Free Resources for Coping Strategies for Teens

Free Resources for Coping Strategies for Teens

Coping Strategies

Coping Strategies are techniques that teens can use to help them when they are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, angry, or frustrated to help them feel more calm and relaxed. It is important to help teach teens how to deal with their emotions and feelings and help them find appropriate strategies to help them deal with these emotions. The teenage years can bring about new experiences which can then possibly lead to new stresses and feelings of overwhelm. Check out some of our free resources to help your teen learn how to cope with these feelings and emotions.

Free Resources for Coping Strategies for Teens

How to Help Teens Deal with Emotions

The teenage years can be stressful for most teens. They are trying to figure out who they are as a person and learning new things about themselves. The demands placed on them at school are getting harder. Learning to deal with all of this newness can bring about more emotions. Talking to them about these new situations and helping them come up with coping strategies that work for them can help them learn how to deal with their emotions. Use some of the free resources below to help you get started.


Free Coping Strategies Resources for Teens

Mindfulness Strategies Workbook created by Carol Miller- The Middle School Counselor at Teachers  Pay Teachers

Free Coping Strategies Notebook by Pathways 2 Success at Teachers Pay Teachers

Free Anger Worksheets by Pathways 2 Success at Teachers Pay Teachers

30 Days of Coping Strategies Challenge by Pathways 2 Success at Teachers Pay Teachers

Coping Strategies Worksheets by Plum Tree

Check out our Social Stories Bundle to help address Coping Strategies!

Social Stories include:

When I make a mistake Social Story

When I get a bad grade Social Story

When I feel Frustrated Social Story

Purchase the Bundle Here!





Free Resources for Making Friends for Teens

Free Resources for Making Friends for Teens

Making Friends

Do you have a teenager that has difficulty making friends at school? Friendships can be difficult for some teenagers to form and then maybe even more difficult once they leave school. Making friends can sometimes be a hard skill for teens on the autism spectrum. They may have a hard time understanding how to make conversation or how to ask someone questions to get to know them better. It could be hard to find mutual interests. Or they may not even be interested in making friends. It can be hard to learn who is actually a friend and who may be someone taking advantage of you…

They may have difficulty reading body language to understand if someone is interested in what they are saying or not. They may have a hard time understanding how to work together or when playing games how to share. There are a lot of skills that go into making friends and these can be overwhelming and difficult to teach at times.

That is why we wanted to put together some FREE resources and websites for you to check out to see if they may help you and your teen with making friends. Finding meaningful friendships can have a wonderful social impact for all teens throughout their life.

Free Resources for Making Friends for Teens #friendships

Free Resouces!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure statement for further details. 


Check out our Free Social Situation Cards below! Feel free to download them by entering your name and email below. When you download this freebie you will also be signing up for our weekly newsletter!

Social Situations for Making Friends


We hope you find these free resources helpful on your journey to help your teen with friendships. Let us know in the comments below which freebie is your favorite or if there is anything else you would like to add!

Free Self Esteem Activities for Older Kids

Free Self Esteem Activities for Older Kids


Self-esteem is an important skill to learn, especially for teenagers and older kids to help them manage and regulate their emotions as they become adults. Helping them see themselves in a positive light will have lasting impressions on them as they get older. They will have increased confidence in their abilities and hopefully see themselves in a positive way.

Finding activities that older kids will want to participate with can be a challenge sometimes. They may not see the purpose of the activity in the moment, but these types of activities can have a long-lasting impression on their lives. That is why we found some FREE activities that you can try with older kids whether you are a parent, teacher, therapist, or professional to help you find just the right activity for your teen.

Free Self Esteem Activities for Older Kids #selfesteem #teens

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure statement for further details. 

FREE Self-Esteem Activities for older kids

Some of these free activities are on the website Teachers Pay Teachers where you will need to create a free account to be able to download these worksheets. Click the titles of the activities below to be taken to the free download!

Self-Esteem Activities for Secondary Life Skills Students

Self-Esteem Dice Game

Self-Esteem Activity: “I am special and unique!”

Counseling worksheet for self-esteem

Social Skills Rubrics: Self-Esteem Pack Freebie

18 Self Esteem Worksheets and Activities for Teens and Adolescents

We hope that you can find a free activity that will work for your situation. Let us know in the comments below if you found any of the activities helpful for your teen!

