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Social Thinking Training & Speakers' Collaborative

About Our Speakers

The Social Thinking Training & Speakers' Collaborative (STTSC) consists of 12 clinicians, including Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke, who train around the world on the Social Thinking Methodology in addition to working closely with schools, clients, and families. All of our speakers have an active caseload and provide training to help schools embed Social Thinking’s teachings across all aspects of the educational day in public and private schools. We also work with universities as well as businesses to help adults continue to develop stronger social communication skills.  Please note that the members of our STTSC are the only people licensed and approved to give training on the Social Thinking Methodology. 

 

Our Courses & Custom Training

We offer a wide array of all day & partial day courses and embedded school trainings to fit your needs. Our speakers collectively instruct over 15 courses offering practical concepts and strategies to boost the social learning process and academic achievement that can be used across settings, such as in the classroom, on the playground, at home, at work, and in the community. Each course covers a specific topic, from working with early learners, to the transition to adulthood; to helping mature adults improve executive functioning skills. Each speaker has unique specialties that align with the courses they instruct. Learn more about our courses here.

 

Aside from the courses we provide, we also offer custom training that can be designed to fit the needs of your organization. There has been high demand for training that teaches how to embed the Social Thinking Methodology into mainstream classrooms, schools, and districts. Therefore, we offer a train-the-trainer model where we teach teams how to embed the Social Thinking Methodology into your existing instructional model. Our speakers are happy to custom-design this program based on your particular needs!

 

To request a speaker, please complete the Speaker Request Form

Michelle Garcia Winner

Founder & CEO Social Thinking, M.A., CCC-SLP

  • Michelle Garcia Winner
  • Course Expertise

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group – and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

    hover left

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

    Delve into the inner mind of a person with social learning challenges. Our Informal Dynamic Assessment is designed to uncover why an individual may struggle to work in a group or interpret information. Use the results to tailor treatment* plans and track progress. Through video clips and discussion learn central concepts for running effective Social Thinking treatment groups and lessons to use at home. Finally, explore three core Social Thinking strategies to use immediately: Social Behavior Mapping, The Friendship Pyramid, and The Spirals of Social Anxiety.

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    Executive Functioning: Tackle Homework and Classwork with these Helpful Strategies! (10 - young adult)

    <div style="text-align: justify;">Focusing on executive functioning &ndash; What is it and how do you teach its many moving parts? &nbsp;Like our social skills, our organizational skills are expected to advance over time without much instruction &ndash; though they are critical for success across childhood and adulthood. In this conference, discover strategies that foster an individual&rsquo;s executive functioning skills. Explore the 10 steps to completing a homework assignment and learn a strategy aligned to each step - including strategies to find the motivation to tackle a task. Strategies can be used at home, in the community &ndash; and in any classroom. People give this conference stellar reviews!</div>

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

    hover left

    “I’m going to be a video game designer!” Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World (11 - young adult)

    Adolescence, angst, and apathy - the characteristics routinely used to describe teens and young adults who yearn for independence, but often have no plan for getting there. This transition can overwhelm individuals born to social learning challenges, even those who are &ldquo;bright&rdquo; with strong language skills. This conference focuses on helping parents and professionals prepare for - and respond to - this transition. Specifically, we will explore the more nuanced expectations that come with the emergence into adulthood and strategies to help individuals develop a more mature social mindset.

    hover left

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

    Bringing a very practical lens to adult clients experiences. Identify the common social breakdowns that cause bright adults to veer out of relationships or fall off career tracks, and explore strategies to help them stay on track. Learn what it means to be an independent adult, the difference between a social informer and a social relator, and how emotions synchronize with our conversations. Discover the 5 Steps to Social Thinking Psychology and the Social Thinking Social-Emotional Chain Effect to which we all subconsciously react and respond. Adults benefit from direct teaching of Social Thinking and related social skills. Come learn what you can do to help!

    hover left

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

    Delve into the needs of our more literal learners who may have diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, language learning or sensory integration challenges. They are often perplexed by the abstractions of the school curriculum, show marked difficulty in reading social cues, and are often aloof and less organized.&nbsp; Discover how best to teach individuals based on their age and how to enhance learning in the inclusion-based classroom. Explore lessons that translate abstract social concepts into concrete ideas that can help improve social understanding over time. Participants are provided with tools to tie social treatment plans to the Common Core Standards. Audience members love the many video examples and treatment tools! <br />

    hover left

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

    Explore the needs of nuance-challenged social communicators who may have diagnoses such as Asperger&rsquo;s syndrome, ASD, ADHD, or social anxiety. They are often in mainstream education and struggle with the intricacies of social relationships, homework assignments, and working in peer-based groups. Discover effective strategies that encourage nuanced perspective taking and executive functioning while attending to the person&rsquo;s mental health. Take with you nuance-based social learning lessons for use in both treatment plans and the mainstream classroom to help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core).<br />

    hover left

    Social Thinking Meets RTI and PBS: Social Thinking as a School Wide Systems Approach (5 - young adult)

    This presentation explores the dynamics of using Social Thinking concepts in a school setting based on the differentiation models of RTI and PBS, while incorporating with existing initiatives already in place. Designed to address the diverse learning needs of all students, participants will explore how Social Thinking concepts can be integrated into the core curriculum to increase access to the State/Common Core State Standards for all students. Information presented demonstrates how the intentional teaching of Social Thinking concepts enhances student learning at the benchmark level, while decreasing behavioral and discipline referrals at the strategic and intensive levels.

    hover left

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

    You've asked for this day! Learn how to effectively use two of our key teaching materials: our award-winning first book in the Superflex series, You are a Social Detective! and our Superflex Curriculum to boost social awareness, social learning, and self-regulation. Lessons support Social and Emotional Learning, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Response to Intervention. These books are designed for elementary school-age children, but we explain how to modify them for use with slightly older and younger kids. Interactive, creative group activities abound in this conference to help our kids transform from 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!

  • Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC is a speech language pathologist who specializes in the treatment of individuals with social learning challenges. She is the founder of Social Thinking® with the mission to help people develop their social competencies to better connect with others and live happier, more meaningful lives.

     

    Michelle helps educators, mental health professionals, and parents appreciate how social thinking and related social skills are integral to a person’s success – be it in relationships, at school, in the community, or in their career, and teaches strategies and treatment frameworks to strengthen social competencies. Michelle has a private practice, The Center for Social Thinking in Santa Clara, California, where she works with clients who continue to teach and inspire her. She travels around the world teaching courses on the Social Thinking Methodology, consulting with families and schools, assisting in the development of educational programs, and training a range of professionals, parents, business people, and politicians. She is a prolific writer and has written and/or co-authored numerous books and articles about the Social Thinking Methodology. Michelle receives accolades for her energetic and educational conference presentations, as well as her practical, down-to-earth approach to teaching social thinking and related social skills.

     

    The strength of Michelle's work is her ability to break down abstract social concepts and teach them in practical, concrete ways to help people develop their social competencies. Teaching memorized "social skills" is not enough; high-functioning individuals with social challenges must explore why and how social interactions take place so that they can figure out how to navigate the situations to fulfill their social goals. By learning how to think about what behavior is expected in a situation (as opposed to reproducing a memorized behavior), individuals learn how to socially problem solve - an ability that can be used in every situation around the world – which ultimately leads to building stronger relationships.

     

    Career Summary

    Michelle’s interest in autism while attending the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1979 became the catalyst for becoming a speech language pathologist (SLP). Her first two mentors in the field were the late Dr. Carol Prutting (an early pioneer in the study of social pragmatics) and Dr. Robert Koegel (founder of Pivotal Response Therapy, aligned with ABA). While attending graduate school at Indiana University, Bloomington she became involved in the Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA) under the leadership of Nancy Dalrymple, who became another strong mentor for Michelle. At IRCA in the 1980s, Michelle worked extensively with teens and young adults who would by today’s standard be referred to as “classically autistic.” Her students experienced significant intellectual learning challenges, weak speech/language development, and very limited social learning abilities. Michelle excelled at combining her knowledge of communication with behaviorism to help her more cognitively challenged students develop basic functional communication and social skills through behavioral teachings.

     

    After returning home to California in the late 1980s, Michelle transitioned to working in hospitals and post-acute hospital rehabilitation centers with neurotypical learners who suffered from head injuries or strokes. There she learned about higher-level brain functioning and cognitive rehabilitation. In 1995, her career transitioned once more when she became the SLP for a public high school district. Her caseload was comprised of many older students who had relatively strong intelligence and language, but who lacked more refined social communication skills. The Social Thinking Methodology was born out of necessity as a way to reach those “bright but socially clueless students” who needed more information about how to navigate the social world than just memorizing dialogue to use in conversation. They needed to know why they should bother to converse at all, or even interact with others in their environment. The Social Thinking Methodology was born!

