Santa Clara & Stevens Creek Clinics
About our Clinics
We have two sister clinics, Social Thinking-Stevens Creek and Social Thinking-Santa Clara.
Each business is individually owned and operated. Both are located in the San Jose area, about 1 mile apart, but operate through one administrative services department. Families apply to attend both clinics during the school year semester by filling out one set of paperwork.
Social Thinking-Santa Clara is a smaller clinic (providing services to approximately 25 clients), and Social Thinking-Stevens Creek is the larger Social Thinking clinic (serving over 250 clients). Applicants are placed at either the Stevens Creek or Santa Clara location based on their availability and given their treatment needs.
Social Thinking® is a cognitive behavioral treatment approach focused on fostering social learning due to weak social cognition or compelling social anxiety.
To fully benefit from our services, students/clients must have average to above-average language and cognition.
How We Can Help
Our clinical services are focused on implementing the core Social Thinking teachings and related social skills for students with average to above average language and cognition from as young as 4 years old into and across adulthood. We treat a large range of diagnostic labels and persons with social learning challenges.
The Informal Social Thinking Dynamic Assessment Protocol is a means of identifying and quantifying in real-time a student's social competencies as well as connecting the dots between a student's social learning abilities and possibly related academic strengths and weaknesses.
Explore cutting edge approaches to enhance the development of social competence for individuals age 4 through adulthood with diagnosis such as Asperger Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, Nonverbal Learning Disability, AD/HD and undiagnosed social communication challenges.
What range of diagnostic labels do we serve?
Social Thinking® is a cognitive behavioral treatment approach focused on fostering social learning due to weak social cognition or compelling social anxiety. A large range of diagnostic labels represent persons with social learning challenges and/or social anxiety. There can be tremendous over-lap in these labels. In our treatment model, we do not treat diagnostic labels instead we treat the individual. Although not all of our clients have a diagnosis, some of the many labels that have benefitted from our services include: ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders- Levels 1 and 2, High Functioning Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, learning disabilities, sensory dysregulation, executive dysfunction, twice-exceptional, gifted and talented, social anxiety, socially phobic, expressive-receptive language issues, specific language impairment, traumatic brain injury, Tourette’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, Dysgraphia, etc.
To fully benefit from our services, students/clients must have average to above-average language and cognition.
What is the focus of the clinical treatment?
We encourage the development of social learning and self-regulation through the teachings of Social Thinking® frameworks and related strategies as well as utilize other professionals’ work that adheres to a social cognitive behavioral treatment approach. We enjoy using materials developed by Sarah Ward and Kristen Jacobsen to help teach executive functioning; Story Grammar Marker® by Maryellen Rooney Moreau to encourage social interpretations and social problem solving; sensory regulation strategies, etc. We develop treatment based on the best evidence available and experienced professional staff, and we value feedback from our clients as well as their family members. We focus on teaching strategies to enhance social learning which can be summarized by saying we address executive functioning, perspective taking, emotional awareness, self-awareness and self-monitoring and central coherence.
What People are Saying
Eddie, parent of 10 yr old client
A Happy Mom, Parent of 21 yr old client
Jonathan, 45 yr old client
Libby, Parent of 4 yr old client
San Jose & Santa Clara, CA Clinics
Even though each business is independently operated (Michelle owns Social Thinking-Saratoga Ave, STSA, and Randi Dodge owns Social Thinking-Stevens Creek, STSC), Michelle, Pam, Randi and her therapists actively collaborate. Given the teamwork and cross-training between the two clinics, we decided to provide one administrative unit to help families register for Social Thinking services in San Jose, Ca more efficiently. Prior to having our sister-clinic arrangement, families were sending in full registrations to the larger and smaller clinics, as well as full copies of reports. By working collaborating, families only have to apply to one central registration processing center housed at ST-Stevens Creek. The clinics are 1 mile apart.
Pam and Michelle work closely with the employees of Social Thinking-Stevens Creek by providing monthly grand rounds and observing their treatment sessions, and then offer further training to each of their clinicians.
There are only two differences between these two clinics, the first simply being the size of each clinic. Social Thinking-Saratoga Ave was set up to be a “mini-clinic” providing limited clinical treatments given both Michelle and Pam’s speaking, research, writing and travel schedules; Michelle and Pam generally only see clients on Mondays and sometimes on Tuesdays. Social Thinking-Stevens Creek is open 5 days a week and many more clients. The second difference is that Informal Social Thinking Dynamic Assessments are currently only offered through Social Thinking-Saratoga Ave clinic on a limited basis
Our clinical services are focused on implementing the core Social Thinking® teachings and related social skills for students with average to above average language and cognition from as young as 4 years old into and across adulthood.
Our groups and individual sessions meet once a week for one hour, consists of student treatment (generally 45-50 minutes) and a parent education component (10-15 minutes).
During time with parents, the therapist will review what techniques were taught during the session and how they can be carried over at home and school across the week. Our groups are highly individualized and carefully formed to be certain each group member will benefit. We group clients with same-age peers that function similarly based on perspective taking level, processing speed, ability to attend, and a host of other factors. Our groups have no more than 4 clients, which allows our therapists to create a curriculum for each group based on their particular social cognitive needs.
