The Skills Students Need to be
Successful in College and the
Workforce:
Executive Function
Social Cognition
Age-Expected I...
What led me to create this presentation?
Hearing very similar stories over the years.
Looking at the data and research for...
I hope you’ll take from this presentation
1. An understanding of the terms:
• Social-cognitive skills
• Executive Function...
The diagnostic profiles of the students and young
adults I work with:
• ADHD
• Asperger’s Syndrome
• Higher-independence A...
How Life Looks for Our Students Until Graduation
The Day After High School Graduation
“One of the great myths many
parents buy into is that school
performance predicts
performance in adult life.
It does not.”...
What can “pulling the rug out” mean in the
context of college, post-secondary education or
employment:
•Higher drop-out ra...
Upon graduation, students who received a
tremendous amount of support both within and
outside of school may be left with:
...
Once students graduate from high school
and transition into college/post-secondary
education:
•Parents can not speak with ...
Executive
Function Skills
Age-expected
Independence
Social-
cognitive
Skills
We need to consider three overlapping areas t...
Think about all the skills you need to manage your day
Personal: Waking up, going to bed on time, bathing, picking out wha...
Executive Function skills allow you to:
• Manage time
• Pay attention
• Switch focus
• Plan and organize
• Use situational...
Executive function skills aren’t usually fully
developed until age 23-26
30% developmental delay in the acquisition
of exe...
How executive function skill challenges “look”:
1.Inability to “feel” time as a concrete concept.
2. Difficulty utilizing ...
Key Strategies to Help Develop
Executive Function Skills:
1. Teaching the concept of time as something
tangible that can b...
Remember these?
Digital clocks can not teach the passage of time because
there’s no physical/spatial movement.
Analog cloc...
Seeing time as a visual and physical
concept:
Formula for figuring out how long an
assignment will take:
1. Count the number of tasks (ex: 3 paragraph question answers,...
Activity: Lets figure out how long it will take to do
this math worksheet:
14 Problems
Assign a “2” to this sheet since
it...
We shade in the clock with a dry erase marker to
give us a visual representation of how long the
assignment will take.
Rem...
Non-verbal working memory is the
precursor to (verbal) working memory
Non-verbal working memory includes:
pre-imagining sk...
If I’m going to the drive-in movie then I need snacks, etc..
Let’s Do An Activity
Take out a piece of paper and
draw a picture of what a 3
page book report would look
like including t...
Did you think about what it would look like
when it was finished before you started
drawing?
Strategy to improve non-verbal working memory
Use visual, declarative language:
•What would you look like if you were read...
Why lists don’t work for many students
with executive function challenges:
What does ready for bed look like? How is the same
but different as ready for school?
7:10 AM
What is situational awareness
(gestalt processing)?
The ability to take various pieces of
information together and underst...
What this picture look like to someone who has
difficulty with gestalt processing?
• Someone is working in that office bec...
What’s going on? Explain in:
Whole: Classroom
Parts: Students are allowed to work together
Details: They are using calcula...
By Sarah Ward, SLP of Cognitive Connections.
A strategy to teach situational awareness
Activity: STOP and READ the room
Space:_____________________
Time: ______________________
Objects: ____________________
Pe...
"A child’s EQ (Emotional Quotient) is
not always equal to their IQ
(Intellectual Quotient)."
-Leah Kuypers
Creator of Zone...
Social skills are not a scripted set of
pro-social behaviors.
They are the application of social
information that occurs w...
Common misconceptions of social skills development:
• Students “pick up” social skills from being around
neurotypical peer...
Reality of social skills development:
• Improving social cognitive skills is a very slow process.
• It requires much more ...
The framework I use to teach social cognitive skills:
Michelle Garcia Winner’s ILAUGH Model of Social Cognition®:
• Perspe...
Individuals have various social learning profiles. Their
ability to decode social information can be placed on a
“social r...
The two foundational social cognitive
skills to teach:
1. Learn to think with our eyes to decode
social information (think...
How to teach “thinking with your eyes”
Use photographs from magazines or books or examples from
TV/movies where you can se...
Why perspective taking ability is the most
important social cognitive skill to develop:
Being able to understand other peo...
Strategies to teach perspective taking skills
Share your thought process out loud and ask what you (or someone else
might ...
Context is everything when we teach social!
Teaching independence skills the right way bolsters
self-esteem, confidence, and the willingness to try
new things.
http:/...
Ages 12 & 13
Personal Chores:
-Take care of personal hygiene, personal belongings and homework.
