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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.


Does my child or adult need to be assessed by someone at the clinic prior to determining his or her “fit” in treatment groups? 

No. We ask new families to share with us recent educational and neuropsychological reports, if any exist. We also have a family member or the client write us a letter explaining the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses related to their social skills. Typically we are able to figure out a student’s level of their social mind from this information. If not, we then contact the family or adult individual and speak to them on the phone or arrange to meet them for free for a 15-minute “meet and greet” to better understand the person’s social functioning.

What are Informal Social Thinking Dynamic 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. The ISTDAP was created after Michelle grew increasingly frustrated with the limitations of standardized testing, namely that they are unable to currently measure a student’s true social competencies.

 

The ISTDAP consists of a number of non-standardized tasks which were first introduced through Michelle’s book, Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME. These user-friendly assessment tasks help to more quickly identify a student's social learning ability to interpret and respond to social stimuli in the moment of interaction. The assessment tasks also explore Theory of Mind, Executive Functioning and concepts related to Central Coherence. Since information about this informal assessment process was first published, the tasks and related philosophy have received very positive reviews from a range of professionals (psychologists, counselors, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, behaviorists, educators, etc.).

 

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. Click this link for more information about Social Thinking Clinical Trainings.

Waiting List

While anyone can read about these assessment concepts in the book, Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME, only therapists who have sought specific training to demonstrate mastery over this informal dynamic assessment process are permitted to provide assessments to clients in our communities. Therefore, not all clinicians working for our licensed Social Thinking clinics provide these assessments. In fact, the majority is not yet fully trained. Hence, both Social Thinking Boston and Social Thinking-Santa Clara, the two sites that provide this assessment process, have waiting lists.
To be placed on our waiting list please contact

Vanessa Alcantar at Social Thinking-Santa Clara 408-557-8595 valcantar@socialthinking.com 

Jill Day at Social Thinking Boston (Sudbury, Ma) 978-610-6603 jday@socialthinkingboston.com