Looking for more amazing resources?

Check out our new ebook Making Sense of the Teen Years: A Sensory Processing Guide 



Is My Teen with Autism Ready for Dating?

Is My Teen with Autism Ready for Dating?

Teens with Autism and Dating

Thinking about your teen dating can be scary for some parents, but we want to help make this process a little easier for you. Navigating the social aspects of dating can be difficult for teens with autism. Just like many other social skills many individuals may need to be taught specific skills to help them with dating. Dating can be a complex skill to learn.

Always listen to your teen and watch for their desire to want to date. Always go off of what your teen is telling you and showing you. Don’t force your teen to do something if they are not interested or don’t want to do it. Everyone has their own preferences and show interest in dating at different times in their lives.

Is My Teen with Autism Ready for Dating #autism #dating #teen #socialskills

*This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but we may earn a commission. Please see our disclosure statement for further details. 

How can you tell if your teen is ready for dating?

All teens develop at different rates and have different interests in dating. Follow your teens lead, if you see that they are showing interest or asking you questions about dating help them through this complex situation. Pay attention to their nonverbal behaviors as well to help you decide if they are interested in dating.

Physical Maturity

A teen’s social maturity may not be the same as their physical maturity. Some teens may feel the physical desire for dating and sexuality before the social competence for dating. If your teen is asking you questions about their physical appearance/changes and their desire for sexuality be open to talk with them about these topics. Talk to your teen in a way that makes sense to them. If they learn best through direct concrete answers or through pictures/videos, help provide these opportunities for them to learn about the changes in their bodies.

Be Proactive and have Open Dialogue with your Teen about Dating and Sexuality

Sex and dating are very complex social situations. If you think your teen may be sexually active or dealing with opportunities for sexual activity don’t delay these conversations. It is important that we can protect your teen as best as you can from getting into unsafe situations. It is crucial to talk about safe sex and helping them to understand how pregnancy can occur. If you feel uncomfortable about talking about these situations with your teen is there someone you can reach out to for help? You could reach out to your teen’s doctor especially if you have concerns about health related questions.

Provide role playing opportunities to practice dating situations

One way to practice some of the complex social situations involved with dating would be to role play common situations. You could also try social stories, social scripts, modeling appropriate behaviors, video modeling, or an acting class. Social situations that you could role play and talk about for dating could be:

  • how to compliment
  • how to show interest in someone
  • how to talk with a peer you like
  • how to read nonverbal behavior
  • when to smile
  • how to use good manners
  • how to be respectful of another person
  • how to show affection
  • appropriate physical touch
  • how to stay safe
  • conflict resolution
  • safety in public areas

Have open conversations about how to stay safe with dating

We want to do whatever we can to help our teen stay safe and not get taken advantage of in this complex social situation. Discuss who, when, where, and how to ask someone out.

  • Who is appropriate for you to ask out?
    • Someone around your age
    • who shows interest in you
    • is nice to you
    • talks to you
    • someone you like
  • When is it appropriate to ask someone out?
    • After you have gotten to know someone better
    • When you have noticed that you both seem to be interested in each other
  • Where is it appropriate to ask someone out?
    • Usually in a more private setting when not a lot of people are around
    • typically it is best to do it in person, but you can also call someone on the phone.
    • Texting may not be as a personal way to ask someone out
  • How do you ask someone out?
    • in person you can ask if they are free at a certain time that you could go to a place of mutual interest
    • make sure to get contact information to confirm the date, time, and location ahead of time
  • How do you show appropriate touch during a date?
    • Make sure to talk about safe and appropriate physical touch
      • talk about how to hold hands, give a hug, or a kiss
      • talk about inappropriate types of physical touch and how to read body cues and signs of how someone may like or not like the type of touch.
  • Discuss different levels of intimacy
    • Help them understand the difference between hand holding, hugging, kissing, and more intimate types of touching to help them stay safe.
  • Talk about the steps/routine of a typical date
    • Make sure your teen knows when and where the date will take place
    • how they will get to the location
    • what they may do at the location (dinner, movie, bowling, party)
  • Help them understand appropriate personal hygiene cares and dressing skills

Dating is a complex social situation

We need to remember that dating is complex and overwhelming social situation. This may cause our teen frustration, anxiety, fear, or anger. Please be aware of how your teen is feeling about dating and be ready to help them through this situation as it pertains to them. Help them understand that rejection may also be apart of dating and how to help them through this as well. Help them understand that someone may not be interested in them even though they are interested. Or that someone may be too busy to date. It can be impossible to understand why someone may not be interested in you and this could be a hard skill for some teens to cope with.