-Doing laundry independent...
PROCESS TO LEARNING INDEPENDENT TASKS
1 You watch me
2. You help me
3. I help you
4. You do it with my supervision
5. You ...
Watch the video together then go through the “Process to
Learning Independent Tasks” in the previous slide.
Executive Function Skills, Social Cognitive
Skills and Age-Expected Independence Skills
are interconnected.
It’s never too...
• Work with ages 11-adults
• Based in Philadelphia
• In person sessions only
• Social Cognitive Skills
• Executive Functio...
www.facebook.com/SkillsforCollege
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanwexelblatt
Ryan Wexelblatt, MSS, LSW
centerforsocialef@g...
Resources
Social Cognition and Emotional Regulation
Social Thinking®: www.socialthinking.com
Zones of Regulation by Leah K...
Resources continued..
Behavioral Resources
Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (formally
called Collaborative Problem So...
Thank You
I appreciate you being here!
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015
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The Skills Students Need to be Successful in College and the Workforce:
Social Cognition
Executive Function
Age-expected independence

by Ryan Wexelblatt, MSS, LSW
Center for Social and Executive Function Skills

Published in: Education
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Ryan wexelblatt Transition Conference presentation 2015

  1. 1. The Skills Students Need to be Successful in College and the Workforce: Executive Function Social Cognition Age-Expected Independence Ryan Wexelblatt, MSS, LSW Skills for College www.socialef.com
  2. 2. What led me to create this presentation? Hearing very similar stories over the years. Looking at the data and research for the student population I work with post high school. A desire to educate parents and professional colleagues as to why I believe these three areas are essential to the transition process. And I like an audience….
  3. 3. I hope you’ll take from this presentation 1. An understanding of the terms: • Social-cognitive skills • Executive Function skills • Age-expected independence as they pertain to the skills that all students need to be successful in college, post-secondary education and the workforce. 2. One strategy to teach in each of these areas.
  4. 4. The diagnostic profiles of the students and young adults I work with: • ADHD • Asperger’s Syndrome • Higher-independence ASD (Full use of functional language) • Learning challenges that effect social and executive function skill development
  5. 5. How Life Looks for Our Students Until Graduation
  6. 6. The Day After High School Graduation
  7. 7. “One of the great myths many parents buy into is that school performance predicts performance in adult life. It does not.” -Dr. Ned Hallowell
  8. 8. What can “pulling the rug out” mean in the context of college, post-secondary education or employment: •Higher drop-out rates •Lower graduation rates •Propensity for social isolation/Significant challenges with navigating new social situations and making friends •Significantly lower employment rates (underemployment and unemployment)
  9. 9. Upon graduation, students who received a tremendous amount of support both within and outside of school may be left with: •Under-developed frontal lobe functions (executive function skills) •Difficulty with self-advocacy and problem solving skills •Over-dependency on parents or caregivers •Difficulty forming new social relationships (friendships, dating) •Frustration that they can not independently perform tasks that their same-age peers or people younger than them can perform
  10. 10. Once students graduate from high school and transition into college/post-secondary education: •Parents can not speak with Educators (FERPA) •No IEPs •Students are fully responsible for their educational success. •There is no more “team” accountability. Students who enter the workforce may have supports but the decision to employ someone falls solely on the employer.
  11. 11. Executive Function Skills Age-expected Independence Social- cognitive Skills We need to consider three overlapping areas that students need support in developing if they’re going to be successful in the transition process:
  12. 12. Think about all the skills you need to manage your day Personal: Waking up, going to bed on time, bathing, picking out what to wear Time-spacing: Knowing when to leave for work, how much time you have in between stopping at the market before you have to get home. Task transition: shifting from typing an email to going into a meeting, ending your phone conversation so you can re-focus on work. Self-monitoring: Changing your tone of voice if you feel yourself starting to get annoyed with your boss.
  13. 13. Executive Function skills allow you to: • Manage time • Pay attention • Switch focus • Plan and organize • Use situational intelligence • Do things based on your prior experiences • “Bounce back” after an emotional upset
  14. 14. Executive function skills aren’t usually fully developed until age 23-26 30% developmental delay in the acquisition of executive function skills Executive Function Developmental Delay instead of ADHD
  15. 15. How executive function skill challenges “look”: 1.Inability to “feel” time as a concrete concept. 2. Difficulty utilizing non-verbal working memory (Pre-imagining skills) 3. Initiating and shifting tasks 4. Lack of situational awareness 5. Poor Self-monitoring skills (metacognition)
  16. 16. Key Strategies to Help Develop Executive Function Skills: 1. Teaching the concept of time as something tangible that can be felt. 2. Drawing on past experiences/knowledge to plan/execute tasks in the present (pre-imagining/future thinking skills) 3. Developing Situational Awareness (Gestalt Processing)
  17. 17. Remember these? Digital clocks can not teach the passage of time because there’s no physical/spatial movement. Analog clocks can teach the concept of time as they illustrate unit volume.
