How to Best Manage the Emotional Rollercoaster of Asperger Syndrome-High Functioning Autism - Recorded Webinar

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Webinar Duration: 60 minutes

RECORDED: Access recorded version only for one participant; unlimited viewing for 6 months (Access information will be emailed 24 hours after the completion of payment)

SPEAKER: Timothy P. Kowalski

Many professionals are frequently frustrated when presented with a client who has social deficits associated with Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism. These individuals often manifest a variety of deficits that are typically beyond the scope of many well-intentioned therapists.

Techniques that have been successfully used for years with clients who struggle with similar issues but do not have the Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism are often ineffective when dealing with this population and leave both the client and professional frustrated.

Frequently these clients develop significant stress due to faulty social-pragmatic communication. 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 AS/HFA 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 HFA impacts academic performance. Participants will learn techniques that target the elusive behaviors of this unique population.

It will describe the typical deficits seen in the domain of social-interaction such as tact, proxemics, social rules, egocentricity, naiveté and jocularity. It will discuss the obsessive interests, poor play skills, dislike of physical contact, and gullibility often associated with reduced social awareness.

It will also describe the typical deficits seen in the domain of social-communication such as deficits in conversational rules, prosody, a tendency towards perseverative questioning, abstract reasoning, pedantic speech, and nonverbal communication skills. 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 discussed.

Issues that address deficits associated with sensory problems will also be presented.

Why should you Attend: The ability to effectively manage emotions is a skill that is often lacking in individuals diagnosed with Asperger syndrome/High Functioning Autism. These individuals seem to explode out of the clear blue for no apparent reason. Why does this happen and what can we do to prevent future outbursts? How do we help these individuals manage their emotional states such that they are not on the precipice of disaster?

The manner in which we identify another person's emotional state is often ineffective with this population, as their faces do not provide an accurate barometer of their current emotional status. Are they happy or irritated? One never really knows. And for that matter, they too don't know.

The Language of Emotions that we take for granted is extremely limited with this population. They seem to be limited to two terms to represent two states of emotional recognition - good and bad. Most people realize emotions are on a continuum. We have a variety of terms that describe our feelings and can place them in a hierarchy of intensity. But what if you can't? What if you are not paying attention to the subtle signals of your body? How can you regulate yourself such that you don't explode? This area of Personal Emotional Intelligence requires skills many individuals possessing this diagnostic label have a difficult time employing.

In addition, Social Emotional Intelligence requires one to effectively read a room of people and understand the social currents present. But what if you can't? What if you treat everyone as equal? For those of us not burdened with this diagnosis, we are keenly aware of individuals who are very opinionated about a specific topic. We likely avoid engaging that individual in discussions that could create uncomfortable moments. We remember information about others and store it for future use. But what if you don't? What if you are like a bull in a china shop?

Knowing how to identify your emotional state and that of others is critical to life success. It allows one to participate more fully in society and achieve greater success. But if you have difficulty in this area, how do you improve? How do we, as professionals, help these individuals identify their weaknesses, use strategies that target deficiencies, and ultimately allow greater accuracy in emotional intelligence? This presentation is designed to address these issues and more.

Areas Covered in the Session:

- Describe the Emotional system Typically Associated with HFA/AS
- Describe the Reactions Associated with Inefficient Emotional Intelligence Associated with HFA/AS
- Identify Sensory Triggers that Impact Emotional Regulation
- Describe Evidence Based Intervention Strategies to help Emotional Regulation

Who Will Benefit:
Anyone who Works with Individuals with Asperger Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism

Timothy P. Kowalski, M.A.,C.C.C. is a licensed speech-language pathologist specializing in social-pragmatic communication deficits and an internationally known expert on Asperger Syndrome. His Orlando practice has seen clients from Europe, South America and throughout the USA. He regularly consults to schools on best practices for students identified or suspected of having Asperger syndrome and provides school-wide district in-services. He is a guest lecturer at universities and colleges and is also a consultant for forensic cases involving Asperger syndrome. Mr. Kowalski has worked in a variety of psychiatric healthcare delivery systems including in-patient and outpatient psychiatric hospitals, sex-offender units, and school-based settings. He obtained his Master’s degree in Speech Communications from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven. Mr. Kowalski is the author of eight books on Asperger syndrome and social-pragmatic communication.

He currently holds the position of Vice President of Convention for the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists and is also a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Autism Society of America, Council for Behavior Disorders, and the Council for Exceptional Children. He is the recipient of the "2010 Clinician of the Year Award" offered by the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists and one of eight national nominees for the 2011 ASHA Louis M. di Carlo Award for Recent Clinical Achievement. He also holds the "TEAMS 2000 Speech-Language Pathologist of the Year" award for his work with Autism in the four-countywide greater Orlando, Florida metropolitan area and has served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Orlando Chapter of the Autism Society of America and the Center for Independent Living. He regularly presents on a wide variety of issues relative to Asperger syndrome at national and international seminars.
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