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Children need consistent exposure to social examples, as well as explanations and practice throughout the day to build social and emotional competence. Make Social Learning Stick! is a “how to” guide for parents, caregivers, and teachers of pre-school and elementary school children.

The book’s user-friendly structure details how to build teachable moments into your daily routines. With over 185 fun and easy activities, events such as getting ready for school, preparing dinner, going to the doctor, and celebrating Thanksgiving become opportunities for teaching and reinforcing expected social behavior. By making this “social learning diet,” part of everyday life, kids develop verbal and nonverbal language, listening skills, understanding of hidden rules, perspective taking, emotional regulation and more.

The activities provided can be easily tailored to meet a child’s developmental level, needs, or challenges. Teachers and therapists can also select activities from the book to share with caregivers and family members who may be seeking easy ways to practice social skills at home. Leading experts in a variety of therapy and development fields such as Michelle Garcia Winner, Kari Dunn Buron, Sarah Ward, Leah Kuypers, Pamela Wolfberg, and Emily Rubin contributed to this book, helping to make it a comprehensive guide to building comfort and skills in social settings, from the dinner table to the schoolyard, to the greater community.

Book Reviews of Make Social Learning Stick! 


“Elizabeth Sautter has given us a great how-to book on a topic parents want most: how to help socially challenged children feel included and make friends. Activities cover the social situations that confront a child, from first moments of waking to bedtime, from typical days to special event days and holidays. Parents, teachers, and professionals will be able to use the ideas to create a seamless system of support across all settings, teaching the nuts-and-bolts of social behaviors that can lead to social success. I can foresee the book providing great ideas for developing IEP goals. Sautter’s latest book is a must-have for professionals and parents alike.” 

– Amy Kossow, a parent advocate, specializes in the support of children with autism. She holds a law degree from the University of Chicago

“In a world full of books that tackle the ‘why,’ this book tackles the ‘how.’ Conveniently laid out by time, location, and situation, Elizabeth Sautter presents practical steps and ideas for embedding social and emotional learning into everyday activities. The book is loaded with creative strategies, social tools, and visual supports enabling parents and professionals alike to jump into the heart of social learning. I am thrilled to share this helpful tool with the families with whom I work.”

–Anna Kern, MFT, marriage & family therapist, Behavioral Intervention Association – a non-profit that provides early intervention to children with autism 


“Make Social Learning Stick! is an engaging and comprehensive book for anyone who teaches or for parents a child on the autism spectrum. Sautter offers an excellent overview of what social learning involves and then gives readers a gazillion specific ideas to try in a variety of environments. I particularly love the ‘job talk’ items for encouraging the child’s active involvement, and the activity chart at the end of the book makes it easy to relate the activities to specific program goal areas.”

– Kari Dunn Buron, autism education specialist, and author of When My Worries Get Too Big! and Adalyn’s Clare

“In a truly visionary fashion, Elizabeth Sautter has recognized that executive function skills and social skills are both integral to the development of social competence. Additionally, she has recognized that like tourists visiting an unknown country, parents of children with social learning challenges need a guidebook telling them what to watch for and offering phrases to use in tricky situations. In Make Social Learning Stick!, she has provided this much-needed guidebook to help families incorporate skill building throughout the day-to-day activities of family life. As an executive function coach, I am aware that all children benefit from this type of mentoring, making this book an invaluable resource for all families. As the parent of a child who has difficulty navigating the world of unspoken social rules, I am delighted to have such a user-friendly tool.”

– Carrie Lindemuth, executive function coach, learning specialist, and parent

Amazon Customer Reviews

Highly recommended for speech pathologists
I received Elizabeth Sautter’s Make Social Learning Stick! as a gift, and am thrilled with the organization it brings to therapy sessions with students that have social communication difficulties. As a speech pathologist in the public schools, a bigger percent of our caseload each year includes children who cannot pick up on the subtleties of communication and understand the unspoken rules our society has. This extremely practical and organized guide is full of easy to access information. Often, planning lessons for students with pragmatic language concerns takes too much time; the conciseness and organization of this book is much appreciated! It is an excellent book to loan to parents because it simply and clearly guides them as they search for ways to turn frustrating conversations during everyday activities into enjoyable interactions. If I could only have one resource book, for my therapy and for parents of my students to use, Make Social Learning Stick! would be it!
– Amazon Customer Review

So logical and simple yet brilliant!
This book is great! I guess it’s written for parents of kids with social challenges but it’s applicable to parents of any kids. When I read it, I am aware of how many unspoken rules our society has. So often we don’t tell kids the things we want them to know and then are disappointed when situations turn ugly. With the help of Make Social Learning Stick and a little prep time things go much more smoothly. – Amazon Customer Review

A wonderful guide for parents and professionals!
This book is a wonderful guide for parents to help them support their child’s social and emotional development as they go about their natural, everyday routines. As an educational therapist and director of a learning clinic, I recommend this book to parents and professionals as a guide to help children learn executive function and self-regulation skills. It is simple and practical, well researched and filled with great, innovative ideas. The illustrations and visuals are excellent and create a positive and enjoyable experience as we work with children to learn these crucial social skills – definitely a must-have for parents and professionals! – Amazon Customer Review

This book is a must have for all parents!
WOW! There are so many great things to say about this book and the author! Before I found this book, I really struggled with finding the time and ways to incorporate social development activities into our busy schedules! This book offers tons and tons of amazing and creative activities that can be easily incorporated into countless situations and events. I had no idea how many teaching opportunities I was passing up on until I read this book! This guide offers activities that range from daily routines such as “getting ready for school” and “playing with peers and siblings” to specific holidays and special events like “birthdays,” “dinner parties,” and “Halloween.” This book taught me how to take advantage of every situation and gave me a new perspective that allows me to see the teachable moments in every moment.The Hidden Rules on each page supplement these activities perfectly, highlighting the unspoken expectations (as well as what is not expected) in each situation.

And if the countless amazing activities weren’t enough, Sautter offers even more useful tools at the end of her book that include many great visual aid worksheets (helpful for creating routines -brushing teeth, bedtime etc.) and charts for identifying/ monitoring moods and emotions. There are even pages of sample kid jokes, conversation starters, and useful websites for parents. Every parent will benefit from the activities and knowledge in this book. Sautter has completely transformed the way I view social development opportunities!
– Amazon Customer Review

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