  18. 18. Seeing time as a visual and physical concept:
  19. 19. Formula for figuring out how long an assignment will take: 1. Count the number of tasks (ex: 3 paragraph question answers, 20 math problems, etc.) 2. Assign a 1,2 or 3 point value for each task 1=Little time 2=Medium amount of time 3=A lot of time 3. Add up the point value Answer=How long the assignment will take Always round up to the nearest 5 or 10 Account for other variables (snack break, etc.)
  20. 20. Activity: Lets figure out how long it will take to do this math worksheet: 14 Problems Assign a “2” to this sheet since it will take a medium amount of time. Multiply “2” times “14” This worksheet should take 28 minutes. We round it up to 30 minutes
  21. 21. We shade in the clock with a dry erase marker to give us a visual representation of how long the assignment will take. Remember to account for: • Setting up • Breaks • Putting things away things where they’re supposed to go
  22. 22. Non-verbal working memory is the precursor to (verbal) working memory Non-verbal working memory includes: pre-imagining skills/recalling past experiences to enable task initiation. “If I need to do this, then I need to execute this task”
  23. 23. If I’m going to the drive-in movie then I need snacks, etc..
  24. 24. Let’s Do An Activity Take out a piece of paper and draw a picture of what a 3 page book report would look like including the cover.
  25. 25. Did you think about what it would look like when it was finished before you started drawing?
  26. 26. Strategy to improve non-verbal working memory Use visual, declarative language: •What would you look like if you were ready for school? •Visualize will the book report look like when it’s finished, draw it out first with every page you need. • Picture the things you need to bring to swimming and put them in your bag. • Imagine what your room looks like when it’s clean, it should look like the picture in your head.
  27. 27. Why lists don’t work for many students with executive function challenges:
  28. 28. What does ready for bed look like? How is the same but different as ready for school?
  29. 29. 7:10 AM
  30. 30. What is situational awareness (gestalt processing)? The ability to take various pieces of information together and understand them as a concept rather than disconnected, specific details. Whole Parts Details Details Parts Whole
  31. 31. What this picture look like to someone who has difficulty with gestalt processing? • Someone is working in that office because the light is on. • Windows 7 is old, its up to Windows 10 now. • My sister has Nivea in the bathroom.
  32. 32. What’s going on? Explain in: Whole: Classroom Parts: Students are allowed to work together Details: They are using calculators
  33. 33. By Sarah Ward, SLP of Cognitive Connections. A strategy to teach situational awareness
  34. 34. Activity: STOP and READ the room Space:_____________________ Time: ______________________ Objects: ____________________ People:_____________________
  35. 35. "A child’s EQ (Emotional Quotient) is not always equal to their IQ (Intellectual Quotient)." -Leah Kuypers Creator of Zones of Regulation curriculum
  36. 36. Social skills are not a scripted set of pro-social behaviors. They are the application of social information that occurs when we are sharing space with others and want to ensure that we keep them thinking about us in a positive manner.
  37. 37. Common misconceptions of social skills development: • Students “pick up” social skills from being around neurotypical peers. • Academically successful kids will just improve their social skills naturally because they’re smart. • Social skills need to be taught in a social skills group. • All social learning challenges have a behavioral function.
  38. 38. Reality of social skills development: • Improving social cognitive skills is a very slow process. • It requires much more than teaching “surface skills” • If kids could improve social skills by being around neurotypical peers then no one would present with social learning challenges. • Social learning challenges are a learning issue, not a mental health issue. • Maturity helps but doesn’t solve all social learning challenges
  39. 39. The framework I use to teach social cognitive skills: Michelle Garcia Winner’s ILAUGH Model of Social Cognition®: • Perspective taking ability • Initiation • Gestalt Processing • Listening/Thinking with eyes and brain • Abstract and inferential Language • Humor and human Relatedness
  40. 40. Individuals have various social learning profiles. Their ability to decode social information can be placed on a “social radar system”
  41. 41. The two foundational social cognitive skills to teach: 1. Learn to think with our eyes to decode social information (thinking with eyes) 2. Understand other’s thoughts, feelings, intentions (perspective taking)
  42. 42. How to teach “thinking with your eyes” Use photographs from magazines or books or examples from TV/movies where you can see the eye-gaze direction of the people. Ask them to make a “smart guess” on what the person is thinking about based on their eyes.