In addition to our purposeful and meticulous grouping process, our groups are also unique in that we actively teach students to think about how to think about others and how others think of them (take perspective). We also work on organizational, problem solving skills and forming social relationships. All of these skills can be worked on in isolation, but are more powerful when a student is guided to see how the skills are interwoven. Humor is also an important component of our program.
The Informal Social Thinking Dynamic Assessment Protocol (ISTDAP), developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, is a means of identifying and quantifying in real-time a student’s social competencies as well as connecting the dots between a student’s social learning abilities and possibly related academic strengths and weaknesses. The ISTDAP is not intended to be a diagnostic tool; instead it’s to be used with people who have already been identified as having a social skills problem but the team is unclear where to start in the treatment process or how deeply they are impacted socially.
ISTDAPs (our assessment) are usually scheduled concurrently with clinical trainings, in which a group of professionals gathers in our clinic to learn the Social Thinking process. The assessment will be observed through a two-way mirror and participants would typically have no knowledge that they are being observed.
Embedded Social Thinking School Trainings are usually individually designed programs, which allow for a therapist to work directly with a small group of special educators within a school district, cooperative or collaborative. The trainings can span 5 sessions or run across an entire school year. The embedded school trainings are best utilized when the participants have already attended a couple of larger, more general Social Thinking conference days. The participants can then work with their trainers from our Social Thinking clinics to delve into specific information that is unique for their community and culture.
Meet the Staff
Social Thinking - Stevens CreekRandi received her Bachelors and Masters Degree in Speech Pathology from California State University, Northridge. She became a part of the team at Michelle G. Winner’s Center For Social Thinking Inc. in 2003. Prior to working at for Social Thinking she worked for 3 years for the San Leandro Unified School District. Her caseload at SLUSD included working with students on the autism spectrum, including those with Asperger Syndrome, students with speech and language and learning disabilities. Her responsibilities include: overseeing and managing the talented Social Thinking therapy team, running social thinking groups, staff training, school observations & consultations, school district trainings on various topics related to social thinking and co-trainer to other professionals that participate in the Mentorship Program at the clinic. Randi specializes in the complexities of anxiety and social deficits. She is a passionate and dynamic therapist who has a real gift for breaking down and explaining complex concepts to students, parents, staff and professionals. Her dynamic smile and wealth of creativity are a tremendous asset to the clinic.
Social Thinking - Stevens CreekRyan received her bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in art therapy and master's degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Arizona. While at the U of A, Ryan met Dr. Pam Crooke, who introduced her to the unpredictable, quirky world of social thinking. Having grown up with a close family friend with Asperger Syndrome, the lessons resonated strongly with her. Ryan led social cognitive groups throughout graduate school, and together with Pam, authored a published journal article discussing results of a pilot study examining the efficacy of social thinking therapy. Following graduation, Ryan continued implementing social thinking principles in the Tucson community with preschoolers through adolescents. When opportunity knocked, she followed Pam west to the Center for Social Thinking in December of 2007. Ryan's artistic and creative talents allow her to present lessons in a visual, fun, and engaging manner. She spends her free time reading, thinking about practicing yoga, and exploring the bay area and has an unexplainable affinity for elephants, especially pink ones!
Social Thinking - Stevens CreekAllison came to Social Thinking Stevens Creek from Tucson, AZ after a nomadic childhood that included living in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the West Indies, and Canada. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Anthropology, and a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Arizona. During that time, Allison was introduced to Social Thinking by Dr. Pam Crooke. Although after graduation, she went on to work with the geriatric population in the hospital setting, Allison later returned to the intriguing world of Social Thinking. In Tucson, she worked for Chapel Haven West, a residential transition program for young adults focusing on independent living and social communication skills, and the Tucson Alliance for Autism, where she facilitated the Life Skills and Social Communication program for adolescents and young adults. The stars aligned in 2012 when Allison had the opportunity to move to San Jose and once again work with Pam Crooke and fellow UA grad school survivor Ryan Hendrix and the team at Social Thinking Stevens Creek. Allison is able to use her knowledge and experience with life skills and transition programs to develop functional, individualized strategies for the real world. After 12 years in the Sonoran desert, she spends her free time outside appreciating the temperate bay area climate.
Social Thinking - Stevens CreekAshlee completed her bachelor's degree in Psycholinguistics and History at the University of Southern California and her master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology at Vanderbilt University. Ashlee began her career in speech language pathology at a school for autism in Southern California. After working with her high functioning students, she realized that the traditional approaches to social therapy weren't having the positive effects her students deserved and she found her way to Social Thinking. After bringing social thinking into the classroom for elementary and middle school students, Ashlee realized her passion lay in the world of social cognitive disorders. Given the opportunity to specialize in social thinking full time, Ashlee moved up to the Bay area in the summer of 2013 and couldn't have asked for better families and students to work with. When not working, Ashlee spends her free time enjoying theater, music and dance and trying to be outside as much as possible!
