What is Social Thinking
Kari Palmer, MA, CCC-SLP
|Speaker Region:||Midwest U.S.|
|Speaker Focus:||Workshops A B C E H|
|Preschool, School age, School Programs|
Kari Palmer’s interest in communication and related disorders began long before she studied it formally. Her mom, Jane, is a speech language pathologist and Kari grew up in the field. When she took her first language course in college, Kari could actually go back and listen to her own development as Jane had recorded it all! As a graduate student, Kari was selected for the Communication and Autism Project, a training program offering specialized education in the area of autism spectrum disorders.
Following her formal training, Kari started her career as a speech language pathologist in the public schools in Minnetonka, MN, working predominately in early childhood with some time at the elementary level. She provided assessment and intervention to children with a variety communication disorders including: autism spectrum disorders, apraxia, phonological, fluency, and voice disorders. Kari also designed and presented in-service workshops to general education teachers on various communication disorders and related classroom strategies.
Kari’s interest in Social Thinking was first ignited in graduate school when she was encouraged to facilitate a “social skills” group for teens. As she attempted to pull together a lesson plan for the group, she quickly realized she had no idea how to truly teach social. Discovering Michelle’s work made all the difference, and she found information that concretely explained what to do and more importantly, why. Finding herself increasingly fascinated in Social Thinking, Kari researched and wrote “The Double Interview: Assessing the Social Communication of Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome” for her Master’s Thesis. Department faculty at the University of Kansas awarded her the Margaret C. Byrne Saricks Graduate Research Award for demonstrating excellence in Master’s thesis research.
Kari worked as a full time therapist at Michelle Garcia Winner’s Center for Social Thinking in San Jose, CA. Her diverse caseload included preschool aged children to young adults, all with varying levels of social cognitive challenges. Kari had the good fortune of training directly with Michelle and co-treated a teen group with her each week. Two years later the Palmer family relocated back home to Minnesota.
Currently Kari works at her private practice, Changing Perspectives, in Excelsior, MN. She is a Social Thinking consultant in the Minnetonka Public Schools, and works with dedicated educators across the district (early childhood through high school) on implementing social cognitive teaching into the school day. She is currently co-authoring a preschool Social Thinking curriculum to be published by Social Thinking Publishing.
Kari is an active presenter and likes nothing better than to share the power of Social Thinking with others. Comments from past workshop participants include: “Kari was engaging, enthusiastic and obviously passionate about the topic. She was not only knowledgeable but balanced the information with real life examples and humor.”
West Metro Subregional Autism Support Network. Keynote Address - Autism Information Day. Jan 2011. Hopkins MN
Kearney Public Schools. January 2012. Kearney, NE
Social Thinking Providers Conference. 2011, 2009. San Francisco, CA
Edina Public Schools. Speech Language Pathologists. February 2011. Edina, MN
Prior Lake - Savage Early Childhood Programs. November 2010. Prior Lake, MN
Eastern Carver County Schools. October 2010. Chanhassen, MN
Carver Scott Educational Cooperative Summer Institute. August 2010. Waconia, MN
Robbinsdale Area Schools. Early Childhood Programs. August 2010. Robbinsdale, MN
Eden Prairie Public Schools. Early Childhood Programs. February 2010. Eden Prairie, MN
West Metro Speech Language Coordinators Winter Conference. Jan 2010. Minnetonka, MN
Minnetonka Schools. October 2009 – current
American Speech Language Hearing Association – Schools Conference. Poster Session. July 2008. Orlando, FL
Kari can usually be found chasing after her son, thinking about training for another triathlon with her husband, and enjoying the lakes of Minnesota. She loves to travel and considers her experiences with an infant on an airplane the most interesting social experiment.