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Digital Seminar

Theory of Mind Interventions to Develop Social-Emotional Skills: Improve Social & Academic Success from Infancy Through Adolescence

Featuring Carol Westby, PhD, CCC-SLP: Internationally-renowned expert on Theory of Mind, play assessment and development, language-literacy relationships, and the developer of the Westby Play Scale!

Children with Theory of Mind (ToM) deficits lack social-reciprocity and perspective taking and struggle to make inferences about what others might do, think and feel. They have poor self-awareness and emotional regulation. Thus, they perceive the world they live in to be unpredictable putting them at a social and academic disadvantage. Your challenge as a therapist working with these children is to help them develop effective social-emotional functioning.

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 adolescence. You will learn how to identify the patterns of ToM deficits and ToM developmental levels 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.


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Carol Westby
6 Hours 19 Minutes
Audio and Video
01 Dec, 2017
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Digital Seminar
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Continuing Professional Development Certificates - PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 6.25 hours CPD.



Carol Westby's Profile

Carol Westby Related seminars and products: 4


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. 

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

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  1. Assess and describe the developmental stages of Theory of Mind (ToM) in infants/toddlers, children and adolescents with ASD, SCD, LD and hearing impairment.
  2. Connect 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.


Foundations for ToM Development

  • ToM dimensions
  • Neuroanatomical/Neurochemical foundations for ToM types or dimensions
  • Genetic/environmental influences on ToM
  • DSM-5® diagnoses and comorbidities

Assessment of ToM Development

  • Formal and informal ways to assess ToM
  • Precursors in infants/toddlers
  • Emergence during preschool
  • Higher order ToM in school-age children and adolescents

Cognitive/Affective ToM and Interpersonal/Intrapersonal ToM

  • Patterns of ToM deficits and ToM developmental levels
  • Social and academic implications
  • Profiles to effectively match deficits to interventions

ToM Interventions for: Infants and Toddlers

  • Engage children in emotional sharing
  • Develop several types of joint attention
  • Promote coordination/co-regulation in interactions

Early Preschool

  • Develop a sense of self through play
  • Develop pretend play skills
  • Nurture foundations for autobiographical memory and the ability to think about the future

Late Preschool/Early Elementary

  • Foster the vocabulary and syntactic skills necessary for ToM
  • Identify cues and clues to help recognize and infer emotions of self and others
  • Promote language for counterfactual reasoning and mental time travel

Late Elementary/Adolescents

  • Strategies for emotional and behavioral regulation
  • Strategies to promote social and academic comprehension
  • Sentence frames to develop complex syntax for explaining reasons for emotions and behaviors

Deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM) are at the heart of social-emotional difficulties exhibited by those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Social Communication Disorders (SCD) and contribute to the social difficulties of children with Language Disorders (LD) and Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (DHH).

Target Audience

Counselors, Teachers/Educators, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists and other Mental Health Professionals



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