Authors: Michelle Garcia Winner
Note: Social Behavior Mapping is also available in Spanish.
Many individuals do not intuitively understand how their behavior affects other people. Social Behavior Mapping, one of the most popular tools within the Social Thinking Methodology, is a visual flowchart that is used to “map” the consequences of any behavior in any situation – good or bad, and brings to light the perspectives of everyone affected by the behavior. The tool is based on the concept of the Social Emotional Chain Reaction, the idea that how we act affects how others feel, how we make others feel affects how they treat us, how we are treated affects how we feel about others and ultimately - how we feel about ourselves. Social Behavior Mapping and the Social Emotional Chain Reaction is at the foundation of social interaction and is at the heart of what we teach through the Social Thinking Methodology.
This book presents a collection of over 50 Social Behavior Maps that are already filled out for common situations that students experience at school, at home, and in the community. Consider these “cheat sheets” for you when you’re helping a student fill out a blank map. This book is designed for parents and professionals to use with individuals of any age. We have found that for those under 3rd grade it is helpful to fill out the maps with pictures/graphics instead of written words.
Instructions for Completing a Social Behavior Map
Social Behavior Maps can be filled out with a student before they go into a situation to help them better navigate the social scene, or after something has taken place in order to explore all the perspectives of those involved and bring to light why everyone acted as they did.
Social Behavior Maps are designed around the fact that there are two groups of behavior for each situation– behavior that is expected, which gives others good/okay thoughts and cause them to have comfortable or good feelings, and behavior that is unexpected, which gives other uncomfortable thoughts and causes them to have uncomfortable feelings. Using these terms helps students develop self-awareness as they figure out the “hidden rules” of a situation. Make sure the student understands these terms before filling out a map.
When filling out a Social Behavior Map with a student, start with a blank map (again, you can use the completed maps in this book as guides) by completing the Expected section first (this has the smiley face on it). Starting in the column on the left, have the student brainstorm the behaviors and feelings under each column and step in to guide their thinking when necessary.
Expected Behavior (see example image below)
- List the specific situation at hand at the top of the map. For this example, we’ve chosen Working in a Small Group in Class, and we will imagine that we are helping a student named Matt.
- In column one, list the expected set of behaviors that Matt should do when working in a group
- In column two, list how Matt’s behaviors make other people feel. Use emotion words or phrases such as calm, productive, connected to Matt.
- In column three, list how others treat Matt based on how his behaviors made them feel
- In column four, list how Matt feels when being treated that way
Unexpected Behavior (see example image below)
Repeat the process above on the Unexpected page, but this time:
- In column two, list how these unexpected behaviors affect others’ feelings by writing emotion words such as frustrated, annoyed, angry
- In column three, list the related consequences using vocabulary such as: Matt’s classmates will not want to work with him next time, they might be rude to Matt, they won’t think Matt is cool.
- In column four, list Matt’s feelings after experiencing the consequences in column three: Matt feels frustrated and left out.
To learn more about the concept of Social Behavior Mapping, check out the article“Social Behavior Mapping: Connecting Behavior, Emotions, and Consequences Across the Day.
What People are Saying
Tamra Hass - Autism Consultant“Social Behavior Mapping is powerful! It gives our kids the necessary framework to transform a challenging behavior into a teachable moment. I’ve used it often over the past few years and have witnessed many of my students experience a life-changing ‘a-ha’ moment. That is what teaching is all about.”
Kari Dunn Buron - Autism Education Specialist; Author“Michelle Garcia Winner is an expert at recognizing and attending to the core issues of Asperger's Syndrome and social understanding. In this book, Michelle introduces a simple, predictable, and systematic method of teaching students to better understand how their behavior impacts how other people think about them. This method is a great example of how one can use black and white systems to objectively teach sensitive social realities.”
Andrea Walker - SLP, Administrator S.U.C.S.E.S.S. Project of Orange County, CA“Don’t we all like to know where we’re going? And how we will know we have reached our destination? Sometimes a good map is all we need! Michelle and her staff have created some much-needed roadmaps to understanding for individuals who face challenges in their daily social situations. Practical, insightful, and functional... A real ‘read and use it now’ book! This is a great next addition to her materials on Social Thinking®.”
ProfessionAdult/Individual, Behaviorist, Mental Health (counselor, social worker, psych), Occupational Therapist (and PT), Parent, Speech Language Pathologist, Teacher (Sp.Ed. and Gen.Ed.)
AgeCore Titles Across All Ages, Grades 3-5, Middle School, High School, Transition to Adult, Adult
Diagnostic LabelAttention Issues (ADD/ADHD), Anxiety, Asperger's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Language or Learning Disability, Nonverbal Learning Disability, Social Communication Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Other
Social Thinking & Social SkillsCommon Core & State Standards, Concepts & Frameworks, PBIS/RTI, Self Regulation, Social Responsibility & Executive Functioning, Social Academic Connection & Goal Writing, Social Emotional & Mental Health, Social Problem Solving, Social Skill Strategies
- Published: 2007
- Publisher: Think Social Publishing, Inc.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 108
- ISBN: 9780979292200
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