Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions


Below are descriptions of Social Thinking courses that our speakers give to groups and organizations around the country:

Day A - Information and Agenda

Social Thinking® Across The Home and School Day:
The ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info

Course Outline

Day A is one of our core educational conference. It is designed to introduce parents and professionals to Social Thinking and social learning, and help them better understand the inner mind of persons with social learning challenges, whether or not they have a formal diagnosis. Participants will learn not only functional treatment strategies to use both at school and at home, but will come away with a deeper awareness of why these students react and respond the way they do.

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Day B - Information and Agenda

Informal Dynamic Social Thinking Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies for Home and School

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info

Course Outline

This conference is designed to help parents and professionals better understand the inner minds of individuals with social learning challenges. We introduce the Informal Dynamic Social Thinking Assessment, a tool described in Michelle's book, Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME, 2nd Edition. IDST assessments are not only useful as part of the initial or three-year testing process. Instead, this type of assessment can be done on an ongoing basis to gauge students' abilities and needs across time.

The IDST is invaluable in learning more about the way our children/students think, and how their social thinking deficits affect them. This, in turn, illuminates why they need direct teaching of social concepts and arms us with relevant knowledge to determine specific treatment strategies that are best aligned with their needs. Video clips of the informal assessment will demonstrate ways in which all of us (diagnosticians, parents, paraprofessionals, treatment clinicians, etc.) can work more effectively with this population. This is a day filled with very practical information!

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Day C - Information and Agenda

Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info

Course Outline

Ever tried to figure how most people can intuitively “read” other people and make split second decisions about how to interact with them? The process of social communication requires perspective taking. Perspective taking is not one thing but requires many things to happen at once, including conceptual processing (central coherence), figuring out the gist of the situation (executive functioning), and considering the thoughts and emotions of oneself as well as others (theory of mind). This workshop will explore how central these concepts and their related skills are to all social contact, nonverbal or verbal, intentional or non-intentional. Audiences rave about this workshop day as being filled with research-based information but practical enough to allow audience members to better understand the specific social communication and academic needs of their students/children.

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Day D - Information and Agenda

Organized Thinking: Dealing with the Dreaded Homework Assignment and Everything Else a Student Wants to Postpone!

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info

Course Outline

The vast majority of students with social cognitive deficits have immense difficulty developing organizational skills to manage the increasing complex expectations of life in upper elementary, middle, high school and into their adult years.

Organizational skills are a set of executive functioning skills that develop through experience and minimal prompting for neurotypical students. These same skills can be mammoth overwhelming tasks for even our most intellectually sharp students with social cognitive deficits. The impact of poor organizational skills is immense; it affects one's outcome in school as well as at home and work. Weak organizational skills are poorly understood and often written off as pure laziness on the part of an academically bright student. Relatively little support is given to teach students to develop these critical skills that carry over into their future jobs and home-life as adults.

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Day E - Information and Agenda

Implementing Social Thinking® Concepts and Vocabulary into the School and Home Day: A Day to Develop Team Creativity

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info

Course Outline

On this day, we will define more Social Thinking concepts and how to apply the Social Thinking Vocabulary throughout the day. Working as part of a group, the "three parts of play," abstracting and inferencing information and sharing an imagination are among the concepts we will explore and can bring together to teach students how to communicate. We will examine clinical examples that highlight how to make these abstract concepts more concrete and teachable. The Social Thinking Vocabulary is the backbone of Social Thinking teaching programs. Research published in 2008 (Crooke, et al) in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders demonstrated how students benefited from learning these concepts; specifically, that the students, once taught how to think about the concepts, could generalize the information.

Participants will work in groups to learn how to make the information work across settings, creating one or two of their own lesson plans. This workshop emphasizes how to make the teaching achievable across a variety of environments, with the focus on helping students take the ideas from the treatment session and into the rest of their lives. Michelle will present the lessons in the order presented in her book, Think Social! A Social Thinking Curriculum for School Aged Students, which is used in school districts in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, etc.

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Day F - Information and Agenda

Social Thinking and Transition Planning for the Adult World and Real Life

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info

Course Outline

Transitioning into adulthood and living as young adults can overwhelm individuals born to social learning challenges, even those who are "bright" with strong language skills. This workshop focuses on helping both parents and professionals (teachers, counselors, psychologists) and the students themselves prepare for and respond to this transition. It is important that both adults and students being to consider transition planning while students are in middle school. By providing concrete ways to develop a realistic transition plan, we help students and their parents prepare for life outside the more regimented schedule of the school day.

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Day G - Information and Agenda

Skills You Need to Help You Learn to Live as an Adult

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info 

Course Outline

Day G is the second day of the Day F workshop, with a continued emphasis on exploring and teaching children and teens the Social Thinking concepts and skills they will need as they emerge into adulthood. Teachers and parents of school-age students have described this workshop day as essential for helping them orient their teachings toward encouraging "success" in the adult years.

