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Getting Started

“Where do I start with Social Thinking?” It’s a frequent question we hear from people wanting to learn more about our teaching philosophy and our materials. The following Q&A addresses some of the common questions we receive by various age groups.

All Ages

Where do I start using your materials if I am a parent or professional?

We have lumped these two questions together because all of our products can be used by any interested adult caregiver, family member or by a range of professionals. This is a difficult question to answer all by itself in any simple way. Much of our treatment information relates to the developmental age and the “level of the social mind” of a child or student. Please see the next question to get you started thinking about our core information. You will find other questions that target working with students in specific age groups.

 

What materials help me better understand its core philosophy and related treatment strategies?

You will want to start with our Core products. The information in these books spans all different age groups and provides core information for broad use.

I have a limited budget and want to learn about Social Thinking in general. What one book would you recommend?

It depends on the type of information you are seeking. Here are some suggestions:

 

  • Called “the Social Thinking Bible” by our community, Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME, 2nd edition (Winner,  2007) is terrific for a general introduction to Social Thinking. It explains how to get started with creating ideas for treatment planning and meaningful ways to assess a student’s social competencies.
  • If you are attending an IEP meeting, advocating for more sophisticated social emotional learning treatment interventions, teaching a university course, are an administrator or just trying to understand how teaching Social Thinking is different from teaching basic social skills, the best book to read is Why Teach Social Thinking? Questioning Our Assumptions About What It Means to Learn Social Skills (Winner,  2013). You will find this book provides a wealth of information as well as demonstrates how Social Thinking’s treatments are tied to the research.
  • If you are a mainstream teacher or program administrator devoted to better understanding the social learning challenges of our students throughout the school day, the best book to read is Inside Out: What Makes a Person with Social Cognitive Deficits Tick? (Winner,  2000). This book outlines the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking, describes the social-academic connection, and provides many strategies along with some worksheets that teach you how to break down social learning concepts.

 

I work with children of different ages who get frustrated easily and don’t seem to be able to calm down quickly. What can you recommend to help them learn about emotion control?

The Zones of Regulation® (Kuypers, 2011) can be helpful for parents and professionals working and living with children across the ages. It helps children learn to recognize and organize their emotions by associating them with four different colored “zones.” The curriculum also teaches sensory and social cognitive strategies to help students learn how to help themselves better regulate their emotions within one zone or another.

 

My students really enjoy learning through games. Has Social Thinking published a game?

Dominique Baudry is a special education teacher with a strong interest in helping students with social learning challenges learn more about the social world. She created the game Should I or Shouldn’t I: What Would Others Think?™ to encourage Social Thinking and social problem solving. This is a perspective-taking card game, where students discuss and vote, on a scale from 1-5, the appropriateness of a specific behavior in a specific situation. The students who vote in agreement with each other win a point, helping to teach the idea that we all have a collective opinion about how we feel about what people do or say. The game was first released in a version for middle and high school students; it was so well received we released a version for elementary school students.

  

Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME

Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME

 

Called “the Social Thinking Bible” by our community, Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME, 2nd edition (Winner,  2007) is terrific for a general introduction to Social Thinking. It explains how to get started with creating ideas for treatment planning and meaningful ways to assess a student’s social competencies.

Why Teach Social Thinking?

 Why Teach Social Thinking?

 

If you are attending an IEP meeting, advocating for more sophisticated social emotional learning treatment interventions, teaching a university course, are an administrator or just trying to understand how teaching Social Thinking is different from teaching basic social skills, the best book to read is Why Teach Social Thinking? Questioning Our Assumptions About What It Means to Learn Social Skills (Winner,  2013). You will find this book provides a wealth of information as well as demonstrates how Social Thinking’s treatments are tied to the research.


 

Inside Out: What Makes a Person with Social Cognitive Deficits Tick?

 Inside Out: What Makes a Person with Social Cognitive Deficits Tick?