Social Thinking - Stevens CreekJanie came to Social Thinking-Steven’s Creek from Southern California. She received a Bachelor's degree in Psychobiology from UCLA, and a Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from San Diego State University. She was introduced to the world of social communication when a close relative was diagnosed with high functioning autism. Interning with ABA and DTT therapists, she began to use behavioral-based methods but soon felt limited by the constraints of these methods for higher-functioning children. After hearing one of Michelle Winner’s talks in 2003, Janie immediately became intrigued with the concept of social cognition. Since then, she has continued to follow the Social Thinking curriculum. After graduating, she worked for the San Diego Unified School District and Social Communication Specialists, leading social cognitive groups for middle and high school students. When a position opened at Social Thinking in 2012, she jumped at the opportunity. Janie is passionate about helping her students to understand and navigate the social world around them. She spends her free time taking advantage of the outdoor adventures that the bay area has to offer.
Social Thinking - Stevens Creek
Lisa was born and raised in the Bay Area. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communicative Disorders and Sciences and graduated from San Jose State University with a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology. During graduate school, her professor, Dr. Pamela Crooke, presented her an offer she could not pass up. She was given the rare opportunity of interning with the Social Thinking staff as a student. Lisa was trained extensively under Dr. Crooke, Ryan Hendrix, and Stephanie Madrigal and has continued her training here at Social Thinking Stevens Creek. Working with these talented women exposed her to an eclectic social thinking therapy style. Upon completion of her internship, she was offered a position as a full-time social cognitive therapist. Lisa is known around the office as “lightning,” due to her quick ability to adapt and adjust to various situations. She has been an integral part of our team since 2011. When Lisa is not working, she enjoys spending time outside with her husband, her children, and their dogs.
Social Thinking - Stevens Creek
Linda was born and raised in New England. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Boston College studying Human Development with a minor in French, and she earned her Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders at Pennsylvania State University. Linda has spent the majority of her career working in a public school setting helping students with a range of communication needs access the general education curriculum and advance their speech-language skills. She was introduced to Social Thinking in 2010, and since then, teaching students how to improve their social cognitive and emotional regulation skills has become one of Linda’s passions. In addition to teaching individual students, small group and whole class lessons, she also facilitated a school-wide adoption of Social Thinking concepts to provide a common language and set of social-emotional expectations for all students. Linda loves being a part of the positive changes that occur once learners realize their power of adapting to social situations and impacting the thoughts and feelings of others. In her spare time, Linda loves eating good food with friends, watching classic movies, paddle boarding, and taking her bike out for a ride!
Social Thinking - Stevens Creek
Andi grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Linguistics from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She then went on to receive her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After her short Big 10 tour, Andi returned to Chicago to work as a Speech-Language Pathologist. She has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics, private practices, schools, as well as therapeutic summer camps. She realized that what she loved the most in each setting was creating treatment plans incorporating social language and self-regulation strategies. It was during her job at a high school where she continued to develop her passion for working with students struggling with social learning challenges. While there, she consistently used Social Thinking strategies to support students as they navigated the complex social world of high school. In 2016, Andi was given the opportunity to move across the country to work for Social Thinking, full time. She is so excited to immerse herself in the world of Social Thinking and explore the Bay Area! In her free time, Andi loves spending time with family and friends, running and practicing yoga, traveling, and exploring her new city.
Social Thinking - Stevens Creek
Elsa is a Social Cognitive Therapy Assistant at Social Thinking Stevens Creek and a Speech Language Pathology Assistant at a private pediatric speech clinic in Cupertino. Elsa received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied sociology, psychology, child development and theater. She has always been fascinated with human communication in various contexts. She received her Post- Baccalaureate Certificate in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Chapman University.
Before becoming a Speech Language Pathology Assistant, Elsa was an award-winning actress, working in comedy, improvisation, and theater for young audiences. She finds this experience allows insights into understanding social communication and the powerful concepts of Social Thinking. Her overarching motivation in social learning therapy is to help people of all ages with social cognitive challenges experience the joy of connection and effective communication.
Michelle Garcia Winner
M.A., CCC-SLP, Social Cognitive Specialist, CEO & Founder of Social Thinking
Social Thinking - Santa ClaraMichelle Garcia Winner specializes in working with students with social learning challenges. She runs a clinic, has authored numerous books and speaks internationally. She coined the term Social Thinking and pioneered the related treatment approach. She was awarded a Congressional Certificate of Special Recognition in 2008.
Ph.D., CCC-SLP Social Cognitive Specialist
Social Thinking - Santa ClaraDr. Pamela Crooke is part of the clinical team at Social Thinking Santana Row as well as a faculty member of San Jose State University in San Jose, California. She served as a clinical faculty member at the University of Arizona's Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences for a number of years where she taught in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorders and management of pediatric communication disorders. She most recently coordinated the interdisciplinary clinical services at the Autism Extension Clinic within the Tucson Alliance for Autism. Her area of research interest is treatment efficacy in social and relational therapies for individuals with Autism, specifically Asperger Syndrome. Dr. Crooke has remained a direct service provider for children and adults with autism in the school for the past 16 years and has presented her work on a regional and national level.