  43. 43. Why perspective taking ability is the most important social cognitive skill to develop: Being able to understand other people’s thoughts, feelings and intentions is essential for success in relationships. Perspective taking skills allows us to adjust what we do or say in order to keep people thinking about us positively. In order to be able to work in a group, collaborate, etc. we need to have relatively good perspective taking ability. The ability to form social relationships is a better predictor of future success than grades, tests scores, IQ scores, etc..
  44. 44. Strategies to teach perspective taking skills Share your thought process out loud and ask what you (or someone else might be thinking and feeling): “I’m having uncomfortable thoughts right now because you’re picking your nose.” “What I’m thinking right now is that I hope you’ll stop talking about anime soon and ask me a question about what I like to do because you’ve been talking about anime for 10 minutes and I haven’t said anything.” “What kind of thoughts do you think Austin is having about you now that you yelled at him? How do you feel that he’s having those thoughts about you? Social Behavior Maps in the Social Thinking books are a great way to teach
  45. 45. Context is everything when we teach social!
  46. 46. Teaching independence skills the right way bolsters self-esteem, confidence, and the willingness to try new things. http://autismdigest.com/tips-for-teaching-essential-independence-skills/ Doing things for someone that they can learn to do on their own inhibits their development of executive function skills.
  47. 47. Ages 12 & 13 Personal Chores: -Take care of personal hygiene, personal belongings and homework. -Doing laundry independently -Set the alarm clock. -Maintains personal items. -Change bed sheets. -Keep the rooms tidy. Family Chores: -Change the light bulbs. -Dust, vacuums, clean bathrooms and do dishes. -Mow the lawn with supervision. Ages 14 & 15 Personal Chores: -Responsible for all personal chores in ages 12 & 13. -Responsible for library cards and books. Family Chores: -Do yard work as needed. -Make a grocery list. -Help wash windows. -Responsible to earn money for spending.
  48. 48. PROCESS TO LEARNING INDEPENDENT TASKS 1 You watch me 2. You help me 3. I help you 4. You do it with my supervision 5. You teach me *Resistance can be expected from individuals who have anxiety around learning new tasks or who aren’t used to having responsibilities.
  49. 49. Watch the video together then go through the “Process to Learning Independent Tasks” in the previous slide.
  50. 50. Executive Function Skills, Social Cognitive Skills and Age-Expected Independence Skills are interconnected. It’s never too early to start teaching these skills and it’s never too late-you can learn at any age. Most people can’t learn when they’re frustrated. It’s OK to take a break but don’t abandon the teaching process as a result of the person’s frustration. Don’t “brush off” these areas by thinking there’s more important things to learn, or you’ll get to them eventually.
  51. 51. • Work with ages 11-adults • Based in Philadelphia • In person sessions only • Social Cognitive Skills • Executive Function Skills • Education (Safety, relationship/sexuality/puberty education) • Private practice provider • Work with college students on their campus • Provider through the PA Bureau of Autism Adult Autism Waiver • Provider through the ODP Person/Family Directed Support Waiver
  52. 52. www.facebook.com/SkillsforCollege https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanwexelblatt Ryan Wexelblatt, MSS, LSW centerforsocialef@gmail.com 484-278-1088 Skills for College Soon to be: The Center for Social and Executive Function Skills www.socialef.com @ryanwexelblatt
  53. 53. Resources Social Cognition and Emotional Regulation Social Thinking®: www.socialthinking.com Zones of Regulation by Leah Kuypers www.zonesofregulation.com The Incredible 5 Point Scale by Kari Dunn Buron: www.5pointscale.com Executive Function Skills www. CognitiveConnections.com Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen www.smartbutscatteredkids.com Drs. Peg Dawson and Richard Guare Age-expected Independence http://bahnandassociates.com/Article_Loftin_ASDIndependence.pdf (comprehensive behavioral approach) http://life.familyeducation.com/slideshow/independence/71434.html
  54. 54. Resources continued.. Behavioral Resources Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (formally called Collaborative Problem Solving) http://www.cpsconnection.com/ Jessica Minahan’s The Behavior Code http://jessicaminahan.com/
  55. 55. Thank You I appreciate you being here!

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