 

If you are a mainstream teacher or program administrator devoted to better understanding the social learning challenges of our students throughout the school day, the best book to read is Inside Out: What Makes a Person with Social Cognitive Deficits Tick? (Winner,  2000). This book outlines the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking, describes the social-academic connection, and provides many strategies along with some worksheets that teach you how to break down social learning concepts.


 

The Zones of Regulation

 
 The Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation® (Kuypers, 2011) can be helpful for parents and professionals working and living with children across the ages. It helps children learn to recognize and organize their emotions by associating them with four different colored “zones.” The curriculum also teaches sensory and social cognitive strategies to help students learn how to help themselves better regulate their emotions within one zone or another.


 

Should I or Shouldn't I

Elementary School Edition

Should I or Shouldn't I Elementary School Edition

          High School Edition

Should I or Shouldn't I Middle & High School Edition

Dominique Baudry is a special education teacher with a strong interest in helping students with social learning challenges learn more about the social world. She created the game Should I or Shouldn’t I: What Would Others Think?™ to encourage Social Thinking and social problem solving. This is a perspective-taking card game, where students discuss and vote, on a scale from 1-5, the appropriateness of a specific behavior in a specific situation. The students who vote in agreement with each other win a point, helping to teach the idea that we all have a collective opinion about how we feel about what people do or say. The game was first released in a version for middle and high school students; it was so well received we released a version for elementary school students.

 

Early Learners (4 - 7 yrs)

I work with preschool age students who have a lot of language but don’t seem to work or play well in groups. Where do I start?

Our Social Thinking treatment materials are developed for students as young as four years old who have solid to strong language and academic learning abilities. You will want to start with The Incredible Flexible You® Curriculum Set, Volume 1 (Hendrix, Palmer, Tarshis & Winner, 2013). This product is designed for use with all students age four to seven in full inclusion education and is equally applicable to specialized treatment programs for students with social learning challenges. It provides a multi-sensory social learning experience through our curriculum, set of five storybooks and music CD. The materials highlight five core Social Thinking concepts in this Volume, with an additional five concepts and curriculum to be introduced in Volume 2, due out in Winter , 2016.  

Two other books that can be used in conjunction with The Incredible Flexible You. They compliment and expand upon aspects of these core lessons: 

 

  • We Can Make It Better Stories (Delsandro, 2010).  This book does a terrific job teaching in detail how our actions and words can affect another person’s thoughts and feelings. It  explores how we treat each other based on how we think and feel. Children are encouraged to problem solve how to change their responses to alter how they make others think and feel.
  • Whole Body Listening Larry at School (Sautter & Wilson, 2011). This charming book written in rhyme helps teach all children how we listen with far more than our ears!

 

My child is in preschool and he is highly verbal but doesn’t play well with others. As a parent, where do I start?

If you are interested in directly teaching your child at home using our Social Thinking materials, we encourage you to read the previous question and answer. 

If your child’s teacher or professional is teaching from The Incredible Flexible You, and you want to support what your child is learning through this curriculum, you can purchase the five storybook set by itself. The storybooks are at the center of teaching the pivotal Social Thinking concepts introduced in The Incredible Flexible You curriculum. You might also purchase The Incredible Flexible You Music CD with 12 songs that further reinforce the concepts introduced in Volumes 1 and 2.

Other related materials you may find helpful for use at home with young learners (4-7 years old) include:

  • Whole Body Listening Larry at Home (Wilson & Sautter, 2011). Written in rhyme and in several different “away from school” settings, this charming book teaches children that we listen with far more than our ears everywhere we go!
  • Developed by parents, the following three simple yet adorable  coloring books compliment  a key Social Thinking concept we teach: think with your eyes!

The Incredible Flexible You

The Incredible Flexible You Deluxe

 

This product is designed for use with all students age four to seven in full inclusion education and is equally applicable to specialized treatment programs for students with social learning challenges. It provides a multi-sensory social learning experience through our curriculum, set of five storybooks and music CD. The materials highlight five core Social Thinking concepts in this Volume, with an additional five concepts and curriculum to be introduced in Volume 2, due out in Spring, 2016.