      

    Michelle opened her private practice, the Center for Social Thinking, in 1998 and was met with high demand that continues to rise to this day. Trained professionals work with individuals ages 4 through adulthood in individual and group settings. Michelle continues to carry an active caseload of clients, in addition to consulting with families and schools on the Social Thinking Methodology and designing programs tailored to the individual’s needs. Michelle also started the company now called Social Thinking Publishing, Inc. to handle the growing public speaking demand from the national and international stage, as well as to publish her and others’ books on the Social Thinking Methodology. Michelle has written and/or co-authored more than 20 books on Social Thinking and her work is being applied not only to persons with higher-functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADD/ADHD, and related disabilities, but also more broadly to students in mainstream classrooms and to adults in vocational and professional settings in the U.S. and abroad.

     

    Praise

    In 2016, her approach led GreatSchools.org, a leading national nonprofit organization, to call Michelle, "...the leading expert in the field of social skills."

     

    In 2008, Michelle was honored with a Congressional Special Recognition Award for her groundbreaking work in the field of social learning.

     

    "...one of my favorite authors in the field of teaching emotional intelligence. Michelle Garcia Winner has pioneered some very helpful ways of conceptualizing and helping educators understand the social challenges that students on the autism spectrum face." - Stephan Borgman, 2010, Psychology Today, "Spectrum Solutions"

     

    Research

    To check out the Social Thinking Research homepage, click here.

     

    Research published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders supports using Social Thinking Vocabulary with individuals with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Learn more here.

     

    Personal

    Michelle lives in San Jose, CA with her partner and has two daughters, Heidi and Robyn.

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Michelle Garcia Winner is employed by Think Social Publishing, Inc. as an author/speaker and receives compensation for her presentations as well as the sale of her books and by the Social Thinking Center as a clinician. Michelle owns the companies Think Social Publishing, Inc as well as The Social Thinking Center, Inc. and their related intellectual property.   

     

    Non-financial: No relevant non-financial relationship exists.

     

     

    see more

Pamela Crooke

PhD, CCC-SLP, Chief Strategy Officer

  • Pamela Crooke
  • Course Expertise

    hover left

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group &ndash; and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

    hover left

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

    Delve into the inner mind of a person with social learning challenges. Our Informal Dynamic Assessment is designed to uncover why an individual may struggle to work in a group or interpret information. Use the results to tailor treatment* plans and track progress. Through video clips and discussion learn central concepts for running effective Social Thinking treatment groups and lessons to use at home. Finally, explore three core Social Thinking strategies to use immediately: Social Behavior Mapping, The Friendship Pyramid, and The Spirals of Social Anxiety.

    hover left

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

    hover left

    “I’m going to be a video game designer!” Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World (11 - young adult)

    Adolescence, angst, and apathy - the characteristics routinely used to describe teens and young adults who yearn for independence, but often have no plan for getting there. This transition can overwhelm individuals born to social learning challenges, even those who are &ldquo;bright&rdquo; with strong language skills. This conference focuses on helping parents and professionals prepare for - and respond to - this transition. Specifically, we will explore the more nuanced expectations that come with the emergence into adulthood and strategies to help individuals develop a more mature social mindset.

    hover left

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

    Bringing a very practical lens to adult clients experiences. Identify the common social breakdowns that cause bright adults to veer out of relationships or fall off career tracks, and explore strategies to help them stay on track. Learn what it means to be an independent adult, the difference between a social informer and a social relator, and how emotions synchronize with our conversations. Discover the 5 Steps to Social Thinking Psychology and the Social Thinking Social-Emotional Chain Effect to which we all subconsciously react and respond. Adults benefit from direct teaching of Social Thinking and related social skills. Come learn what you can do to help!

    hover left

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

    Delve into the needs of our more literal learners who may have diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, language learning or sensory integration challenges. They are often perplexed by the abstractions of the school curriculum, show marked difficulty in reading social cues, and are often aloof and less organized.&nbsp; Discover how best to teach individuals based on their age and how to enhance learning in the inclusion-based classroom. Explore lessons that translate abstract social concepts into concrete ideas that can help improve social understanding over time. Participants are provided with tools to tie social treatment plans to the Common Core Standards. Audience members love the many video examples and treatment tools! <br />

    hover left

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

    Explore the needs of nuance-challenged social communicators who may have diagnoses such as Asperger&rsquo;s syndrome, ASD, ADHD, or social anxiety. They are often in mainstream education and struggle with the intricacies of social relationships, homework assignments, and working in peer-based groups. Discover effective strategies that encourage nuanced perspective taking and executive functioning while attending to the person&rsquo;s mental health. Take with you nuance-based social learning lessons for use in both treatment plans and the mainstream classroom to help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core).<br />

    hover left

    Social Thinking Meets RTI and PBS: Social Thinking as a School Wide Systems Approach (5 - young adult)

    This presentation explores the dynamics of using Social Thinking concepts in a school setting based on the differentiation models of RTI and PBS, while incorporating with existing initiatives already in place. Designed to address the diverse learning needs of all students, participants will explore how Social Thinking concepts can be integrated into the core curriculum to increase access to the State/Common Core State Standards for all students. Information presented demonstrates how the intentional teaching of Social Thinking concepts enhances student learning at the benchmark level, while decreasing behavioral and discipline referrals at the strategic and intensive levels.

    hover left

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

    You've asked for this day! Learn how to effectively use two of our key teaching materials: our award-winning first book in the Superflex series, You are a Social Detective! and our Superflex Curriculum to boost social awareness, social learning, and self-regulation. Lessons support Social and Emotional Learning, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Response to Intervention. These books are designed for elementary school-age children, but we explain how to modify them for use with slightly older and younger kids. Interactive, creative group activities abound in this conference to help our kids transform from 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!

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


    Pam 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 most recent book geared to adults, Social Thinking at Work: Why Should I Care? 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 in San Jose, she coordinated the Autism interdisciplinary clinical services at the Tucson Alliance for Autism in Tucson, Arizona, 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 here in North America and abroad, giving workshops, presentations, and training staff on Social Thinking. She is on the board and/or is a member of a wide range of organizations related to social thinking and speech-language services, and has been the recipient of several grants and awards related to autism spectrum disorders.

     

    She received her B.S. and M.S. in Speech Pathology/Audiology from Idaho State University and PhD in 1996 from the University of Washington in Seattle.

     

    Treatment efficacy in social and relational therapies for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome and high-functioning autism remains Pam's area of emphasis. Her research-based article documenting the effectiveness of using the Social Thinking vocabulary, "Brief report: Measuring the Effectiveness of Teaching Social Thinking to Children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA), (Crooke, Hendrix, & Rachman, 2008), was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

     

    Education

     

    Institution
    Degree
    Year
    Emphasis
    Idaho State University
    Pathology/Audiology
    Pocatello, Idaho
    B.S.
    1986 Speech
    Idaho State University
    Pocatello, Idaho
    M.S. 1987 Speech/Language Pathology
    University of Washington
    Seattle, Washington
    Ph.D.
    1994

    Language Disorders
    Treatment Efficacy

     

    Related Employment

    Date
    Employer
    Title/Position
    2012 - Current Social Thinking
    Chief Officer: Research/Clinical
    2009 - Current
    Social Thinking
    Director: Speakers' Collaborative
    2007 - Current
    Social Thinking Center
    Senior Therapist
    2007 - 2012
    San Jose State University
    Faculty
    2002 - 2007
    University of Arizona
    Faculty
    Autism Clinic Extension - Coordinator
    2000 - 2004
    Assessment Associates
    Tucson, AZ
    Owner/Partner - Private Practice
    Autism Consulting/Diagnostics
    1992 - 2007

    Tucson Unified School District
    Tucson, AZ

    Co-Coordinator - Autism Program
    Autism Diagnostic Team - TUSD
    Speech/Language Pathologist

     

    Publications (Books, Articles, Peer Reviewed)

    Crooke, P. J., & Olswang, L. (2015-in press). Practice-based Research: Another Pathway for Closing the Research-Practice Gap. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

    Lee, K. Y. S., Crooke, P. J., Lui, A.L.Y, Kan, P.P.K, Luke, K.L, Mak, Y.M, Cheung, P.M.P, Cheng, L., & Wong, I. (2015). The outcome of a social cognitive training for mainstream adolescents with social communication deficits in a Chinese community, International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, doi:10.1080/1034912X.2015.1065960

    Winner, M.G. & Crooke, P. J. (2014). Executive functioning and social pragmatic communication skills: Exploring the threads in our social fabric. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, Vol. 21 (2), pp. 42-50.

    Winner, M. G. & Crooke P.J. (2013). Social Learning and Social Functioning: Social Thinking's Cascade of Social Functioning. Attention Magazine.

    Madrigal, S., Winner, M., & Crooke, P, (2012). Social Town Citizens Discover 82 New Unthinkables. Think Social Publishing, Inc., San Jose, CA.

    Crooke, P. & Winner, M. (2011) Social Fortune or Social Fate: A social thinking graphic novel map for social learning quest seekers, Think Social Publishing, Inc., San Jose, CA.
    Award: (2012) International Book Awards Finalist for Young Adult: Educational

    Winner, M. & Crooke, P. (2011). Social Thinking At Work – Why should I care? Think Social Publishing, Inc., San Jose, CA.
    Award(s)
    (2012) Finalist in “General Self-Help” International Book Awards and
    Finalist in the "Best New Self-Help Book" Category

    Winner, M. & Crooke, P. (2011). Thinking about Thinking: Social Communication for adolescents with Autism. ASHA Leader Magazine, MD.

