Pamela Crooke

PhD, CCC-SLP, Chief Strategy Officer

Pamela J. Crooke is the Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Research, Content, Clinical Services, and the Social Thinking Training & Speakers Collaborative.

Dr. Crooke has co-authored, with Michelle Garcia Winner, five award-winning books related to Social Thinking: Socially Curious and Curiously Social, You Are a Social Detective, Social Fortune or Social Fate, Social Town, and their book geared to adults, Good Intentions Are Not Good Enough. She and Winner collaborate on writing articles and blogs that appear on the Social Thinking website and in a wide array of publications.

Prior to joining the Social Thinking team, she coordinated the Autism interdisciplinary clinical services at the Tucson Alliance for Autism, served as a clinical and academic faculty member of three universities, and worked in the Arizona public schools for 15 years. Pam is a prolific speaker both in North America and abroad, giving workshops, presentations, and training staff on Social Thinking methodology. She has co-authored books for young children and teens including the Autism Society of America Literary Book of the Year in 2012. She is on the board and/or is a member of a wide range of organizations related to autism and speech/language and has been the recipient of several foundation and community grants. In 2011, she received the Outstanding Achievement Award with Co-recipient Michelle Garcia Winner from the California Speech, Language and Hearing Association (CSHA).

Her most recent publications focus on using Practice-based research to examine how educators, mental health specialists, and parents utilize strategies within the Social Thinking methodology. Pam maintains an active clinical practice of both adolescents and adults.

Click here to download Pam's CV

Financial Disclosure

Financial: Pamela Crooke is employed by Think Social Publishing, Inc. as an author/speaker and receives compensation for her presentations. She is also employed by the Social Thinking clinic as a therapist. She receives no royalties for her books or publications.
Non-financial: No relevant non-financial relationship exists.

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Achievement Award, California Speech- Language-Hearing Association (CSHA)

    Outstanding Achievement Award, California Speech- Language-Hearing Association (CSHA)

    California Speech, Language and Hearing Association (CSHA), District 4 – Outstanding Achievement Award to Dr. Pamela Crooke and Michelle Garcia Winner.

  • Tom Jenkins Award Award for Oustanding Clinical Service to Individuals with Autism

    Tom Jenkins Award Award for Oustanding Clinical Service to Individuals with Autism

    Dr. Pamela Crooke received the Tom Jenkins Award for Outstanding Clinical Service to Individuals with Autism – October 2005.

Course Expertise

Social Thinking Across the Home and School Day: The ILAUGH Model (ages 5 - young adult)

Discover an array of concepts and strategies that bolster social learning and help students meet socially based educational standards. Explore the ILAUGH Model of Social Cognition to help break down and make sense of the social world. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning, and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension of literature, organizational skills, and working in a group—and learn strategies to help individuals improve in each of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping. The information taught in this course was developed to help students with social learning challenges, but teachers tell us all students in their classroom benefit from learning these concepts.

The Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies (ages 5 - young adult)

Delve into the mind of a person with social learning challenges! Our Social Thinking Informal Dynamic Assessment includes four unique assessment tasks, shown through video, to uncover how individuals process and respond to social information in real time. Then, learn strategies to improve social competencies to use in treatment plans and/or at home. Finally, explore two core Social Thinking frameworks and strategies for use at home and school: Social Behavior Mapping and the Friendship Pyramid and related ideas for expanding treatment using these tools.

Implementing Social Thinking Concepts and Vocabulary: A Day to Develop Team Creativity (ages 5 - young adult)

Learn more than 20 Social Thinking strategies and three core treatment frameworks to guide individuals to better attend, interpret, problem solve, and respond to social information. Help individuals 1) observe and respond to situations based on the context and determine the “expected” behaviors of each situation, 2) learn core Social Thinking Vocabulary and concepts to encourage social-communicative competence, and 3) discover strategies for teaching self-regulation, executive functioning, emotional understanding, and theory of mind/perspective taking. Work in teams to develop lesson plans to implement new strategies in the home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging course!