In this workshop our focus moves into the world of adult work, the social-emotional expectations that exist in the workplace, and what it takes to live as an independent adult. We set aside diagnostic labels and discuss the broader concept that we all live within social boundaries that encourage others to include us and show they value us, whether or not we realize it.We introduce the 5 Steps to Social Thinking Psychology and also the Social Thinking Social-Emotional Chain Effects to which we all subconsciously react and respond. Through review of dilemmas encountered by "bright" adults who have fallen off career tracks, we demonstrate where social learning breakdowns happen and discuss strategies to avoid them, including coping skills and how to work as part of a team.

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Day H - Information and Agenda

Teaching Social Thinking through Stories and Play for Early Learners (4-7 year olds)

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info

Course Outline

This workshop introduces professionals and parents to the many important facets of development that underlie social learning in preschool and early elementary aged children.  What looks like pure fun to us has important social consequences for the developing mind. The ability to participate in collaborative pretend play depends upon having a flexible brain, competent language ability, self regulation, and solid social-emotional development as well the executive function skills to multi-task the use of all of the above! The new common core standards highlight the importance of “listening and collaboration” in the classroom, which are hallmarks of developmental learning in preschool and during the early elementary years.

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Day J - Information and Agenda

ZOOMING IN on Practical Strategies for Teaching Concrete Learners Across the Classroom, Playground and Home

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info

Course Outline

Day J will focus on developing rule-based social learning activities that connect to select Common Core Standards and support the student with significant social processing challenges. We will concentrate specifically on students who are described as Challenged or Emerging Social Communicators (CSC and ESC) on our Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile. These students are more literal, more aloof, miss sarcasm, are less organized, show marked difficulty reading social contextual cues from people and the situation, comprehending language arts material, expressing themselves in written expression, and appear more awkward in their attempts to socially engage with their peers. The emphasis of this day will be around expanding our understanding of where to start and how to progress with these students based on their age, what is realistic to teach, and how to apply this learning in the inclusion-based classroom.

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Day K - Information and Agenda

ZOOMING IN on Nuance Challenged Social Communicators Across the Classroom, Playground and Home

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info

Course Outline

Day K will focus on developing nuance-based social learning activities that connect to select Common Core Standards as well explore how to work with individuals who struggle with self-regulation, social anxiety, and depression (Nuance Challenged Social Communicator). We will take a deeper look at how teaching lessons related to social nuance differs from teaching social “rules.” Individuals in this group may represent a range of diagnoses such as: ADHD, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS, ODD, OCD, NVLD, etc.

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Day L - Information and Agenda

New! Social Thinking Meets RTI and PBS

Course Outline, Objectives, Speaker, Contact Details

Students with Social Thinking challenges, such as those with ASD, ADHD, NLD, Social Communication Disorder, and other social and behaviorally-based disorders often struggle in the areas of organization, attention, social engagement, group dynamics, and self-regulation; all of which make learning difficult. In this presentation, we will explore how the Social Thinking framework can easily be introduced school wide, offer strategies to differentiate Social Thinking instruction across the three tiers of intervention and describe effective tools for universal screening, data collection, progress monitoring, and more.

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Day M - Information and Agenda

New! Superflex & Friends Take on Social Emotional Learning and The Common Core Standards

Course Outline, Objectives, Speaker, Contact Details

We HEAR you! You have been asking about how to use some of our core ideas across different types of learners and ages. We all know about the importance of Social attention and Self Regulation in the home and school day and three of our most popular curricula address these key areas. This workshop day will focus on how to use strategies related to You are a Social Detective!,Superflex® and The Zones of Regulation®. We will explore how to use these and other tools in a developmental manner to address the different needs of kindergarteners through middle school. We will describe the connections between Social Thinking concepts and the Common Core/State Standards, how these concepts integrate with Social Emotional Learning, and the interrelationships with Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS). This interactive workshop day will be filled with creative ways and group activities to help our students move from being 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!

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Day N - Information and Agenda

New! Blurred Lines - Exploring 3 provocative hot topics in Social Thinking along with practical strategies and tools!

Course Outline, Objectives, Speaker, Contact Details

ABA-Social Thinking – when, why & how to choose which approach! Dr. Joanne Gerenser (BCBA and SLP) and Michelle Garcia Winner (SLP)
What Not to do with resistant, argumentative students
Sex talk - Accepting the inevitable: helping students learn strategies to deal with their emerging sexuality.

Strategies and tools will be provided to address each of these 3 hot topics. The audience will participate in activities to help them carry their learning out the door. All information will relate back to the Common Core/State Standards, PBIS or RTI.

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Day P - Information and Agenda

New! What's Play Got to Do with Classroom Learning?
Exploring Social Executive Functioning and Social Emotional Learning for 4-7 year olds

Course Outline, Objectives, Speaker, Contact Details

Social Executive Functioning is at the heart of the more complicated side of developing Shared, Collaborative, Interactive Play (SCIP). On this workshop day we will teach how to move from the 5 basic Social Thinking lesson sets in Volume 1 to our more complex lessons presented through Volume 2 of The Incredible Flexible You™ our curriculum, story books and music CD. This day is filled with creative activities, which align with the research and extend our thinking about how to work, play and learn in groups. The audience will engage in group learning activities to help them take these strategies into their classroom or home the very next day!

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