    Winner, M., Crooke, P, & Madrigal (2010). It’s a Girl Thing or Is it?: Social Thinking and Social Skills in Girls, Teens, and Women with Social Learning Issues, Autism Asperger Digest,

    Winner, M. G. & Crooke P. J. (2009). Assessing the Social Mind in Action: The Importance of Informal Dynamic Assessments, Autism News:Education/Therapy, Vol. 5(2), pp. 12-16.

    Winner, M. & Crooke, P. (2009). Social Thinking: A Training Paradigm for Professionals and Treatment Approach for Individuals with Social Learning/Social Pragmatic Challenges
    Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 16 62-69

    Winner, M. & Crooke, P. (2009). Socially Curious and Curiously Social: A social thinking guidebook for Bright Teens and young adults. Think Social Publishing, San Jose, CA.
    Award(s):
    (2012) International Book Awards Finalist - Youth Issues
    (2012) International Book Awards Winner - Children's/Mind/Body/Spirit

    Winner, M.G. & Crooke, P. (2008). You are a social Detective: Explaining social thinking to kids, Think Social Publishing, San Jose, CA.
    Award(s):
    (2012) Autism Society of America: Literary Excellence Award
    (2012) NAPPA Parenting Award
    (2012) Mom’s Choice Award

    Crooke, P., Hendrix, R., & Rachman, J. (2008). BRIEF REPORT: The effectiveness of teaching social thinking to adolescents with asperger syndrome and high functioning autism. Journal of
    Autism and Developmental Disorders
    (38) 3.

    Kreiymeyer, K., Crooke, P., Drye, C., Egbert, C., & Klein, B. (2000). Observed Outcomes of a co-enrolled Classroom: Teachers’ Perspectives. In Antia, S. and Stinson, M., (Eds.), Inclusive  Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students, Volta Review Monographs.
     

    Presentations (2009 - Present)

    • 100+ full day workshops/conferences addressing various Social Thinking topics around various states in the United States
    • International Meeting of Autism Research (2014)
    • Geneva Center (Autism Research)

     

    International:

     

    • 2009-2015: Social Thinking conferences/workshop topics: Israel, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, Philippines, Malaysia, Argentina, Guatemala, and Spain.

     

    Speech/Language:

     

    • American Speech, Language and Hearing Convention Invited Session (2013): Implementation Science: Moving Evidence Into Practice & Giving Practice Evidence
    • American Speech, Language and Hearing Convention (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

     

    Crooke, P., Hendrix, R., & Rachman, J. (2008) Teaching Social Thinking to Children with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism: An Effectiveness Study, Poster Session for California Speech, Language & Hearing Association

    Crooke, P., Hendrix, R., & Rachman, J. (2007) Teaching Social Thinking to Children with ASD: An Effectiveness Study, American Speech Language, & Hearing Association National Conference, Boston, Massachusetts.

    Crooke, P. (2006) Communication and Social Thinking in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    (Invited Speaker), NSSLHA Regional Conference, Phoenix, Arizona.

    Crooke, P. (2005) Facilitating Social Exchanges Using a Peer Template, Poster Session, American Speech, Language, & Hearing Association National Convention, San Diego, California.

    Crooke, P. (2004) Talking Template: Structured Peer Interviews with Children Diagnosed with Autism, Poster Session, Arizona Speech and Hearing Association State Convention.

     

    University Courses (Primary Instructor):

     

    University of Arizona: Clinical Instructor - graduate clinical practicum and diagnostics (2002-2007)
    Autism Course (2005-2006)

    San Jose State University: Clinical Faculty for diagnostics coursework and practicum (2007-2012) and Academic Faculty for Language Disorders (Spring 2011)

    Professional/Organizational Activities

    • 2013 - 2014 ASHA Foundation Implementation Science Taskforce
    • 2007 - 2012 Chapel Haven West Advisory Board Member
    • 2007 - Present Teach SOCIAL! Silicon Valley Board Member
    • 2006 - 2010 Vanguard Advisory Board Member
    • 1987 – Present American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA)
    • 2007 – Present California Speech, Language and Hearing Association (CaSHA)
    • 2007 – Present Santa Clara County Speech, Language Hearing Association (SccSLHA)
    • 1990 – Present Autism Society –National (ASA)
    • 2003 – 2007 Arizona Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ArSHA)
    • 2004 - 2007 Tucson Alliance for Autism Board Member

     

    Grant/Foundation Activities & Awards:

    • California Speech, Language and Hearing Association (CSHA), District 4 – Outstanding Achievement Co-recipient with Michelle Garcia Winner, 2011
    • Crooke, P. & Jacques, N. (2008) Special Hope Foundation; Social Thinking in the Schools ($50,000)
    • Crooke, P. (2005-present) Tucson Alliance for Autism – Anonymous Donor ($100,000 annually)
    • Crooke, P. (2007) The WEST Grant for Children with Autism ($8500)
    • Crooke, P. (2005) Alltel Grant for Infusing Art into Educating Children with Autism ($1500)
    • Crooke, P. (2004) Volpe Fund for Children with Asperger Syndrome ($10,000).
    • Crooke, P. (2003). Providing Education for Children with Autism and Related Communication Disorders. Robidoux Foundation ($20,000).
    • Crooke, P. & Tucker, C. (1999-2002) Educational and Communicative Interventions for Children with Autism. Robidoux Foundation ($3000/year).
    • Tom Jenkins Award for Outstanding Clinical Service to Individuals with Autism – October 2005.

    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.

    see more

Kari Zweber Palmer

MA, CCC-SLP

  • Kari Zweber Palmer
  • Course Expertise

    hover left

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group &ndash; and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

    hover left

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

    Delve into the inner mind of a person with social learning challenges. Our Informal Dynamic Assessment is designed to uncover why an individual may struggle to work in a group or interpret information. Use the results to tailor treatment* plans and track progress. Through video clips and discussion learn central concepts for running effective Social Thinking treatment groups and lessons to use at home. Finally, explore three core Social Thinking strategies to use immediately: Social Behavior Mapping, The Friendship Pyramid, and The Spirals of Social Anxiety.

    hover left

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

    hover left

    “I’m going to be a video game designer!” Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World (11 - young adult)

    Adolescence, angst, and apathy - the characteristics routinely used to describe teens and young adults who yearn for independence, but often have no plan for getting there. This transition can overwhelm individuals born to social learning challenges, even those who are &ldquo;bright&rdquo; with strong language skills. This conference focuses on helping parents and professionals prepare for - and respond to - this transition. Specifically, we will explore the more nuanced expectations that come with the emergence into adulthood and strategies to help individuals develop a more mature social mindset.

    hover left

    Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities (4 - 7 yrs)

    <p>Connecting the dots: guide children&rsquo;s early social learning and play experiences to strengthen social thinking and classroom learning. Using video examples and multi-sensory lessons, we provide helpful strategies and Social Thinking Vocabulary to teach children core concepts such as thinking thoughts and feeling feelings, thinking with their eyes, learning about the group plan, developing self-awareness about their body in the group and how they use their whole body to listen! Engaging activities help kids learn in a group through social exploration and play. While core information is supported by our award-winning curriculum, story, and music collection: <em>We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers</em>, the vocabulary and strategies are adaptable for use with other activities and age appropriate literature. (Note: Series formerly named <em>The Incredible Flexible You</em>).</p>

    hover left

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

    Delve into the needs of our more literal learners who may have diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, language learning or sensory integration challenges. They are often perplexed by the abstractions of the school curriculum, show marked difficulty in reading social cues, and are often aloof and less organized.&nbsp; Discover how best to teach individuals based on their age and how to enhance learning in the inclusion-based classroom. Explore lessons that translate abstract social concepts into concrete ideas that can help improve social understanding over time. Participants are provided with tools to tie social treatment plans to the Common Core Standards. Audience members love the many video examples and treatment tools! <br />

    hover left

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

    Explore the needs of nuance-challenged social communicators who may have diagnoses such as Asperger&rsquo;s syndrome, ASD, ADHD, or social anxiety. They are often in mainstream education and struggle with the intricacies of social relationships, homework assignments, and working in peer-based groups. Discover effective strategies that encourage nuanced perspective taking and executive functioning while attending to the person&rsquo;s mental health. Take with you nuance-based social learning lessons for use in both treatment plans and the mainstream classroom to help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core).<br />

    hover left

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

    You've asked for this day! Learn how to effectively use two of our key teaching materials: our award-winning first book in the Superflex series, You are a Social Detective! and our Superflex Curriculum to boost social awareness, social learning, and self-regulation. Lessons support Social and Emotional Learning, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Response to Intervention. These books are designed for elementary school-age children, but we explain how to modify them for use with slightly older and younger kids. Interactive, creative group activities abound in this conference to help our kids transform from 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!

    hover left

    What Does Play Have to Do with Classroom Learning? Exploring Social Executive Functioning and Social Emotional Learning for Early Learners (4 - 7 yrs)

    <p style="text-align: justify;">Practical, fun, and innovative strategies! Build on the concepts presented the day before and investigate how to help kids work, play, and learn in groups as well as improve their flexible thinking. We delve deeply into the following teaching concepts: understanding social expectations, flexible versus stuck thinking, identifying the size of the problem, making smart guesses, and sharing an imagination. Introducing Social Thinking&rsquo;s newest tool for treatment* planning, the Group Collaboration, Play, and Problem Solving Scale to differentiate the play-based teaching methods appropriate for each child. Core information is from <em>We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers</em> (this book is the second volume of the series formerly called <em>The Incredible Flexible You</em>).</p>

  • Kari Zweber Palmer is a speech language pathologist/social cognitive therapist at her private practice, Changing Perspectives, in Excelsior, MN. She has co-authored, with Michelle Garcia Winner, Ryan Hendrix, and Nancy Tarshis The Incredible Flexible You: A Social Thinking Curriculum for the Preschool and Early Elementary Years. Additionally, Kari consults with local school districts on implementing Social Thinking into their programming.