To Infinity and Beyond: Preparing Adolescents to Launch into the Real World (ages 11 - young adult)

Adolescence is a complicated time, and it doesn’t help that the social rules continue to change and become more nuanced as we age. Some students are willing learners while others appear resistant to helping themselves. What’s a parent or professional to do? This course translates peer-reviewed published research on adolescent psychology, motivation, self-awareness, cognitive behavioral treatment, social learning challenges, acquiring independence, and more into hands-on strategies, clear frameworks, and concepts you can use immediately. Taking into consideration that the adult world focuses on access rather than success, we’ll explore job coaching strategies for literal-minded students, strategies for becoming more independent, and how interventionists can help prepare our persistently self-protective/resistant students. We’ll also share successful strategies for guiding our more sophisticated students in developing their own public relations and self-management campaigns. This course is packed with information!

Let’s Get Real: Tackling Dilemmas Faced by Adults with Social Learning Challenges (ages 14 - mature adult)

This course is specifically designed to address the needs of adults with social learning challenges who have solid to high language and learning skills to figure out the more nuanced hidden expectations of the work setting. Providing logical tools to make sense of the abstract social world, we focus on strategies to encourage flexible thinking, spontaneous perspective taking, and the role of emotions in meetings as well as when networking with peers—and more. Explore case studies to teach specific concepts and watch video of adults discussing the treatment process. Anxiety, depression, and inflexible thinking and their relationship to social learning will also be explored along with related treatment strategies. This is a compelling and important course!

ZOOMING IN: Strategies for Concrete Learners (ages 5 - young adult)

Using video from treatment sessions, we zoom in on strategies to promote social attention and perspective taking (theory of mind) with individuals who interpret language very literally and struggle to interpret what others think and feel. These more literal-minded students—who may have a diagnosis of autism levels 1 and 2, ADHD, and/or sensory integration challenges—are slow to develop social competencies and exhibit a range of other learning challenges related to their weak socially-based critical thinking. Video-based case studies will offer treatment ideas and show how this type of student evolves in their understanding of the social world as they grow up. Attendees will receive checklists to help differentiate types of social learners and connect social learning to the educational standards. Group treatment ideas for different age groups will also be introduced. Attendees appreciate the practical information shared across the day!

ZOOMING IN: Strategies for Individuals with Subtle but Significant Social Problems (ages 5 - young adult)

Explore the needs of nuance-challenged social communicators who may have diagnoses such as autism levels 1 and 2, ADHD, and social anxiety as well as traits such as perfectionism, being oppositional, etc. Usually in mainstream classes, these individuals struggle with the intricacies of developing social relationships, working through assignments, and engaging in peer-based groups. Learn how even a slight impairment in flexible thinking, emotional understanding of self and others, problem solving, self-advocacy, and nuanced social interpretations can contribute to subtle but significant social challenges. Explore related treatment strategies while also learning tips to motivate students to participate in treatment activities encouraging the development of executive functioning, perspective taking, and emotion management!

Social Detective, Superflex®, and Friends Take On Social-Emotional Learning (ages 5 - 14)

You've asked for this course! Learn how to teach the award-winning You Are a Social Detective! and Superflex curriculum to boost social awareness and self-regulation. We’ll explain the critical scope and sequencing required to teach these materials with fidelity and improve social competencies. These books are designed for elementary school children, but we’ll explain how to modify them for use with older kids. Lessons support Social and Emotional Learning programs (SEL), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and Response to Intervention (RTI). Interactive, creative group activities abound in this conference! Ultimately, learn how to encourage generalization and social learning for a lifetime.

Master Class 1: Exploring Key Social Communication Concepts Through Hands-on Activities (kinder - young adult)

Our master class designed for those familiar with Social Thinking’s core teachings who want to explore hands-on activities for promoting social competencies. Explore the Cascade of Social Thinking and learn how to enhance our students’ social learning by focusing their social attention. Use our observation-based tool to develop a deeper knowledge of treatment needs, consider social interpretation and response, and improve functioning for those with social learning challenges. Video will be used to support teaching strategies, including longitudinal observation of individuals over a 10- to 20-year span. Plus, get tips on IEP goal writing and connecting information to educational standards. This course gets fantastic reviews and routinely sells out around the country!

Speaking In

Recent Articles

I'm Interested in You—Well, Sort Of: Social Anxiety, Face-to-Face Communication, Digital Devices, and the Art of Saying "Hi."

Author(s): Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP and Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP

As digital devices become ever more pervasive in our world, face-to-face interactions are decreasing while social anxiety and depression are increasing. Discover fresh concepts and activities from the Social Thinking Methodology to help everyone (typically-developing and those with social learning challenges) look up from their phones and participate in face-to-face interaction.

