How Asperger Syndrome-High Functioning Autism Impact Theory of Mind and Emotional Intelligence - 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

This presentation will provide participants with a full understanding of the Theory of Mind and how it relates to Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism. This concept can help explain why many individuals with this diagnosis act the way they do.

Participants will learn of Baron-Cohen's attempt at assessing the Theory of Mind through the "Sally-Anne Test" and why this testing technique often creates a false negative allowing one to assume the skill is present when in reality it isn't.

You will understand why this test doesn't provide the necessary information needed to address the core social deficits of this population. You will learn how perspective taking is a fundamental concern when treating Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism.

Participants will be provided with the latest research in Theory of Mind as it relates to how individuals with this diagnosis think and believe. It will describe the difficulty these individuals have in attributing mental states in context and help participants understand why prompts are critical for positive change for appropriate social behavior to occur. It will describe symptoms related to faulty Theory of Mind with special emphasis on paranoia, understanding emotions, predicting the behavior and emotional states of others, understanding perspective taking, inferring the intentions of others, recognizing that one's behavior impacts how others think and/or feel, joint attention, social conventions, as well as differentiating fiction from fact.

At the completion of this presentation, you will be able to view your clients diagnosed with Asperger syndrome/High Functioning Autism in a different manner. You will be able to develop strategies to help them achieve success, not only in your office, but also in any social setting. Learning how to develop the skill of social awareness is critical for generalization to occur. How one develops this skill is a major focus of this presentation.

Why should you Attend: Ultimately, we learn social skills by being shamed. When a three year-old child has an itchy butt, he simply reaches back and scratches. It doesn't matter who is nearby. He has an itch and it needs to be scratched. Eventually the child gets older and realizes that if he is observed, the likelihood is high that he will be ridiculed.

He doesn't want to be ridiculed and so he begins to realize that people are making judgment calls about him based on how he acts. This cause-effect concept is the basis for social awareness. Everything else in the field of social skills falls within this concept. People can and do, make judgment calls about other people. They base these judgments on what a person does or does not do.

In the field of counseling, a heavy emphasis is placed on how you feel about things. Unfortunately, the individual diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism does not realize the importance of this scenario in the schema of social acceptance. "You shouldn't make fun of me! I needed to scratch my butt!" This is the reply often used by these individuals.

They fail to put the onus where it belongs - on them. Treatment must help these individuals understand the reality that no matter what they think, people will judge them. So how do you want people to judge you, positively or negatively? The choice is yours.

This session will provide you with evidence based tools to do just that.

Areas Covered in the Session:

- Define the term "Theory of Mind"
- Describe how Asperger syndrome/High Functioning Autism and Theory of Mind relate
- Describe how Perspective taking is Dependent upon an intact Theory of Mind
- List Deficits Related to Theory of Mind
- List Techniques designed to increase Social Awareness and Regulate Emotions

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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