Whole Body Listening Larry at Home

 Whole Body Listening Larry at Home

 

 

Written in rhyme and in several different “away from school” settings, this charming book teaches children that we listen with far more than our ears everywhere we go!


Whole Body Listening Larry at School

 Whole Body Listening Larry at School

 

 

This charming book written in rhyme helps teach all children how we listen with far more than our ears!


 
 

We Can Make it Better!

 

   
 We Can Make it Better!

 

This book does a terrific job teaching in detail how our actions and words can affect another person’s thoughts and feelings. It  explores how we treat each other based on how we think and feel. Children are encouraged to problem solve how to change their responses to alter how they make others think and feel.

 


Developed by parents, the following three simple yet adorable  coloring books compliment  a key Social Thinking concept we teach:


Eye Power Volume 1


Eye Power Volume 2

Keeping Calm

Eye Power Volume One
Eye Power Volume Two
Keeping Calm

Elementary School

The children I work with are 2nd graders or older. I want materials to use directly with them. Where do I start?

Start with You Are A Social Detective! (Winner & Crooke, 2008). This book is great on two fronts. First, it  defines and helps teach our core Social Thinking Vocabulary. Second, it encourages all readers (children and adults) to recognize the importance of teaching social observational “detective” skills to help them advance their social learning and related social skills. Take your time teaching concepts from this book! Then expand upon these concepts by using our larger core curriculum: Think Social: A Social Thinking Curriculum for School-Age Students (Winner, 2005).  One of the core tenets of Social Thinking is teaching students to engage in social learning before teaching or expecting a student to learn improved self-control or self-regulation (i.e., better social behaviors).

 

Superflex®… A SuperHero Social Thinking Curriculum (Madrigal & Winner, 2008).  This comic book and curriculum package, with its kid-friendly characters and highly motivating set of strategies, has captured widespread attention in schools across the U.S. But it is NOT the place to start with our students, which is why we recommend starting with You Are A Social Detective. After your students have a solid working knowledge of core Social Thinking teachings, then move on to Superflex. The Superflex curriculum is designed to teach children more self-awareness and self-regulation around specific social emotional and sensory challenges they may experience. After working with the curriculum, there are many other Superflex-related products to try out. These include teaching comic books, games, and visual cueing cards that extend the teachings of Superflex.

 

You are a Social Detective

You are a Social Detective!

 

This book is great on two fronts. First, it  defines and helps teach our core Social Thinking Vocabulary. Second, it encourages all readers (children and adults) to recognize the importance of teaching social observational “detective” skills to help them advance their social learning and related social skills. Take your time teaching concepts from this book! 

Think Social! A Social Thinking Curriculum for School-Age Students

 Think Social! A Social Thinking Curriculum for School-Age Students with CD

 

 

Once you have started with You are a Social Detective - expand upon these concepts by using our larger core curriculum: Think Social: A Social Thinking Curriculum for School Age Students (Winner, 2005).  One of the core tenets of Social Thinking is teaching students to engage in social learning before teaching or expecting a student to learn improved self-control or self-regulation (i.e., better social behaviors).

Superflex

 Superflex: A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum Package

 

This comic book and curriculum package, with its kid-friendly characters and highly motivating set of strategies, has captured widespread attention in schools across the U.S. But it is NOT the place to start with our students, which is why we recommend starting with You Are A Social Detective. After your students have a solid working knowledge of core Social Thinking teachings, then move on to Superflex. The Superflex curriculum is designed to teach children more self-awareness and self-regulation around specific social emotional and sensory challenges they may experience. After working with the curriculum, there are many other Superflex-related products to try out. These include teaching comic books, games and visual cueing cards that extend the teachings of Superflex.

