues associated with social-emotional regulation such as stress, anxiety, self-esteem, change, ritualism, sensory overload, depression and factors limiting the ability to recognize emotional states in themselves and others will also be provided.
Appropriate goal development suitable for IEPs will be discussed, as will extensive strategies to enhance these areas.