Local Educators Learn Ideas for Managing Frustration and for Teaching Social Skills
April 10, 2019
Dr. Jed Baker, Director of the Social Skills Training Project, an organization serving individuals with autism and social communication challenges, was at the Fifth Avenue Christian Church in Havre on April 3, the day after Autism Awareness Day, to present a workshop entitled “Managing Frustration, Anxiety and Teaching Social Skills.”
Jon Martin, Meadowlark Elementary School Principal; Anne-Marye Ymzon, Special Education faculty; and Tammy Edwards, first grade teacher at Meadowlark Elementary, attended this free training designed for parents, general and special educators, paraprofessionals, agency personnel, and others who work with students or individuals on the autism spectrum or who present behavioral challenges. Linda Paugh and Carol Elliot, two substitutes for the school district also attended.
“I thought the workshop was very reinforcing for many of the practices I use with children who struggle with behavior or are on the autism spectrum. I loved how Dr. Baker emphasized hope and its role in overcoming challenges. He had lots of good examples (case stories) of situations he has dealt with and successes and failures he has encountered,” Edwards said.
Sharing information through lecture, narrative, interactive exercises, and video clips during the Havre workshop, Baker focused on strategies to address behavioral challenges while managing frustration and anxiety with individuals on the autism spectrum. The workshop also described how to handle meltdowns and how to design effective behavior plans to prevent these moments and to reduce frustration and anxiety. The second part of the presentation detailed strategies to motivate individuals to learn, approaches for teaching social skills, applications to generalize skills into the natural setting, and tactics to increase acceptance and tolerance from peers.
Baker is on the professional advisory board of Autism Today and several other autism organizations. In addition, he writes, lectures, and provides training internationally on the topic of social skills training and managing challenging behaviors. He is an award-winning author of eight books, including Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Asperger’s Syndrome and Social Communication Problems.
The workshop was sponsored by Region II of the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) in partnership with Havre Public Schools. Region II CSPD coordinates personnel development to meet the diverse needs of all children and youth in the counties of Cascade, Teton, Pondera, Toole, Glacier, Liberty, Hill, Blaine, and Chouteau.