     

    Kari's interest in communication and related disorders began long before she studied it formally. Her mom, Jane, is a speech language pathologist and Kari grew up in the field. Kari received her Bachelors degree from the University of Missouri and Masters from the University of Kansas. Following her formal training, she started her career as a speech language pathologist in the public schools in Minnetonka, MN, working predominately in the early childhood and elementary levels.

     

    Kari's interest in Social Thinking was first ignited in graduate school when she was encouraged to facilitate a "social skills" group for teens. As she attempted to pull together a lesson plan for the group, she quickly realized she had no idea how to truly teach social. Discovering Michelle's work made all the difference, as she found information that concretely explained what to do and more importantly, why. Finding herself increasingly fascinated in Social Thinking, Kari researched and wrote "The Double Interview: Assessing the Social Communication of Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome" for her Master's Thesis. Department faculty at the University of Kansas awarded her the Margaret C. Byrne Saricks Graduate Research Award for demonstrating excellence in Master's thesis research.

     

    Kari worked as a full time therapist at Michelle Garcia Winner's Center for Social Thinking in San Jose, CA. Her diverse caseload included preschool aged children to young adults, all with varying levels of social cognitive challenges. Kari had the good fortune of training directly with Michelle and co-treated a teen group with her each week.


    Kari is an active presenter and likes nothing better than to share the power of Social Thinking with others. Comments from past workshop participants include: "Kari was engaging, enthusiastic and obviously passionate about the topic. She was not only knowledgeable but balanced the information with real life examples and humor."

     

    Personal
    Kari can usually be found chasing after her kids, thinking about training for another triathlon with her husband, and enjoying the lakes of Minnesota. She loves to travel and considers her experiences with an infant on an airplane the most interesting social experiment.

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Speaker for Think Social Publishing, Inc. and receives speaking fees and royalty payments. 

    Non-­financial: No relevant non-­financial relationships exist. 

    see more

Ryan Hendrix

MS, CCC-SLP

  • Ryan Hendrix
  • Course Expertise

    hover left

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group &ndash; and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

    hover left

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

    Delve into the inner mind of a person with social learning challenges. Our Informal Dynamic Assessment is designed to uncover why an individual may struggle to work in a group or interpret information. Use the results to tailor treatment* plans and track progress. Through video clips and discussion learn central concepts for running effective Social Thinking treatment groups and lessons to use at home. Finally, explore three core Social Thinking strategies to use immediately: Social Behavior Mapping, The Friendship Pyramid, and The Spirals of Social Anxiety.

    hover left

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

    hover left

    “I’m going to be a video game designer!” Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World (11 - young adult)

    Adolescence, angst, and apathy - the characteristics routinely used to describe teens and young adults who yearn for independence, but often have no plan for getting there. This transition can overwhelm individuals born to social learning challenges, even those who are &ldquo;bright&rdquo; with strong language skills. This conference focuses on helping parents and professionals prepare for - and respond to - this transition. Specifically, we will explore the more nuanced expectations that come with the emergence into adulthood and strategies to help individuals develop a more mature social mindset.

    hover left

    Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities (4 - 7 yrs)

    <p>Connecting the dots: guide children&rsquo;s early social learning and play experiences to strengthen social thinking and classroom learning. Using video examples and multi-sensory lessons, we provide helpful strategies and Social Thinking Vocabulary to teach children core concepts such as thinking thoughts and feeling feelings, thinking with their eyes, learning about the group plan, developing self-awareness about their body in the group and how they use their whole body to listen! Engaging activities help kids learn in a group through social exploration and play. While core information is supported by our award-winning curriculum, story, and music collection: <em>We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers</em>, the vocabulary and strategies are adaptable for use with other activities and age appropriate literature. (Note: Series formerly named <em>The Incredible Flexible You</em>).</p>

    hover left

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

    Delve into the needs of our more literal learners who may have diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, language learning or sensory integration challenges. They are often perplexed by the abstractions of the school curriculum, show marked difficulty in reading social cues, and are often aloof and less organized.&nbsp; Discover how best to teach individuals based on their age and how to enhance learning in the inclusion-based classroom. Explore lessons that translate abstract social concepts into concrete ideas that can help improve social understanding over time. Participants are provided with tools to tie social treatment plans to the Common Core Standards. Audience members love the many video examples and treatment tools! <br />

    hover left

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

    Explore the needs of nuance-challenged social communicators who may have diagnoses such as Asperger&rsquo;s syndrome, ASD, ADHD, or social anxiety. They are often in mainstream education and struggle with the intricacies of social relationships, homework assignments, and working in peer-based groups. Discover effective strategies that encourage nuanced perspective taking and executive functioning while attending to the person&rsquo;s mental health. Take with you nuance-based social learning lessons for use in both treatment plans and the mainstream classroom to help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core).<br />

    hover left

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

    You've asked for this day! Learn how to effectively use two of our key teaching materials: our award-winning first book in the Superflex series, You are a Social Detective! and our Superflex Curriculum to boost social awareness, social learning, and self-regulation. Lessons support Social and Emotional Learning, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Response to Intervention. These books are designed for elementary school-age children, but we explain how to modify them for use with slightly older and younger kids. Interactive, creative group activities abound in this conference to help our kids transform from 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!

    hover left

    What Does Play Have to Do with Classroom Learning? Exploring Social Executive Functioning and Social Emotional Learning for Early Learners (4 - 7 yrs)

    <p style="text-align: justify;">Practical, fun, and innovative strategies! Build on the concepts presented the day before and investigate how to help kids work, play, and learn in groups as well as improve their flexible thinking. We delve deeply into the following teaching concepts: understanding social expectations, flexible versus stuck thinking, identifying the size of the problem, making smart guesses, and sharing an imagination. Introducing Social Thinking&rsquo;s newest tool for treatment* planning, the Group Collaboration, Play, and Problem Solving Scale to differentiate the play-based teaching methods appropriate for each child. Core information is from <em>We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers</em> (this book is the second volume of the series formerly called <em>The Incredible Flexible You</em>).</p>

  • Ryan Hendrix is a Social Cognitive Therapist at Social Thinking Stevens Creek in San Jose and a private therapist in San Francisco. She trained and works directly with Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke. Her diverse caseload experience includes preschool-age children through young adults with varying levels of social cognitive learning challenges.


    In addition to running groups, she actively collaborates with families and related professionals (teachers, resource specialists, psychologists, etc.) on ways to promote carryover and generalization of learning outside of the clinic setting. Ryan also helps supervise and train graduate students and clinicians in their clinical fellowship year and does ongoing mentorships within the Social Thinking Stevens Creek clinic.

     

    Ryan received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a minor in Art Therapy and her Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Arizona. While at the U of A, Ryan met Dr. Crooke, who introduced her to the unpredictable, quirky world of Social Thinking. Having grown up with a close family friend with Asperger's Syndrome, the concepts and lessons resonated strongly with her. Throughout graduate school and during her clinical fellowship year as part of the Autism Clinic Extension, Ryan conducted evaluations, designed and implemented treatment programs, and developed and led individual and group-based programs for children and adolescents ages 4-15 on the autism spectrum. Together with Dr. Crooke, she put together a research project to examine the efficacy of Social Thinking therapy. They later authored a published journal article discussing the results of the pilot study and presented the preliminary results in a technical session at ASHA in 2007.


    Following graduation, Ryan continued implementing Social Thinking principles as a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Tucson Medical Center. There she worked with children ages 1-12 with a variety of cognitive and communication impairments. She also collaborated and co-treated with occupational and physical therapists. When opportunity knocked in late 2007, she followed Dr. Crooke west to the Center for Social Thinking.


    Ryan's artistic and creative talents allow her to present lessons in a visual, fun, and engaging manner. Working with a variety of ages and levels allows Ryan to sit on the floor, fly around in a cape, and create Superflex tools then turn around and explore the concept of a clique, the social fates and fortunes of working as a group, and break down the hidden rules of hanging out at a coffee shop. She is passionate about Social Thinking and the students and families she works with and enjoys collaborating with them and with their teams to take Social Thinking beyond the clinic walls.