Middle School

I teach in a middle school and with students who have benefited from your Social Detective and Superflex materials. They no longer want to play with cartoon characters in their learning—what’s next?

Social Fortune and Social Fate (Crooke & Winner, 2011) is a graphic novel that teaches our students about social responsibility. Students learn how we interpret and respond to each others’ behaviors whether that ends up being good or bad! In this book we also help students understand the power of reading the hidden rules in any situation. Through this book we provide an age-appropriate way for students to learn about one of Social Thinking’s core teaching concepts, Social Behavior Mapping (Winner, 2007).

 

Social Thinking Thinksheets for Tweens and Teens (Winner, 2011).  This book of mini-lesson plans is curriculum-like in how the thinksheets are ordered. The easier concepts are embedded in thinksheets (which look like worksheets) toward the start of the book and the more complex concepts are placed in the middle and end of the book. We use thinksheets with students to explore specific concepts, encourage each student to personally respond to the information presented to help them better understand how these concepts relate to them personally. The thinksheets also encourage less talkative kids to find their voice by participating in more structured social learning activities. Parents and professionals can then encourage students to learn and practice social skills related to each of the lessons taught in the book.

 

Social Fortune or Social Fate

Social Fortune or Social Fate

 

Social Fortune and Social Fate is a graphic novel that teaches our students about social responsibility. Students learn how we interpret and respond to each others’ behaviors whether that ends up being good or bad! In this book we also help students understand the power of reading the hidden rules in any situation. Through this book we provide an age-appropriate way for students to learn about one of Social Thinking’s core teaching concepts, Social Behavior Mapping (Winner, 2007).

Social Thinking Thinksheets for Tweens and Teens

 Social Thinking Thinksheets for Tweens and Teens

 

This book of mini-lesson plans is curriculum-like in how the thinksheets are ordered. The easier concepts are embedded in thinksheets (which look like worksheets) toward the start of the book and the more complex concepts are placed in the middle and end of the book. We use thinksheets with students to explore specific concepts, encourage each student to personally respond to the information presented to help them better understand how these concepts relate to them personally. The thinksheets also encourage less talkative kids to find their voice by participating in more structured social learning activities. Parents and professionals can then encourage students to learn and practice social skills related to each of the lessons taught in the book.

High School

I have a son who is in high school. What products can I recommend to my IEP team that we can also use at home?

My colleague Pam Crooke and I specialize in teens, transition to adulthood, and living as an adult. For our students who are 14-21 years old, we wrote the book Socially Curious and Curiously Social (Winner & Crooke, 2011). The book is written in “teen-speak” to encourage our students to read it themselves. It is our best writing for schoo- age students about the social-emotional connection. In addition, we have special chapters on The Friendship Peer-a-Mid, dealing with social anxiety, and questions kids have about flirting, dating, etc. This award-winning book has been adopted by many classrooms. It helps students with social learning challenges better understand what’s going on with them and their peers as social expectations become increasingly complex with age. If you don’t think your student will read it, we encourage adults (parents and professionals) to read it, as the straightforward explanations will provide you with ways to describe these issues to your students.

 

Social Fortune and Social Fate (Crooke & Winner, 2011) is a graphic novel that teaches our students about social responsibility. Students learn how we interpret and respond to each others’ behaviors whether that ends up being good or bad! In this book we also help students understand the power of reading the hidden rules in any situation. Through this book we provide an age-appropriate way for students to learn about one of Social Thinking’s core teaching concepts, Social Behavior Mapping.

 

Social Thinking Thinksheets for Tweens and Teens (Winner, 2011). This book of mini-lesson plans is curriculum-like in how the thinksheets are ordered. The easier concepts are embedded in thinksheets (which look like worksheets) toward the start of the book and the more complex concepts are placed in the middle and end of the book. We use thinksheets with students to explore specific concepts, encourage each student to personally respond to the information presented to help them better understand how these concepts relate to them personally. The thinksheets also encourage less talkative kids to find their voice by participating in more structured social learning activities. Parents and professionals can then encourage students to learn and practice social skills related to each of the lessons taught in the book.

