Authors Offer a Fresh Approach for Parents to Teach Social Skills to Their Children with Autism

Jamie Carter, Ph.D. and Ahna Kimmel, M.A. have published a book PREP for Social Success: A Guide for Parents of Children with Autism which prevents a new approach for teaching their children to adapt to a variety of social situations.

Jamie Carter, Ph.D. and Ahna  O’Shaughnessy, M.A. have developed a  four step program  to help parents  teach their children  diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)  how to improve social skills and emotion management.  Their book, PREP for Social Success:  A Guide for Parents of Children with Autism, is available exclusively through Amazon Kindle.

Parents who have a child with  ASD often experience  stress and pressure because their children  have difficulty in social settings.  These settings range from participating in family gatherings, to fitting in at school, to getting and keeping a job.  Children may feel anxious or overwhelmed in these everyday settings.  If they have inadequate communication and coping skills this may lead to uncooperative behavior, unusual behavior, or emotional distress. 

PREP for Social Success outlines four easy steps  (PLAN, REHEARSE, ENCOURAGE, PRAISE) that parents can use to teach their children  with ASD how to more effectively handle and adapt to a variety of social settings.  These settings include school, group activities, community settings, work settings, and novel situations.   Parents  learn a variety of techniques to use when  applying  PREP.  These include using visual cues, telling stories, developing scripts, performing role plays, playing games, and mapping out desired behaviors. 

When asked why she decided to write the book, O’Shaughnessy replied “I have been working with families of children with ASD for many years.  It is clear that  parents put great effort into trying to improve their child’s social functioning, yet oftentimes these efforts are not successful.  I wanted to develop an easy to remember technique that could be tailored to the specific child and situation and lead to a positive outcome.  By using the PREP program, the child will feel more at ease in social situations and the parent will be less anxious about how the child is doing”.

About the Authors:  The authors have a combined fifty years of experience in treating children and adults.  Jamie Carter is a Clinical Psychologist who has provided consultation to a variety of community and government agencies.  She has performed evaluations and provided psychotherapy as well as developing behavior support plans.    Ahna O’Shaughnessy  is a Psychology Associate, providing behavior intervention services to various agencies and schools that  serve adults and children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in the Greater D.C. and Baltimore areas.    The book is available for purchase at