    Ryan, along with coauthors Kari Zweber Palmer, Nancy Tarshis, and Michelle Garcia Winner, created the Incredible Flexible You, a Social Thinking curriculum for the preschool and early elementary years, published by Social Thinking Publishing. She has thoroughly enjoyed creating a product that melds what we know about social development with the powerful concepts of Social Thinking and making it accessible to this group of learners and their teams and families. She is currently working with the team on Volume two.


    Ryan truly enjoys sharing this information with families and professionals in both small settings and conferences and brings the concepts and strategies to life through stories and humor.


    Other Experience

    • Group Facilitator, Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism Social Groups in the Tucson community.
    • Developed, organized, and led in-home social play groups for children with social cognitive deficits from 6 to 15 years of age
    • Instructor and volunteer, Art*Works Art Therapy Center
    • Created and implemented literacy-based programming for adults with developmental disabilities
    • Programmed and supervised art and collaborative cooking studios
    • Designed and taught activities for daily living and life skills

     

    Professional Affiliations

    • American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) member
    • California Speech Language and Hearing Association (CSHA) member

     

    Personal

    Ryan lives with her husband, young daughter, and two dogs in San Francisco. The sights and sounds of a busy city are a big departure from the desert southwest where she grew up, but she loves to get out and explore the area and all of the wonderful things it has to offer, especially the food!

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Author/speaker for Thinks Social Publishing, Inc. and receives speaking fees and royalty payments. She is also employed by the Social Thinking clinic as a therapist.

    Non-­financial: No relevant non-­financial relationships exist. 

    see more

Nancy Clements

MA, CCC-SLP

  • Nancy Clements
  • Course Expertise

    hover left

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group &ndash; and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

    hover left

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

    Delve into the inner mind of a person with social learning challenges. Our Informal Dynamic Assessment is designed to uncover why an individual may struggle to work in a group or interpret information. Use the results to tailor treatment* plans and track progress. Through video clips and discussion learn central concepts for running effective Social Thinking treatment groups and lessons to use at home. Finally, explore three core Social Thinking strategies to use immediately: Social Behavior Mapping, The Friendship Pyramid, and The Spirals of Social Anxiety.

    hover left

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

    hover left

    “I’m going to be a video game designer!” Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World (11 - young adult)

    Adolescence, angst, and apathy - the characteristics routinely used to describe teens and young adults who yearn for independence, but often have no plan for getting there. This transition can overwhelm individuals born to social learning challenges, even those who are &ldquo;bright&rdquo; with strong language skills. This conference focuses on helping parents and professionals prepare for - and respond to - this transition. Specifically, we will explore the more nuanced expectations that come with the emergence into adulthood and strategies to help individuals develop a more mature social mindset.

    hover left

    Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities (4 - 7 yrs)

    <p>Connecting the dots: guide children&rsquo;s early social learning and play experiences to strengthen social thinking and classroom learning. Using video examples and multi-sensory lessons, we provide helpful strategies and Social Thinking Vocabulary to teach children core concepts such as thinking thoughts and feeling feelings, thinking with their eyes, learning about the group plan, developing self-awareness about their body in the group and how they use their whole body to listen! Engaging activities help kids learn in a group through social exploration and play. While core information is supported by our award-winning curriculum, story, and music collection: <em>We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers</em>, the vocabulary and strategies are adaptable for use with other activities and age appropriate literature. (Note: Series formerly named <em>The Incredible Flexible You</em>).</p>

    hover left

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

    Delve into the needs of our more literal learners who may have diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, language learning or sensory integration challenges. They are often perplexed by the abstractions of the school curriculum, show marked difficulty in reading social cues, and are often aloof and less organized.&nbsp; Discover how best to teach individuals based on their age and how to enhance learning in the inclusion-based classroom. Explore lessons that translate abstract social concepts into concrete ideas that can help improve social understanding over time. Participants are provided with tools to tie social treatment plans to the Common Core Standards. Audience members love the many video examples and treatment tools! <br />

    hover left

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

    Explore the needs of nuance-challenged social communicators who may have diagnoses such as Asperger&rsquo;s syndrome, ASD, ADHD, or social anxiety. They are often in mainstream education and struggle with the intricacies of social relationships, homework assignments, and working in peer-based groups. Discover effective strategies that encourage nuanced perspective taking and executive functioning while attending to the person&rsquo;s mental health. Take with you nuance-based social learning lessons for use in both treatment plans and the mainstream classroom to help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core).<br />

    hover left

    Social Thinking Meets RTI and PBS: Social Thinking as a School Wide Systems Approach (5 - young adult)

    This presentation explores the dynamics of using Social Thinking concepts in a school setting based on the differentiation models of RTI and PBS, while incorporating with existing initiatives already in place. Designed to address the diverse learning needs of all students, participants will explore how Social Thinking concepts can be integrated into the core curriculum to increase access to the State/Common Core State Standards for all students. Information presented demonstrates how the intentional teaching of Social Thinking concepts enhances student learning at the benchmark level, while decreasing behavioral and discipline referrals at the strategic and intensive levels.

    hover left

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

    You've asked for this day! Learn how to effectively use two of our key teaching materials: our award-winning first book in the Superflex series, You are a Social Detective! and our Superflex Curriculum to boost social awareness, social learning, and self-regulation. Lessons support Social and Emotional Learning, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Response to Intervention. These books are designed for elementary school-age children, but we explain how to modify them for use with slightly older and younger kids. Interactive, creative group activities abound in this conference to help our kids transform from 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!

  • Nancy Clements is a speech language pathologist and Executive Director of Social Thinking Boston®, the East Coast sister clinic to Social Thinking Stevens Creek and Social Thinking Santa Clara. She brings her highly creative approach to her clinical practice, where she maintains a very active and varied caseload ranging from early social learners through adults. She is especially interested in bringing Social Thinking concepts to all learners and continuing to analyze the impact of social thinking methodologies across all tiers using a Response to Intervention (RTI) model. Nancy enjoys formulating programs from the ground up through creative strategies, systems of implementation, and models of efficacy that are data driven. Having been raised by parents who were both educators, she brings an empathic and collaborative approach to coaching teachers, administrators and specialists.

     

    Before founding and opening Social Thinking Boston in 2012, Nancy was the Program Manager for Communication Services at the Stern Center for Language and Learning. She developed an in-depth Social Thinking program, including developmentally based groups, off-site coaching and consultations, and a three-credit graduate course in partnership with Saint Michaels College. In 2011 she mentored within the Colchester School District to analyze the impact of social thinking methodologies across all tiers using a Response to Intervention (RTI) model. Similar models have been duplicated in the Winooksi and Swanton Vermont school districts.


    Throughout her 30+ year career she has served as a direct service provider, consultant, and has presented extensively across New England, Nationally and in Canada. Her strong ties to the Vermont educational community have reemerged in the greater Boston area, where her early professional experiences included clinically based interventions through the New England Rehab Hospital and the University Hospital in Boston. These experiences provided the opportunity to work within interdisciplinary teams both in the assessment process and development of programs, including the use of technology. She began incorporating her knowledge of assistive/adaptive technology (AAC) into her work and introduced this concept to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center while continuing to extensively explore and build her skills with folks requiring assistive technology for communication. This expertise led her to the University of Vermont's Department of Communication and Disorders Program to implement an extensive three year national grant designed to teach graduate students about this technology while developing models of assistive/adaptive technology implementation in rural communities. Following her passion, she became a consultant for the Prentke-Romich company, traveling and providing extensive training about AAC. She became a leader in this field throughout Vermont and New England, often consulting to teams building blended programs, pulling together models from social communication, sensory integration, and technology.


    Other Experience

    Nancy has developed and presented workshops on a variety of topics in addition to the Social Thinking workshops she has been trained to give:

    • Workshop on Floortime and blended approaches to programming for students on the Spectrum (full day)
    • Workshop on RDI model of intervention- specific focus on modified and extension activities of this model (full day- week long training models)
    • Workshop on Executive Functioning –theory, research and strategies for elementary, middle and high school students (full day)
    • Sensory Integration meets Communication-theory, evaluation and strategies for joining methodologies (full day)


    Speaking Experience

    • 1991: North Dakota- week long presentation on AAC with low functioning adults
    • 1993-1997: Extensive Presentations on AAC in Vermont, Mass, NH, NY and Ohio
    • 1997-2004: Extensive presentations throughout Vermont and New Hampshire on programming for students on the Autism spectrum using a blended approach to attending skills, functional skill building, social communication and self-regulation
    • 2004-2011: Presentations on Floortime, RDI model, Developing and Running Social Groups, Building Blocks for Early Literacy, Executive Functioning, and Picture Exchange Communication throughout Vermont and New Hampshire.
    • 2008-Present: Frequent Presenter at the Social Thinking Providers Conference, San Jose CA. Presentations Include: Summer Camp Curriculum
    • Broad Overview of development of the clinical Social Thinking Programs
    • School Based Social Thinking Implementation Across all Educational Tiers
    • Social Thinking Meets Design Thinking (co-presented with classroom teacher)
    • 2009: Poster Session at ASHA National Conference


    Personal

    In her spare time, Nancy enjoys cooking, traveling, reading, and taking long walks. She is also an avid sports fan. Having been happily married for 25 years, she also enjoys spending time with her husband, two grown children, her parents, and friends.

