Smile and Succeed for Teens

By Kirt Manecke

Sometimes the power of social media and the connections we make simply amaze me! This week I was able to “meet” and have a fantastic conversation with Kirt Manecke. He is the author of Smile and Succeed for Teens: A Crash Course in Face-To-Face Communication. Kirt and I were both recent guests on the Ask Dr. B. Good podcast. Dr. Good shared her podcast with Mr. Manecke to give me an idea of the format and allow me to prepare for my interview. I was so impressed with their interview; I went to connect with Kirt on LinkedIn and discovered that we had recently connected! I was able to reach out to him directly and discuss his book.

As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I immediately saw the application for students with pragmatic (social skills) needs. The book is a concise guide for teaching teens and students with social skills deficits how to prepare for the real world of communication and using those skills in the job market. I also discovered that Kirt has also written both a Parent’s Guide and a Teaching Guide for the book. I am hopeful we will be able to collaborate on an adaptation for a social skills group curriculum.

His book has become a hit with Special Education professionals helping students with transitions into the workforce. He received an endorsement from Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures, The Autistic Brain, “Smile & Succeed for Teens is a fantastic resource to help teens be successful at work.” The book has won 3 awards, including the coveted Teachers’ Choice Award, and the prestigious Mom’s Choice Gold Award honoring excellence.

For more information about Kirt and to check out his other works, you can find his website at

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