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Stand UP with Social Thinking: 12 Strategies Teaching Physical Movement as Part of Face-to-Face Communication

Author(s): Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke

It's important to teach individuals with social learning challenges how communication involves more than an exchange of words—our bodies play an essential role in face to face interactions. Here are tips for how to teach about and incorporate movement into your lessons!

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10 Levels to Living Independently

Author(s): Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke

For many of our clients, living independently (i.e. functioning without ongoing assistance and flexibly responding to daily demands) doesn’t just happen. We’ve developed a strategy based framework called the 10 Levels to Living Independently to help kids and young adults practice 10 essential independence skills before they venture out on their own.

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Social Thinking’s Social Competency Model: Attend-Interpret-Problem Solve-Respond

Author(s): Michelle Garcia Winner, MA CCC-SLP, Founder of Social Thinking and Pamela Crooke, PhD CCC-SLP

The Social Competency Model helps interventionists—parents, teachers, therapists, counselors, and others—understand what it means to teach social competencies. It’s so much more than teaching social skills.

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Think QuAD: A Free-Range Therapist’s Guide to Fidelity and Social Thinking

Author(s): Pamela Crooke, PhD

Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP, Chief Strategy Officer describes what should be considered to teach the Social Thinking Methodology with fidelity. To help you teach our curricula with fidelity, we’re in the process of creating fidelity checklists - one page teaching guidelines - for each Social Thinking curriculum.

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Research to Frameworks to Practice: Social Thinking's Layers of Evidence

Author(s): Dr. Pamela Crooke and Michelle Garcia Winner

We all want to use interventions and practices based on the evidence, but how do we explain the many moving parts and evidence related to Social Thinking? In this article we walk you through how to make connections between research-based theory to Social Thinking’s treatment frameworks to our related strategies and activities. We also address the recent National Standards Project findings, define key components of the Social Thinking methodology, and provide thought-provoking examples of how you can explain that Social Thinking is actively part of evidence-based practices.

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9 Strategies to Encourage Generalization of Social Thinking® Concepts and Related Social Skills

Author(s): Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke

Our goal within treatment is to increase overall social competencies, and not to address, per se, a list of specific skills for specific situations (e.g., sharing toys at home or asking questions during an outing). By focusing on social competency, we are teaching individuals that their own understanding travels with them from place to place. The following is an outline of how to engage in a social learning process that includes and naturally fosters “generalization” across people, time and space.

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I'm Doing Social Thinking - But Where Is The Evidence?

Author(s): Dr. Pamela Crooke and Michelle Garcia Winner

We all want to use interventions and practices based on the evidence, but how do we explain the many moving parts and evidence related to Social Thinking? In this article we walk you through how to make connections between research-based theory to Social Thinking’s treatment frameworks to our related strategies and activities. We also address the recent National Standards Project findings, define key components of the Social Thinking methodology, and provide thought-provoking examples of how you can explain that Social Thinking is actively part of evidence-based practices.

Read More

10 DOs and DON'Ts for Teaching Superflex

Author(s): Pamela Crooke and Michelle Garcia Winner

Superflex® has become super-popular! We have enjoyed hearing from so many people around the world about their love of Superflex and the Team of Unthinkables and Thinkables and the positive effect the Superflex curriculum has on helping individuals become better social thinkers and social problem solvers!

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Adults and Being Social: We're all a Work in Progress!

Author(s): Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke

Here's the bottom line: The general public expects adults who do not manifest obvious social skills problems to use good social skills at work and in the community.

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DOs and DON'Ts for Working with Students in Social Thinking® Groups

Author(s): Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke

As we travel around the country, people are often interested in what we recommend as the “DOs and DON’Ts” related to Social Thinking philosophy and treatment. We start out by saying: be flexible! Be an observer, be supportive, be present! It turns out that what we teach our students and clients is sound advice for us as well.

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Updates on Social Thinking’s Cascade of Social Attention: A Conceptual Framework to Explore a Systems Approach to Social-Communication

Author(s): Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke

As interventionists (parents and professionals) who are seeking to develop meaningful treatment programs for teaching social skills, it’s helpful for us to consider key aspects of the social learning system, starting with one of its main drivers: social attention. The Cascade of Social Attention helps us take a systems approach to exploring social communication and related anxieties while also helping us observe that different students pay attention in different ways to different things - and therefore have different learning needs.

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