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Speaker for Think Social Publishing, Inc. and receives speaking fees. 

    Non-­financial: No relevant non-­financial relationships exist. 

    see more

Nancy Tarshis

MA, MS, CCC-SLP

  • Nancy Tarshis
  • Course Expertise

    hover left

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group &ndash; and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

    hover left

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

    Delve into the inner mind of a person with social learning challenges. Our Informal Dynamic Assessment is designed to uncover why an individual may struggle to work in a group or interpret information. Use the results to tailor treatment* plans and track progress. Through video clips and discussion learn central concepts for running effective Social Thinking treatment groups and lessons to use at home. Finally, explore three core Social Thinking strategies to use immediately: Social Behavior Mapping, The Friendship Pyramid, and The Spirals of Social Anxiety.

    hover left

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

    hover left

    “I’m going to be a video game designer!” Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World (11 - young adult)

    Adolescence, angst, and apathy - the characteristics routinely used to describe teens and young adults who yearn for independence, but often have no plan for getting there. This transition can overwhelm individuals born to social learning challenges, even those who are &ldquo;bright&rdquo; with strong language skills. This conference focuses on helping parents and professionals prepare for - and respond to - this transition. Specifically, we will explore the more nuanced expectations that come with the emergence into adulthood and strategies to help individuals develop a more mature social mindset.

    hover left

    Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities (4 - 7 yrs)

    <p>Connecting the dots: guide children&rsquo;s early social learning and play experiences to strengthen social thinking and classroom learning. Using video examples and multi-sensory lessons, we provide helpful strategies and Social Thinking Vocabulary to teach children core concepts such as thinking thoughts and feeling feelings, thinking with their eyes, learning about the group plan, developing self-awareness about their body in the group and how they use their whole body to listen! Engaging activities help kids learn in a group through social exploration and play. While core information is supported by our award-winning curriculum, story, and music collection: <em>We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers</em>, the vocabulary and strategies are adaptable for use with other activities and age appropriate literature. (Note: Series formerly named <em>The Incredible Flexible You</em>).</p>

    hover left

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

    Delve into the needs of our more literal learners who may have diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, language learning or sensory integration challenges. They are often perplexed by the abstractions of the school curriculum, show marked difficulty in reading social cues, and are often aloof and less organized.&nbsp; Discover how best to teach individuals based on their age and how to enhance learning in the inclusion-based classroom. Explore lessons that translate abstract social concepts into concrete ideas that can help improve social understanding over time. Participants are provided with tools to tie social treatment plans to the Common Core Standards. Audience members love the many video examples and treatment tools! <br />

    hover left

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

    Explore the needs of nuance-challenged social communicators who may have diagnoses such as Asperger&rsquo;s syndrome, ASD, ADHD, or social anxiety. They are often in mainstream education and struggle with the intricacies of social relationships, homework assignments, and working in peer-based groups. Discover effective strategies that encourage nuanced perspective taking and executive functioning while attending to the person&rsquo;s mental health. Take with you nuance-based social learning lessons for use in both treatment plans and the mainstream classroom to help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core).<br />

    hover left

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

    You've asked for this day! Learn how to effectively use two of our key teaching materials: our award-winning first book in the Superflex series, You are a Social Detective! and our Superflex Curriculum to boost social awareness, social learning, and self-regulation. Lessons support Social and Emotional Learning, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Response to Intervention. These books are designed for elementary school-age children, but we explain how to modify them for use with slightly older and younger kids. Interactive, creative group activities abound in this conference to help our kids transform from 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!

    hover left

    What Does Play Have to Do with Classroom Learning? Exploring Social Executive Functioning and Social Emotional Learning for Early Learners (4 - 7 yrs)

    <p style="text-align: justify;">Practical, fun, and innovative strategies! Build on the concepts presented the day before and investigate how to help kids work, play, and learn in groups as well as improve their flexible thinking. We delve deeply into the following teaching concepts: understanding social expectations, flexible versus stuck thinking, identifying the size of the problem, making smart guesses, and sharing an imagination. Introducing Social Thinking&rsquo;s newest tool for treatment* planning, the Group Collaboration, Play, and Problem Solving Scale to differentiate the play-based teaching methods appropriate for each child. Core information is from <em>We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers</em> (this book is the second volume of the series formerly called <em>The Incredible Flexible You</em>).</p>

  • Nancy Tarshis is a speech-language pathologist whose prolific career includes extensive experience working with children and their parents. In 1992, she joined the professional team at the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where, in 1996, she was named Supervisor of Speech and Language Services. Currently, she maintains a clinical practice, seeing patients birth to 21 for diagnoses and therapeutic treatment, supervises ten speech pathologists, lectures to medical residents and psychology interns, participates in research projects, and serves as adjunct clinical instructor at Teachers College, Columbia, Hunter College, NYU, and Hofstra University. She is deeply experienced in a wide variety of treatment methodologies, including Social Thinking, and is a frequent speaker across the U.S. on its concepts and strategies.

     

    Nancy’s clinical work includes Altogether Social, a Social Thinking practice she co-founded with Debbie Meringolo, that serves clients age 14 months through 22 years. Altogether Social provides individual and group sessions, consultations to public and private schools, and trainings for parents and professionals.

     

    Speaking Experience

    • Narrative Development and Intervention
    • Early Identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • Introduction to the ADOS
    • Pervasive Developmental Disorders
    • Play and Language: Development, Assessment, and Intervention for the Preschool Child
    • Parent-Child Dyadic Intervention for Infants
    • Handling, Positioning and Oromotor Control
    • Language Development and Language Disorders: Birth to Five
    • Play as a Context for Enhancing Developmental Skills
    • Early Intervention and Assessment of Autistic Infants and Toddlers
    • Speech and Language Assessment: Birth to Five Years
    • Interview Techniques and Hiring Practices: A Conversation with Professionals in the Field
    • Speech Therapy Post Cochlear Implant

     

    Personal
    Nancy is intensely proud of her son, an attorney, her daughter-in-law, a doctoral student in Geology, and her daughter, who is studying to become a Nurse Practitioner. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Manhattan.

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Speaker for Think Social Publishing, Inc. and receives speaking fees and royalty payments. 

    Non-­financial: No relevant non-­financial relationships exist. 

     

    Note: Nancy Tarshis and Debbie Meringolo are available to co-present and bring a unique perspective to the Collaborative. As clinicians and administrators at a university-affiliated developmental disabilities clinic, they provide evaluation and treatment to individuals from birth to 21. In their joint private practice, they offer a variety of supports that includes school consultations, staff training, parent education, and weekly treatment groups. They are uniquely qualified to offer professional training on the Social Thinking framework to teachers, therapists, administrators, and parents.

    see more

Renee Attaway

MS, CCC-SLP

  • Renee Attaway
  • Course Expertise

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group &ndash; and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

    hover left

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

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    Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities (4 - 7 yrs)

    <p>Connecting the dots: guide children&rsquo;s early social learning and play experiences to strengthen social thinking and classroom learning. Using video examples and multi-sensory lessons, we provide helpful strategies and Social Thinking Vocabulary to teach children core concepts such as thinking thoughts and feeling feelings, thinking with their eyes, learning about the group plan, developing self-awareness about their body in the group and how they use their whole body to listen! Engaging activities help kids learn in a group through social exploration and play. While core information is supported by our award-winning curriculum, story, and music collection: <em>We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers</em>, the vocabulary and strategies are adaptable for use with other activities and age appropriate literature. (Note: Series formerly named <em>The Incredible Flexible You</em>).</p>

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

    Delve into the needs of our more literal learners who may have diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, language learning or sensory integration challenges. They are often perplexed by the abstractions of the school curriculum, show marked difficulty in reading social cues, and are often aloof and less organized.&nbsp; Discover how best to teach individuals based on their age and how to enhance learning in the inclusion-based classroom. Explore lessons that translate abstract social concepts into concrete ideas that can help improve social understanding over time. Participants are provided with tools to tie social treatment plans to the Common Core Standards. Audience members love the many video examples and treatment tools! <br />

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

    You've asked for this day! Learn how to effectively use two of our key teaching materials: our award-winning first book in the Superflex series, You are a Social Detective! and our Superflex Curriculum to boost social awareness, social learning, and self-regulation. Lessons support Social and Emotional Learning, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Response to Intervention. These books are designed for elementary school-age children, but we explain how to modify them for use with slightly older and younger kids. Interactive, creative group activities abound in this conference to help our kids transform from 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!

  • Renee Attaway is the founder and director of Social Thinking® at Parish, a program at The Parish School that offers social cognitive services in the Houston, Texas. For over 5 years, her program provides group and individual therapeutic services for children from preschool to high school, an overnight social learning summer camp called Camp Social Superheroes, and a parent group.


    As a Speech Language Pathologist, Renee has offered Social Thinking® groups since discovering Michelle's work in 2003. She has completed both the mentor training and internship at the Social Thinking clinics in San Jose, CA.

