Social Thinking Articles

Where to Start When Using our Child Centered Products: Social Detective and Superflex

Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke

Social Thinking Article
We are thrilled you are using Superflex and are finding some of the strategies motivating or helpful!


Superflex is a product line that has been getting excellent feedback from both parents and professionals in terms of getting kids onboard and motivated to look at their own behaviors. The purpose of Superflex is to teach self-awareness, self-monitoring and self-control using related strategies initially introduced in other social thinking books (Think Social Curriculum, Thinking About You Thinking About Me, etc.).


While this product is motivating to many students, we have found that due to its charm - some skip teaching the basic social thinking concepts and jump immediately into Superflex and the Unthinkables.  The expectation then becomes that students will change their behavior (to defeat the Unthinkables) without learning more deeply about how to problem solve. 


This prompted us to write and release the Social Detective Comic book to focus on what type of information students should have in order to be more successful with Superflex. The Social Detective focuses on Social Thinking Vocabulary, which is essential to carry across the school and home day and is the book is often the starting place for direct work with our students (kinder-5th grade).


The Social Detective teaches students to view/observe the expectations of the greater world. We teach our younger kids (k-5) to start as detectives to help them begin to observe the world around them, develop an understanding of a social thinking toolbox (using their eyes, ears feelings, brain) and understand the connection between the expected/unexpected and how this makes people feel (or how they feel about what happened). As students develop a working knowledge of the expectations they have for others in the social world and that the world has expectations for them as well…then they are ready to learn how to self-monitor using their “Superflex” to meet those greater expectations. 


Thus, there are really two important steps:


First, students must see the larger view of the social world by developing better understanding of social expectations and how to figure out what they are (this is summarized in our Social Detective book…but taught in much more detail in other books for adults to read). 


Next, and often much later after students understand the social world via their own perspective as a detective or observer, is to work on their own personal self-awareness of who they are in this greater world of social expectations and how to have self-awareness, self-monitoring and self-control (Superflex). 


It is really important that we don’t rush to teach our students self-control before they have a solid grasp on self-awareness. Some kids may not ever be candidates for Superflex, even though they love the comics. If you find that your child/student doesn't have a clear understanding between what's real and pretend, is anxious about thinking about the Unthinkables, becomes obsessed with the Unthinkables, or just doesn't enjoy the concepts, then please discontinue using the curriculum and change to focusing on other lessons or the Thinkables found in Social Town and other products.  Hope this helps to put it all perspective! 


  • You Are A Social Detective!

  • You are a Social Detective! was written to teach both adults and children core Social Thinking Vocabulary in an engaging way, this books helps readers develop Social Detective skills to guide how we read a situation and others’ social cues and then adapt our behavior as needed. It encourages the reader to explore how our behavior affects the feelings and reactions of those we share space with. A fun and educational read for all! see more
  • Superflex A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum Package

  • After students have worked through You Are a Social Detective and learned core Social Thinking Vocabulary, they are ready to learn more about self-regulation using our very popular, motivational tool Superflex, the superhero in our minds that helps us defeat our social challenges. This curriculum teaches students to adapt more effectively across situations and take control of their own thinking to defeat the Unthinkables. Comes with the first Unthinkable comic, Superflex takes on Rock Brain. see more
  • Think Social Curriculum A Social Thinking Curriculum for SchoolAge Students 2nd Printing

  • This core curriculum book puts the muscle into Social Thinking teachings and related social skills. Detailed instructions teach adults how to expand on and teach over 40 Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts (such as thinking with your eyes, adding thoughts, and making supportive comments). Discusses how these lessons connect to academic standards, grouping students for more efficient teaching, and more. see more
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