Jed Baker, PhD, the author of No More Meltdowns, and Social Skills Picture Book came and presented with Temple Grandin at the Utah Autism and Aspberger's Conference last week.  I really enjoyed his presentation on behavior and social skills.  He has great ideas, and you can tell he has made a big impact on many lives through the people he has worked with one on one and also through his presentations to parents and professionals.

One of the main themes of his presentation was HOPE.  Why do we do what we do? Hope.  How is it that we get through the hard times and we endure the challenging behaviors?  Hope.  We may work and work and work with a child whether they are a student or your own child, we will continue to find ways to work with that child because we have HOPE that what we are doing is making a difference for that child, and that's what makes everything worth it.

There was so much information in this presentation that I won't be able to convey it all right now, so I'm just going to point out one other thing he talked about.  He said "90% of teaching and parenting is tolerance."  We have to be able to "tolerate our own discomfort long enough to think about what to do."  "The individual's behavior is not intended to simply challenge your authority, but is rather a reflection of his/her lack of coping skills."  He went on to say that "our responsibility is to teach a child coping skills, not to establish a hierarchy."

Dr. Baker also talked about the 20/80 rule.  80% of kids, your average rules and consequences will work.  However, it's those 20% of kids that you need to re-evaluate what you're doing and change your interventions accordingly.

Something else that I think is very important is trust.  Dr. Baker said, "It is very hard to impact another human being without trust."  This where we always need to start.  Every relationship should start with trust.

Here is a list of Jed Baker's books
Social Skills picture books
Social skills training for children and adolescents with Aspbergers syndrome 
Preparing for life
The social skills picture book for high school and beyond
No more meltdowns

Here his DVD

Social skills training and frustration management

Joy Mano
Utah P.L.A.Y. Project Home Consultant
Early Childhood Autism Intervention

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