     

    Renee's career has included working in private schools, the university setting, and private practice. She has focused on the school setting for over 14 years through work with the public schools as a supervisor, consulting with private schools and her position at The Parish school, a private school for children with language and learning differences. Renee's passion for language and cognition came from her many roles there, including working as a lead preschool teacher, pull-out therapist, and administrator for Speech Pathology services. Program development is another of Renee's strengths and she has been instrumental in creating or supporting language programs and summer camps at The University of Houston, The Parish School, and founded Camp Social Superheroes. She also served as a program chair the Texas Speech and Hearing Association.


    Renee is an enthusiastic speaker who enjoys sharing her own clinical experiences with audiences across North America. She has traveled as a speaker all over North America and has over 10 years of speaking experiences in her community and to many different kinds of professionals. In addition, Renee speaks about social cognitive development, preschool play skills, group language therapy, and creating effective social groups.

     

    Other Experience

    At the University of Houston, Renee worked as a Clinical Supervisor and supervised graduate students in speech pathology.  She created and directed Cougar Communication Groups, which offered a summer group therapy experience for graduate students and included articulation, language, reading, and social groups.

     

    For two-and-a-half years, Renee served on the Programming Committee for TSHA, which is responsible for planning and hosting the annual convention for the state.  Renee served as committee co-chair and helped coordinate the convention hosting site, sessions offered, and convention activities.

     

    Speaking Experience

    Renee has presented on the following topics in addition to the core Social Thinking workshops mentioned above:

    • Social Thinking® for Elementary Students
    • Language Development in Young Children
    • Preschool Social Development and Play Skills 
    • Social Groups 101:  How to run an effective social group
    • Pragmatic Language Skills
    • Behavior vs. Social:  Understanding Social Difficulties in a Classroom
    • Language Therapy in a Group Setting
    • Social Skills in the Preschool Classroom
    • Social Skills in Neurotypical Children

     

    Personal

    Renee is the mother of two young children and spends most of her free time playing, creating art projects, and chasing preschoolers. She is an avid reader and loves traveling, painting and crafts, restaurants, and Pilates.

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Speaker for Think Social Publishing, Inc. and receives speaking fees. 

    Non-­financial: No relevant non-­financial relationships exist. 

     

    see more

Debbie Meringolo

MA, MS

  • Debbie Meringolo
  • Course Expertise

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group &ndash; and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

    hover left

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

    hover left

    Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities (4 - 7 yrs)

    <p>Connecting the dots: guide children&rsquo;s early social learning and play experiences to strengthen social thinking and classroom learning. Using video examples and multi-sensory lessons, we provide helpful strategies and Social Thinking Vocabulary to teach children core concepts such as thinking thoughts and feeling feelings, thinking with their eyes, learning about the group plan, developing self-awareness about their body in the group and how they use their whole body to listen! Engaging activities help kids learn in a group through social exploration and play. While core information is supported by our award-winning curriculum, story, and music collection: <em>We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers</em>, the vocabulary and strategies are adaptable for use with other activities and age appropriate literature. (Note: Series formerly named <em>The Incredible Flexible You</em>).</p>

    hover left

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

    Delve into the needs of our more literal learners who may have diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, language learning or sensory integration challenges. They are often perplexed by the abstractions of the school curriculum, show marked difficulty in reading social cues, and are often aloof and less organized.&nbsp; Discover how best to teach individuals based on their age and how to enhance learning in the inclusion-based classroom. Explore lessons that translate abstract social concepts into concrete ideas that can help improve social understanding over time. Participants are provided with tools to tie social treatment plans to the Common Core Standards. Audience members love the many video examples and treatment tools! <br />

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

    Explore the needs of nuance-challenged social communicators who may have diagnoses such as Asperger&rsquo;s syndrome, ASD, ADHD, or social anxiety. They are often in mainstream education and struggle with the intricacies of social relationships, homework assignments, and working in peer-based groups. Discover effective strategies that encourage nuanced perspective taking and executive functioning while attending to the person&rsquo;s mental health. Take with you nuance-based social learning lessons for use in both treatment plans and the mainstream classroom to help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core).<br />

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

    You've asked for this day! Learn how to effectively use two of our key teaching materials: our award-winning first book in the Superflex series, You are a Social Detective! and our Superflex Curriculum to boost social awareness, social learning, and self-regulation. Lessons support Social and Emotional Learning, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Response to Intervention. These books are designed for elementary school-age children, but we explain how to modify them for use with slightly older and younger kids. Interactive, creative group activities abound in this conference to help our kids transform from 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!

  • Debbie Meringolo, a special educator and developmental specialist, is the Associate Director of the Infant/Toddler Team at the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC), at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is also the director of the Baby Team parent-child treatment program, and the co-director of CERC's RELATE program, providing diagnostic evaluations and treatment for children/adolescents with communication and social challenges. In this administrative and clinical role, Debbie supervises clinicians, conducts evaluations and provides treatment for children individually and in groups. Along with colleagues at CERC she also participates in a variety of research projects, examining early diagnosis of children with autistic spectrum disorders.

     

    In addition to her work at the clinic, she runs a part time Social Thinking practice along with Nancy Tarshis. They work with children ages 14 months through adult in individual as well as group sessions, consult to public and private schools and provide training for parents and professionals.

     

    Debbie obtained her BA from Queens College, her MA from Columbia University, Teacher's College, and her MS from Yeshiva University. She also holds a NYS certificate as a School District Administrator, from Brooklyn College. Prior to her career at CERC, twenty years ago Debbie worked for the New York City Department of Education as a special education teacher, teacher trainer, special projects coordinator and special education school supervisor.

    Debbie is currently working on a book for parents on Social Thinking.

     

    Speaking Experience

    • Play and Language: Assessment and Intervention for the Preschool Child
    • Assessment and Intervention of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
    • Identifying Autism Spectrum Disorders in Young Children
    • Using the Autism Diagnostic and Observation Schedule
    • Educating Children With Autism

     

    Personal

    Debbie lives with her husband Marc in Westchester, NY. She has two adult children, one is an attorney and the another is studying social work. She is an avid biker, swimmer, and runner and loves to cook and bake. Debbie is proud of her long and diverse career in special education.

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Speaker for Think Social Publishing, Inc. and receives speaking fees. 

    Non-­financial: No relevant non-­financial relationships exist. 

     

    Note: Nancy Tarshis and Debbie Meringolo are available to co-present and bring a unique perspective to the Collaborative. As clinicians and administrators at a university-affiliated developmental disabilities clinic, they provide evaluation and treatment to individuals from birth to 21. In their joint private practice, they offer a variety of supports that include school consultations, staff training, parent education, and weekly treatment groups. They are uniquely qualified to offer professional training to teachers, therapists, administrators, and parents on the Social Thinking framework.

    see more

Beckham Linton

MA, CCC-SLP

  • Beckham Linton
  • Course Expertise

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group &ndash; and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

    hover left

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

    hover left

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

    You've asked for this day! Learn how to effectively use two of our key teaching materials: our award-winning first book in the Superflex series, You are a Social Detective! and our Superflex Curriculum to boost social awareness, social learning, and self-regulation. Lessons support Social and Emotional Learning, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Response to Intervention. These books are designed for elementary school-age children, but we explain how to modify them for use with slightly older and younger kids. Interactive, creative group activities abound in this conference to help our kids transform from 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!

  • Beckham Linton earned a Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology at Oklahoma State University and has been working in the field for 24 years. She began her career in the area of Neurorehabilitation in the states of Oklahoma and Kansas and quickly developed a special interest in working with people facing social cognitive challenges following traumatic brain injury.

     

    Beckham and her family moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado in 1996 where she worked as staff therapist and Director of the Speech-Language Pathology and Cognitive Rehabilitation departments at The Brain Injury Recovery Program, (currently named Center for Neurorehabilitation Services P.C.). Her responsibilities included evaluation and treatment planning for adults and children, cognitive rehabilitation program development, in-service training, client care coordination and public education. Beckham also served as staff therapist at The Speech-Language Stimulation Center in Ft. Collins, Colorado and managed a caseload including children birth to 3 years and teens/adults with voice disorders.


    As her family grew, Beckham joined the Poudre Valley School District in 1999 where she served as a staff speech language pathologist for both elementary and middle schools supervising interns, developing in-service training programs and consulting with IEP teams across the district.


    In 2003, Beckham relocated to Overland Park, Kansas and secured her current position in the Blue Valley School District. She quickly experienced an influx of students on her caseload whose significant social language challenges interfered with their ability to meet academic expectations, despite their strong verbal language skills. She also recognized that she and other SLP's were ill-equipped to effect real change in these students via traditional 'lunch group' social skills teaching methods, so with the help of one of her students' parents, Beckham began a search for more efficient and effective strategies. Her quest lead her to the work of Michelle Garcia Winner in Social Thinking and she has never looked back.


    Greatly inspired, Beckham completed the Social Thinking Clinical Training Level 1in 2008 and Clinical Training Level 2 in 2009, and she attends yearly Social Thinking Conferences and collaborative meetings in order to stay current. In addition to her speaking and work in the public school system, Beckham runs a small private practice and has dedicated her career to sharing her passion for helping others become more effective communicators and personal problem solvers across all aspects of their lives.