Dating can be a positive situation and we need to stay proactive and help our teens through these unique situations. The more we can support our teen’s desires for dating and have open dialogue about the social situations it can be seen as a rewarding and positive experience.

Teens and Dating Social Situation Cards #dating #socialskills #autism #teens

Do you have further questions about dating? We would love to hear your advice and comments below.

Resources you will love!

Everyday Life Skills Personal Hygiene Skills in the Bathroom

Everyday Life Skills Personal Hygiene Skills Ebook #lifeskills #personalhygieneskills #autism





Being a Teen: Everything Teen Girls & Boys Should Know About Relationships, Sex, Love, Health, Identity & More


The 10 Myths of Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Avoid Disaster, and Protect Her Future

Dating Smarts – What Every Teen Needs To Date, Relate Or Wait

50 Social Skills for Teens

50 Social Skills for Teens

Social Skills for Teens

Our family understands some of the difficulties that can come with teaching social skills. We are working everyday to help teach my brother specific social skills. We have tried different ways to help him learn these skills. We have used modeling behaviors, talking through different situations, social stories, social situation cards, and videos to show the different social skills.

We have created a list of 50+ social skills that we feel are valuable for teens to learn as they start their transition into adulthood. We hope you can find this list helpful!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for further details. 

50 Social Skills for Teens #socialskills #autism #teens

50+ Social Skills for Teens

  1. how to talk with peers

  2. asking for help

  3. accepting criticism

  4. how to stay safe in new situations

  5. understanding sarcasm

  6. how to tell someone no

  7. stranger safety

  8. resisting peer pressure

  9. problem solving skills

  10. understanding how my actions affect others

  11. understanding my own feelings

  12. being able to understand feelings of peers

  13. following directions

  14. how to handle conflict with others

  15. how to work as a group/team

  16. how to listen to someone speaking

  17. understanding nonverbal body language

  18. understanding safety with social media/technology

  19. safety with sex

  20. safety with dating

  21. how to talk about your own interests with peers

  22. when it is appropriate to laugh/cry

  23. when it is good to smile

  24. how to show respect to others

  25. good manners

  26. how to show interest in what another person is talking about

  27. how you would act around a “boss or authority figure”

  28. how to talk with friends

  29. how to act when we get mad

  30. how to walk away from situations

  31. how to act in a public area vs private area

  32. how to act at a party

  33. how to talk about your own strengths/weaknesses

  34. how to ask for directions

  35. how to call 911 if you are in danger

  36. how to talk with or ask questions with doctors (medical appointments)

  37. how to make a phone call to schedule something

  38. how to talk on the phone

  39. what your own body language looks like when talking with someone

  40. how to go to the grocery store to purchase groceries

  41. what to do when you are in danger

  42. what to do if there was an active shooter (I wish I didn’t even have to think about this situation)

  43. what to do if you don’t feel well (sick)

  44. how to have a conversation with someone you don’t know

  45. how to speak up in a group

  46. how to appropriately text someone on the phone

  47. how to appropriately post information on social media

  48. how to travel safely

  49. accepting differences

  50. how to stay on topic

  51. showing empathy

  52. how to get along with people you may not like

  53. waiting in a line

  54. patience


Are there any social skills you would like us to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!


Here is a FREE printable with the social skills listed above for you to have as your own reference! Get your free copy of the social skills checklist here!

Social Skills for Teens #social skills


How can we help our loved ones learn social skills?

There are various ways we can help our loved one learn social skills. We all learn in different ways. We need to remember to have patience and kindness when working on these skills. Some social skills come easy to some and not for others. Be respectful and kind when working on these skills. Here are a list of ideas on ways you can work on social skills.

  • Model appropriate social behavior

  • Practice the social skills with adults and peers

  • Talk through different situations

  • Create social stories or social scripts for the situations

  • Become involved in social groups

  • Become involved in acting groups

  • Become involved in team building groups or high interest activities with peers

  • Participate in sports activities

  • Watch videos, showing how to work on the social skills

What are some ways you have been able to work on social skills?


Get your free copy of the social skills checklist here!

