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Building Social, Emotional and Behavioral Skills by Using Language in Conversation that Supports your Elementary School-Age Child

With Aletta Sinoff, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCBA-D of Daily Behavioral Health

Podcasts supported by  Ernst and Young

Presented: 2018

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Description of Presentation

In this talk, Aletta Sinoff shares real-life examples of strategies families can use to avoid or respond to emotional outbursts in individuals with disabilities. Throughout the talk, Sinoff identifies reasons why some children may be more likely to experience emotional outbursts, such as reduced executive function skills, language development delays and lagging skills. She also recommends strategies to avoid outbursts in the first place, such as:

  • Develop an emotional vocabulary though narrative, reflection and active listening
  • Use declarative language when identifying emotions ("you look anxious...") as opposed to asking questions that you already know the answer to
  • Adapt the environment so that the struggling child is hearing/seeing verbal/nonverbal cues
  • Identify lagging skills (such as communication or executive function deficits) and provide support (for example, how to make a plan)
In addition to providing strategies to avoid outbursts, Sinoff suggests the following ways to help your child de-escalate from an emotional outburst:
  • Use visuals (for example, schedules and timers) to remove yourself from the conflict
  • Adapt your language for the child's ability at the time of the outburst, keeping mind that your child's ability to process language will decrease under emotional distress
  • Get through the moment. Sometimes you must let the child pass the point of emotional distress before you can help them
  • Avoid punishment and shame when responding to an emotional outburst

CFK Resources


  • "Executive Function in the Classroom: Practical Strategies for Improving Performance and Enhancing Skills for All Students," C. Kaufman, PhD (Library Partners | Amazon Smile
  • "Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child," R. Greene, PhD (Library Partners | Amazon Smile)
  • "Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation," D. Siegel, MD, (Library Partners | Amazon Smile
  • "The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children," R. Greene, PhD. (Library Partners | Amazon Smile)
  • "The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind," D. Siegel, MD, and T. Bryson, PhD (Library Partners | Amazon Smile)
  • "Unstuck and On Target!: An Executive Function Curriculum to Improve Flexibility for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders," L. Cannon, W. Steever, PhD, K. Alexander, M. Werner and L. Anthony, PhD, (Library Partners | Amazon Smile)


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