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Jed Baker

THIS EVENT TOOK PLACE IN May 2015 - Please check back for further events or email disabilityservices@ul.ie to be added to a events mailing list.

Disability Support Services at the University of Limerick is hosting an event for parents, professionals and policy makers interested in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)  The programme was led by Dr. Jed Baker, an internationally renowned ASD expert.

                                                                Jed Baker

Jed Baker, Ph.D. is the director of the Social Skills Training Project, an organization serving individuals with autism and social communication problems. He is on the professional advisory board of Autism Today, ASPEN, ANSWER, YAI, the Kelberman Center 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 six books, including Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Aspergers Syndrome and Social Communication Problems. His work has also been featured on ABC World News, Nightline, Fox News, the CBS Early Show, and the Discovery Health Channel.

Programme Outline

08.30 REGISTRATION (tea/coffee, fruit and pastries will be available during registration)

09.15 Welcome

09.30 Session 1: Understanding Challenging Behaviours Precedes Effective Intervention -  Dr. Jed Baker

10.45 BREAK

11.15 Session 2: Managing and Preventing Challenging Behaviours - Dr. Jed Baker

13.00 LUNCH

14.00 Session 3: Six Key Components of Social Skills Training - Dr. Jed Baker

15.15 BREAK

15.30 Session 4: Dr. Jed Baker

16.30 Q & A with Dr. Jed Baker  

 17.00 FINISH


Brief Narrative Description

Students on the autism spectrum and those with behavioural challenges often present with difficulty regulating their feelings and interacting socially. This workshop describes how to handle meltdowns and design effective behaviour plans to prevent these moments and reduce frustration and anxiety. The second part of the presentation details strategies to motivate students to learn, ways to teach social skills, how to generalise skills and increase acceptance and tolerance from peers. Information will be imparted though lecture, interactive exercises, and video clips.


Outline of full day presentation

Understanding Challenging Behaviours Precedes Effective Intervention

  • Fear as the most common feeling behind oppositional/defiant behaviours in children with ASD, ADHD, Bipolar and multiple learning disabilities
  • Children's challenging behaviours create fear and anxiety in caregivers
  • How caregivers can first manage their own anxiety before managing their children's behaviours
  • Developing the right attitude to manage challenging behaviours: Research on hope and attributional style of teachers and parents

Managing and Preventing Challenging Behaviours

  • Developing a trusting relationship before implementing behavioural strategies
  • Crisis management: De-escalating meltdowns though distraction/soothing
  •  Identifying the 7 common triggers to repeat problems
  • Creating prevention plans for each of the 7 common triggers

Six Key Components of Social Skills Training

  • One size does not fit all: Prioritizing relevant skill goals
  • Knowing what to do does not mean one will do it: Establishing motivation to use skills
  • Skill acquisition: strategies to teach skills based on language ability
  • Generalisation strategies: prompting skills in real settings
  • Having skills does not insure peer acceptance: Creating accepting peer environments
  • Measuring progress

Outcome Objectives:

  1.  To understand the reasons for social skill deficits and disruptive behaviours.
  2.  To learn strategies to deal effectively with meltdowns and be able to put together an effective behaviour plan to prevent frustrations.
  3. To learn ways to motivate verbal and non-verbal students to want to socialize.
  4. To learn several strategies for teaching and generalizing skills.
  5. To learn how to create programs for typical peers to accept students with disabilities, reduce bullying and model positive behaviours.



Caoilinn Kennedy

Student Support Officer

Disability Services,

University Of Limerick,


Tel: (061) 23 4847

Thomas O'Shaughnessy

Assistive Technology Officer

Disability Services,

University Of Limerick,


Tel: (061) 21 3373

The C-Pen Exam Reader pen scanner is an electronic pen the uses text to speech to read aloud printed text. The C-Pen Exam Reader is an orange portable, pocket-sized device that reads text out aloud with an English human-like digital voice used instead of a human reader.

This device means students who have reading difficulties such as dyslexia can independently take exams knowing that they can read and understand the questions.  Students using the pen bring their own in-ear headphones to use with the reading pen via 3.5mm headphone socket. All students are given the opportunity to train on the reading pen prior to exams.

The reading pens have been used in UL for the last four years by first years through to postgraduate students. The reading pen is also available as a reasonable accommodation in the Leaving Cert resulting in more and more students entering college and university already trained on how to use the reading pen in exams.

Below is a very short video on the exam reader pen.