Social Skills for Teens #social skills



Your Words Matter When Talking to Children and Teens with Autism

Your Words Matter When Talking to Children and Teens with Autism

Your Words Matter When Talking to Children and Teens with Autism

I am always fascinated when talking with my younger brother about different social situations he has experienced. One that always stands out to me is that he apologized for the way he acted in Kindergarten when he would run out of the classroom or other behaviors he would experience as a 15 year old! He can vividly remember certain actions or behaviors he did when he was in kindergarten, but was unable to talk to us at that time to understand why he was acting a certain way.

Fast forward 10 years and now he is able to verbally tell us and explain to us why he acted a certain way or what he can vividly remember from that time in his life. I am so blown away by my brother and what he is able to accomplish. He is truly an amazing person.

I wanted to share this story with you, because sometimes I think we forget that everyone has the ability to understand what we are saying or what they are doing, but they may not have the ability to communicate that with you at that time. That does not mean they do not understand you or the situation though.

Your Words Matter when talking to Children and Teens with Autism #Autism #children #teens

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure statement for further details.

Be Mindful of what you say to EVERYONE!

We need to be mindful of what we say and how we talk to EVERYONE, but especially people who are non verbal or have limited communication skills. Even though someone may have difficulty verbally communicating with you, does not mean they do not understand what you are saying to them. They can very well understand if you are calling them bad names or even using a harsh tone when you are speaking with them.

Instead of using negative language, make sure you are ALWAYS talking to them as you would any other person. Please use positive language with them and talk with them as they are your best friend. Please do not change your tone of voice or how you word something to someone with autism.

Our Thoughts can become our Actions

When working as an occupational therapist and interacting with many children and parents I have learned how powerful our thoughts can be. When we start to use negative thoughts with things, we can start to treat those things worse than if we spoke positively about them. This can be true towards people, ourselves, or situations. If we start to think bad thoughts about a person or that they are stupid we will treat them as such. The relationship can begin to become negative when we think negative thoughts about someone.

Become Aware of your Thoughts

We need to become aware of when we are using these negative thoughts in order to make change. When you are working with a child or in a situation that you are frustrated with take the time to listen to your inner thoughts. How are you thinking about the child or the situation? Are you thinking negatively or positively? My guess is that you are thinking negatively.

How can we change our thoughts?

Reframe your way of thinking…

Think about different situations with the kids or teens you are working with.

“The child is not giving me a hard time. They are having a hard time.”

Give respect to the people in your life. Speak to them in a respectful manner. If I would not say it to a group of people than I should not say it to an individual.

Sometimes we need to Vent

I understand that there are times in our lives when we are overworked and frustrated and we need to be able to vent and talk through these situations to allow us to move on. I am a new parent and a therapist that has been in different situations that I just need to talk to someone about to help me get through the situations.

Be Mindful of who you Vent to

We need to be mindful of who we vent to. Please do not vent in public places where strangers could overhear your conversations. Find a safe person who knows you and knows your kids or a co-worker if it is a job related situation. Find someone who won’t judge you and can be supportive of you.

Also how you vent is important too. Do not resort to name calling when talking about a person. There is a big difference when talking negatively about a child vs. talking about the behaviors a child is showing us. When we resort to name calling we are chaining our thoughts about the child and this in turn can continue the cycle of negative ways of thinking. If we can focus on the behaviors this can help us to get productive advice and guidance about how to help change a situation for the child to help them.

When venting, please make sure the child or teen that you are talking about are not around! This can devastate a relationship if a child or teen feels that you are talking negatively about them. Always remember, if you can’t say it out loud in a group of people, you should never say it to the individual. We never want to label a child, especially a negative label.

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice”-Peggy O’Mara 

In conclusion, what I am trying to say here is be respectful of EVERYONE, but especially children and teens on the autism spectrum. Please be mindful of how you speak to them and never assume they are not listening to you or do not understand you.

Please never talk negatively to someone and we all could work a little harder at using positive words and phrases when talking with people. Here is a list of some positive phrases you can use when working with children and teens with autism. Grab your copy below!

Positive Phrases for Working with Children with Autism

This is not a comprehensive list of positive phrases, but it will give you a start and some ideas of phrases to use. Please be mindful of what you say when working with children and teens with autism. Your words can have a long lasting affect on them. Your words matter when talking and working with children and teens with autism.