 

Socially Curious and Curiously Social

Socially Curious and Curiously Social

 

The book is written in “teen-speak” to encourage our students to read it themselves. It is our best writing for schoo- age students about the social-emotional connection. In addition, we have special chapters on The Friendship Peer-a-Mid, dealing with social anxiety, and questions kids have about flirting, dating, etc. This award-winning book has been adopted by many classrooms. It helps students with social learning challenges better understand what’s going on with them and their peers as social expectations become increasingly complex with age. If you don’t think your student will read it, we encourage adults (parents and professionals) to read it, as the straightforward explanations will provide you with ways to describe these issues to your students.

Social Fortune or Social Fate

 Social Fortune or Social Fate

 

Social Fortune and Social Fate is a graphic novel that teaches our students about social responsibility. Students learn how we interpret and respond to each others’ behaviors whether that ends up being good or bad! In this book we also help students understand the power of reading the hidden rules in any situation. Through this book we provide an age-appropriate way for students to learn about one of Social Thinking’s core teaching concepts, Social Behavior Mapping (Winner, 2007).

 

Social Thinking Thinksheets for Tweens and Teens

 Social Thinking Thinksheets for Tweens and Teens  

This book of mini-lesson plans is curriculum-like in how the thinksheets are ordered. The easier concepts are embedded in thinksheets (which look like worksheets) toward the start of the book and the more complex concepts are placed in the middle and end of the book. We use thinksheets with students to explore specific concepts, encourage each student to personally respond to the information presented to help them better understand how these concepts relate to them personally. The thinksheets also encourage less talkative kids to find their voice by participating in more structured social learning activities. Parents and professionals can then encourage students to learn and practice social skills related to each of the lessons taught in the book.

Transition to Adult & Adults

My students are transitioning into adulthood and learning about Social Thinking and related skills in vocational situations. Do you have any materials that can help teach these concepts?

Social Thinking At Work: Why Should I Care? (Winner & Crooke, 2011) provides  real-world practical information about the social emotional connection that is alive and well in any work environment, no matter the job. The focus of this book is providing a framework and strategies to help our adult clients/students develop more awareness of the powerful yet subtle social world that surrounds all interactions. This book can be also be read by job coaches, teachers, people in HR departments and managers to help them better understand how they can help make the implicit nature of the social world more explicitly described for everyone’s benefit.

 

My adult daughter is 36. She was always considered eccentric and never diagnosed with a social skills problem. We were told she would grow out of the challenges she exhibited when in school; she didn’t. In fact, she is lonelier now than ever. She also struggles to stay employed, as she tends to make her co-workers irritated in whatever job she has. Do you have any materials that could possibly help?

Social Thinking At Work: Why Should I Care? (Winner & Crooke, 2011) provides  real-world practical information about the social emotional connection that is alive and well in any work environment, no matter the job. The focus of this book is providing systematic frameworks and strategies to help our adults with social learning challenges develop more awareness of the powerful yet subtle social world that surrounds all relationships, even those at work! The book is filled with helpful information to foster one’s Social Thinking and related social skills. It can be also be read by job coaches, teachers, people in HR departments and managers to help them better understand how they can help make the implicit nature of the social world more explicitly described for everyone’s benefit. Parents will also benefit from reading this to help guide their discussions with their adult children.

 


Social Thinking at Work: Why Should I Care?

Social Thinking at Work

 

Social Thinking at Work: Why Should I Care? provides  real-world practical information about the social emotional connection that is alive and well in any work environment, no matter the job. The focus of this book is providing a framework and strategies to help our adult clients/students develop more awareness of the powerful yet subtle social world that surrounds all interactions. This book can be also be read by job coaches, teachers, people in HR departments and managers to help them better understand how they can help make the implicit nature of the social world more explicitly described for everyone’s benefit.