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Social Thinking Clinics

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Social Thinking Clinics

About our Clinics

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.

 

We have two sister clinics in California, 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 clinic based on their availability and their treatment needs.

 

Our Boston clinic opened in 2012 with Michelle's endorsement and under the direction of Nancy Clements, a social cognitive therapist and member of Social Thinking Training and Speaker's Collaborative. Social Thinking Boston provides therapy to clients in the New England area, as well as training for our professionals. For clinical services in the New England area please visit the Boston Clinic website directly.      

Visit Boston Clinic Website

 

Clinical Services (San Jose & Santa Clara, California)

Clinical Treatment

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.

 

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Assessment

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.

 

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Summer Programs

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.

 

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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.

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About Our San Jose & Santa Clara, CA Clinics

Michelle Garcia Winner, the founder of Social Thinking® and Social Thinking-Stevens Creek, managed the clinic for many years until the demand on her time to speak at conferences and produce more treatment materials increased. In 2008 she donated her clinic (Social Thinking-Stevens Creek) to her employees to encourage them to keep this larger organization open for the community in spite of Michelle’s inability to continue to run this large a clinic. Working closely with Dr. Pamela Crooke, Michelle moved the Think Social Publishing business office and their “very small Social Thinking clinic” to Santa Row, in San Jose and now permanently to Saratoga Ave. in Santa Clara, Ca. This mini-clinic permits Michelle and Pam to continue to engage in their own clinical work without having to manage a large caseload or clinic.

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

Services

Clinical Treatment

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.

 

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Assessments

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.

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School Training

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.

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Summer Programs

Explore cutting edge approaches to enhance the development of social competence for individuals age 4 through adulthood diagnosis with Asperger Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, Nonverbal Learning Disability, AD/HD and undiagnosed individuals. Sessions are individualized to the participants needs and creatively taught using the Social Thinking® concepts and lessons now applied internationally and developed by the founder, Michelle Garcia Winner. Students learn social thinking and related skills in a small group (2-4 students) or individual therapy environment that is supportive, thought provoking and developmentally appropriate.  When possible and appropriate, students are also provided opportunities to practice social thinking and related skills in less structured larger group activities.
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Meet the Staff

Randi Dodge

Randi Dodge

CCC-SLP Director

Social Thinking - Stevens Creek

Randi 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.
ryan hendrix

Ryan Hendrix

M.S., CCC-SLP

Social Thinking - Stevens Creek

Ryan 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!
Allison King

Allison King

M.S., CCC-SLP

Social Thinking - Stevens Creek

Allison 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.
Ashlee Welday

Ashlee Welday

M.S., CCC-SLP

Social Thinking - Stevens Creek

Ashlee 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!
Caitlin Zeien

Caitlin Zeien

SLP

Social Thinking - Stevens Creek

Caitlin comes to Social Thinking - Stevens Creek from Chicago, Illinois. She received her undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University and her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Kansas. Caitlin worked for over a decade at a multidisciplinary clinic in Chicago, serving children of all ages and their families. She went to her first Social Thinking conference in 2012 and was hooked! Caitlin was excited to join the team at Social Thinking - Steven's Creek in 2018 where she could focus on helping individuals and their families integrate the Social Thinking tools and strategies into their everyday lives. Now living in the Bay Area, Caitlin is excited to explore California!
Molly Ramassini

Molly Ramassini

SLP

Social Thinking - Stevens Creek

Molly grew up in Naples, FL where she lived until she moved to Gainesville, FL to attend the University of Florida. Afterward, she pursued her Master's degree in Communication Science and Disorders with a specialization in autism from Florida State University. Molly decided after living in the Florida heat for her whole life, she wanted a change and moved to Boston. There, she had the opportunity to intern with a clinic that focused primarily on social cognitive development where she was introduced to Social Thinking concepts as a treatment tool. Following that, she worked as a speech-language pathologist at a private practice that served children with a range of disabilities. She was able to explore use of the Social Thinking methodology with early learners between the ages of 4-7. Molly jumped at the opportunity to join the team at Social Thinking - Stevens Creek in 2017! Now living in the Bay area, Molly loves hiking, trying new restaurants around town, and traveling around her new state.
Alanna Dutra

Alanna Dutra

MS, SLP

Social Thinking - Stevens Creek

Alanna completed her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology at Humboldt State University and her Master’s Degree in speech-language pathology at San Jose State University. She has worked in a variety of settings and with ages ranging from preschoolers to adults. Alanna chose to specialize in social cognition after seeing various traditional approaches left a gap in her clients' abilities to find real, meaningful success outside of the therapy room. She is passionate about helping those she works with build a strong foundation of social competence to enable them to make true progress in all aspects of their lives. Alanna is thrilled to be a part of the Social Thinking team and grateful for the clients and families she serves at the clinic. When not working, Alanna enjoys travel, reading, vegetarian cooking, theater, games, and spending time with her husband and pets.
michelle garcia winner

Michelle Garcia Winner

M.A., CCC-SLP, Social Cognitive Specialist, CEO & Founder of Social Thinking

Social Thinking - Santa Clara

Michelle 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.
pamela crooke

Pamela Crooke

Ph.D., CCC-SLP Social Cognitive Specialist

Social Thinking - Santa Clara

Dr. 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.

Clinic Service Rates

Social Thinking Santa Clara and Social Thinking Stevens Creek are independent businesses. Billing/Invoicing specific to each company will be explained upon placement in a group. We do not sign contracts with insurance companies, nor do we accept payment directly from insurance companies.
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