Think Social! is a core Social Thinking curriculum book and complements Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME. The book provides step-by-step methods for teaching social-cognitive and -communicative skills to students who have these challenges that affect their school and home life. Students and adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger's Syndrome, nonverbal learning disability, ADHD and similar difficulties, diagnosed and undiagnosed, have benefited from these methods. As a complementary book to the Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME curriculum, Think Social! sequences through eight chapters and 69 lessons that teach students the basics of working and thinking in a group. Each chapter addresses how to use and interpret language (verbal and nonverbal) to understand the contexts where real communication happens. The lessons span from kindergarten through adulthood. Teachers, parents, therapists and other caregivers are encouraged to modify activities to better fit the age of the students. Keep in mind, though, that the most basic activities are often necessary for even our brightest, most advanced and oldest students! The book offers strategies for K-12 - and into adulthood.
In the second printing (2008), all IEP (Individualized Education Plan) goals and related standards reviewed in the book are included on a CD with each book for easy printing. A small section also notes how Think Social! is becoming an "evidence-based practice," as required by No Child Left Behind, because The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders has published research based on the teachings of this book, with more research underway.
Lessons in Think Social! begin by encouraging students and their caregivers to learn the Social Thinking Vocabulary and to explore developing self-awareness through analysis of video clips of their groups' therapy. A summary of each chapter provides caregivers the relevant Social Thinking Vocabulary that they can use during "teachable moments" as they occur through the day. Each chapter concludes with individualized education plan (IEP) goal suggestions to reinforce the concepts introduced. Each chapter also provides a list of educational standards, tying Social Thinking directly to the academics of the classroom. The curriculum provides a comprehensive introduction to guide people through its use, applying it to developing social thinking groups and the core social-thinking philosophy.
The introduction sections include: "The Four Steps of Communication," "The Four Steps of Perspective Taking," "Where is the scientific evidence for the information in this curriculum" and "Can this curriculum be used for students who are not on the autism spectrum or not labeled with NLD, ADHD, etc."
The curriculum is designed to assist children across school ages and adults (young and old) with the following diagnoses, but is not limited to any diagnosis:
- Asperger Syndrome
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
- High-Functioning Autism
- Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
- Nonverbal Learning Disability (NLD or NVLD)