Seminar Detail

2-Day: Theory of Mind: Strategies to Develop Social-Emotional Skills for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder & Social Communication Disorders AND Play & Language: The Roots of Literacy

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - Friday, January 29, 2016

Course Description:

Day 1:

Have you worked with children or adolescents who have difficulty recognizing the thoughts, beliefs, knowledge and intentions of themselves and others? Because of these deficits, they struggle to make inferences about what others might do. What about the children who lack awareness of their own emotions, what triggers their emotions and struggle to regulate their emotions? Do you know the adolescent who lacks the ability to use facial, body, and vocal cues to recognize or infer the emotions of others and is unable to recognize the reason or cause of these emotions? These deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM) are at the heart of social communication difficulties exhibited by those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and social communication disorders (SCD), and many other conditions that affect communication skills.

Join theory of mind expert, Carol Westby, PhD, CCC-SLP, and discover the developmental stages of ToM from precursors in infancy through higher-level thinking in adolescents. You will learn how to identify the patterns of and severity of ToM deficits to effectively match intervention strategies to the child’s specific needs. Through video examples, children’s books and movies and pictures you will learn to design and implement strategies to develop the social-emotional underpinnings of ToM. Walk away with the tools necessary to …
  • Assess development of ToM from infancy through adolescence
  • Engage children in emotional sharing and joint attention
  • Foster autobiographical memory and ability to think about the future
  • Improve the vocabulary and sentence patterns necessary for ToM
  • Use children’s books and movies to develop interpersonal cognitive and affective ToM
  • Identify multiple contextual cues as a way to improve ToM
  • Develop intrapersonal ToM to regulate behavior and emotions
  • Determine which profiles respond to particular interventions using current research

Day 2:

Join Carol Westby, PhD, CCC-SLP, internationally-renowned expert on play assessment and development and language-literacy relationships and discover current play theories, the development of the four dimensions of play in young children (birth-5 years), and the interrelationships of these dimensions of play to children’s language, cognition, social-emotional skills, self-regulation and literacy. You will walk away with an effective tool that offers a way to assess young children’s symbolic play skills – organized by developmental level. Attention will be given to the ways that language learning disabilities, autism, and socio-economic/cultural variations influence early language, play, and literacy development.

Attend and you will learn current intervention strategies to:
  • Advance phonological skills and comprehension for emergent literacy using playful practice
  • Promote a development of various dimensions of play and the interrelationships of the dimensions of play to children’s language, social-emotional skills, self-regulation and literacy
  • Encourage the interactions essential for social-emotional development
  • Facilitate children’s understanding of the temporal, cause-effect, and social relationships that exist in the world and that are critical for comprehension of social and academic interactions
  • Stimulate language for interpersonal communication and abstract reasoning
  • Nurture children’s ability to interpret and respond appropriately to the needs, desires, and roles of others and to use this knowledge to infer the thoughts of others
  • Promote children’s ability to organize and monitor their own behavior so they can become independent, self-motivated learners
  • The intervention activities that you will learn work for ESC children and pre-school children with disabilities

Register for one or both seminars:

Day 1: Theory of Mind: Strategies to Develop Social-Emotional Skills for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder & Social Communication Disorders

Day 2: Play & Language: The Roots of Literacy

Day 1:
  1. Assess and describe the developmental stages of Theory of Mind (ToM) in infants/toddlers, children and adolescents with (ASD) and (SCD).
  2. Relate current research documenting neural bases for emotional understanding and ToM.
  3. Analyze the types of difficulties making inferences exhibited by children and adolescents with ASD and SCD.
  4. Design and implement activities to develop the social-emotional underpinnings of ToM.
  5. Employ strategies to promote ToM in children and adolescents.
  6. Use children’s literature to promote inference making and interpersonal and intrapersonal ToM.

Day 2:
  1. Explain the development and interrelationships of cognition, play language, social-emotional skills and literacy.
  2. Describe methods used to evaluate a child’s play/language skills.
  3. Employ play to promote the cognitive, language and social-emotional skills that underlie children’s effective social interactions and literacy comprehension.
  4. Describe current theories of language/literacy learning.
  5. Explain the role of play in self-regulation.
  6. Implement a playful practice approach to emergent literacy.


Carol Westby, CCC-SLP, PhD, BCS-CL is an internationally-renowned expert on play assessment and development. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on play, theory of mind, language-literacy relationships, narrative/expository development and facilitation, screen time, understanding and working with children and families who have experienced trauma, and issues in assessment and intervention with culturally/ linguistically diverse populations.

Dr. Carol Westby is a consultant for Bilingual Multicultural Services in Albuquerque, NM and holds an affiliated appointment in Communication Disorders at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. She is a fellow of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), has received the Honors of ASHA, and holds Specialty Recognition in Child Language. Dr. Westby has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Geneva College and the University of Iowa's Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the ASHA Award for Contributions to Multicultural Affairs.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Carol Westby is a consultant for Bilingual Multicultural Services. Dr. Westby receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She is the author of numerous chapters and articles; and is published by various publishers including Jones & Bartlett and Pearson.

Non-financial: Carol Westby is the developer of the Westby Play Scale. Dr. Westby is a fellow of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

The planning committee and staff who controlled the content of this activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. For speaker disclosures, please see speaker bios.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

Credit Card Required for online registration | Contact us to redeem Gift Certificates