    Personal

    Beckham enjoys a 28 year marriage and has 2 beautiful children. She loves reading, watching movies, family gatherings, dancing with 'the girls', morning yoga with my 'sis'and always looks forward to getting back to the mountains.


    Other Experience

    • Development and implementation of individual and group social language therapy programs for kids ages 5- 15.
    • District wide teacher/parent continuing education talks on Social Language challenges
    • Contributor: Facilitating Relationships! Six Second Stories and Other Social Communication Strategies. Maryellen Rooney Moreau, M.Ed., CCC-SLP and Gwynne McElhinney, M.S., CCC-SLP
    • Received the ASHA Award for Continuing Education (ACE)
    • Developed Metacognitive awareness training presentation for neuro-rehabilitation professionals
    • Facilitator of the social support group for adults with TBI
    • Facilitator of the collaborative group called the 'Social Think Tank' in Blue Valley School District
    • Presenter: Social Thinking and The Story Grammar Marker: Strategies for Teaching Communicative Success and Personal Problem Solving
    • Presenter: The Language-Thinking Connection: Language + Thinking = Communication
    • Presenter: Social Thinking and BIST (Behavior Intervention Support Team)
    • Contributor: Superflex and Friends Take on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and the Common Core Standards

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Speaker for Think Social Publishing, Inc. and receives speaking fees.

    Non-financial: No relevant non-financial relationships exist.

    see more

Gretchen Schmidt Mertes

M.Ed.

  • Gretchen Schmidt Mertes
  • Course Expertise

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group &ndash; and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

    hover left

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

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    Social Thinking Meets RTI and PBS: Social Thinking as a School Wide Systems Approach (5 - young adult)

    This presentation explores the dynamics of using Social Thinking concepts in a school setting based on the differentiation models of RTI and PBS, while incorporating with existing initiatives already in place. Designed to address the diverse learning needs of all students, participants will explore how Social Thinking concepts can be integrated into the core curriculum to increase access to the State/Common Core State Standards for all students. Information presented demonstrates how the intentional teaching of Social Thinking concepts enhances student learning at the benchmark level, while decreasing behavioral and discipline referrals at the strategic and intensive levels.

  • Gretchen Schmidt Mertes is an Educational Specialist in Autism and a well-known presenter and consultant throughout the Pacific Northwest. She has over 20 years of experience teaching both general and special education students, and currently works as a TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) with students' preschool through high school. Gretchen is the Autism Specialist for the Bethel School District (estimated enrollment 18,000) in Washington State, where she developed and coordinates district wide programming for students with autism and Social Thinking deficits in both special and general education. She also provides quarterly training for staff members, both classified and certified, on a variety of topics related to autism, Social Thinking, and other topics in Special Education. She graduated from Concordia College in Elementary Education in 1988 and received her M.Ed. in Special Education, summa cum laude, in 1995.

     

    Gretchen's greatest passion is teaching teachers and other educators how to use Social Thinking within their own classrooms and schools. She has worked with many schools to develop school-wide implementation of Social Thinking in a differentiated model for all students. Her experience as a general and special education teacher, and most recently as an Educational Specialist in Autism, have given her credibility in understanding and helping educators implement Social Thinking in a variety of settings and levels.

     

    Gretchen designed and supports five Social Thinking classrooms within her own district as well as supporting students with Social Thinking deficits in resource programs, and general and gifted education classrooms throughout the district, preschool through transition. She works with students, teachers, administrators, and parents to identify social cognitive needs and develop programming to meet those needs.

     

    Other Experience

    Regional Autism Facilitator/Trainer for the Autism Outreach Project, a Special Needs Project through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington State.

     

    As a statewide trainer, Gretchen provides numerous trainings on issues related to Autism, such as supporting and programming for those with Asperger's/High Functioning Autism and Social Thinking, structured learning, sensory needs, behavior, academics, and IEP development for both educators and families.

     

    Private practice, as part of Puget Sound Autism Asperger's Associates, providing technical support, training, and consultation for districts, schools, and families of those with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other Social Thinking challenges throughout the state. Most recently, she has been working with school districts to incorporate Social Thinking into districtwide models, integrating Social Thinking into the initiatives of RTI (Response to Intervention) and PBS (Positive Behavior Supports) for all students. A book on the subject is currently underway.

     

    • Internship, University of Washington Autism Center, 2000-2001
    • Professional Development in Autism, University of Kansas 2005
    • Workshops attended include: Tony Attwood, Kari Dunn Buron, Dena Gassner, Temple Grandin, Carol Gray, Cathy Pratt, Ilene Schwartz, Stephen Shore, Brenda Smith Myles and many more.


    Speaking Experience

    • Social Thinking® Training and Speakers Collaborative, speaking engagements through US and Canada based on the work of Michelle Garcia Winner www.socialthinking.com 2011-Present.
    • Autism Outreach Project, Washington State, 2000-Present, multiple trainings annually on Asperger's and Social Thinking; Structuring Learning; Sensory Needs; and other topics
    • Summer Institute and quarterly staff development for the Bethel School District in Autism, Asperger's, Social Thinking and Special Education issues such as IEP development and compliance, 1999- Present
    • Combined Summer Institute (Autism, Multiple Disabilities, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Visual
      Impairments, and Traumatic Brain Injury) for Washington State - presentations on Autism, Asperger's and Social Thinking, annually 2000-2010, 2012-Present
    • Changes in the DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorders and Social Communication Disorders Implications and Qualification, Washington State Association of School Psychologists Annual Conference, 2013
    • Autism and Educational Issues Current and Pending, Pacific Northwest Institute on Special Education and the Law, 2012 (Also presented for the LEA Directors at Puget Sound ESD 121 and various school districts)
    • Social Thinking Meets RTI and PBS, Social Thinking Providers Conference, San Francisco, 2010 and 2011
    • An Introduction to Social Thinking for Parents; Social Thinking Across the School Day; and Social Thinking Meets RTI and PBS, Kent School District, WA 2011 and Friday Harbor School District 2012
    • An Introduction to Social Thinking, Logan River Academy Residential Treatment Center, Logan River, UT 2011
    • Various Courses in Autism, Social Thinking and Special Education, Adjunct Instructor for Seattle Pacific University, 1999-2011
    • Social Thinking Across the School Day, Snohomish School District, Snohomish, WA, 2009
    • Panel Presentation: Social Thinking in Schools, 1st Annual Social Thinking Provider's Conference, San Jose 2008
    • An Introduction to Social Thinking, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Northwest Teacher's Conference, 2008
    • Washington Autism Society, Annual Conferences 2001-2004
    • Summer Institute on Significant Disabilities, Washington State - presentation on BLAST,
      (Building Language and Social Skills Together), a "school within a school" designed to meet the needs of students with Social Thinking Deficits and Autism, 1999

     

    Personal

    Gretchen lives in Puyallup, Washington with her husband, two cats, and the variety of ducks, geese, birds, squirrels, and other critters that call their back yard pond "home." She and her husband love to spend time with friends and family and travel both near and far. If not at home spending time with friends, they are often on the road or at sea looking for adventure and local cuisine. Interests and hobbies include reading, sailing, theater, dance, cooking and gardening. Gretchen is also actively involved in her church where she serves as the Faith Formation Chairperson. She is an alumni of Up With People and Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma and continues to stay actively engaged and involved in both organizations.

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Speaker for Think Social Publishing, Inc. and receives speaking fees and royalty payments. 

    Non-­financial: No relevant non-­financial relationships exist. 

    see more

Nancy Cotton

PhD

  • Nancy Cotton
  • Course Expertise

  • Dr. Cotton is a Clinical Developmental Psychologist who received her Doctoral degree from Tufts University and completed Harvard Medical School internships and Post-doctoral fellowships in adult and child psychology.  She was a principal teacher and supervisor at Harvard Medical School from 1977 until she moved to Vermont in 1995.

     

    Dr. Cotton has a longstanding interest in the comprehensive treatment of children and adolescents with difficulties stemming from biological, psychological, social, communication, and learning vulnerabilities.  She works closely with parents to develop their parenting skills and to understand their children’s individual styles.  She was the Director of a Harvard teaching hospital Inpatient Child Psychiatry Unit for ten years and worked as a principal consultant to the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health in program development and clinical treatment planning for children and adolescents in need of complex, intense, and comprehensive services. 

     

    Dr. Cotton has a private practice in Burlington, Vermont where she treats adults, children, and families.  She is a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

     

    She consults throughout these states to school-based and mental health teams coordinating complex educational and mental health programming for children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Psychiatric Disorders and behavioral and emotional problems.

     

    Dr. Cotton is the Mental Health Specialist on Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Training Collaborative and a Consulting Psychologist for Social Thinking Boston, Sudbury, Massachusetts.

     

    Dr. Cotton’s approach to working with kids and their families emphasizes honoring, nurturing and treating the whole child and family. Her treatment is strength-based while problem-solving with good evaluations, empathetic formulations, and system-wide interventions to address difficulties stemming from biological, psychological, social, communication, and learning vulnerabilities.

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Speaker for Think Social Publishing, Inc. and receives speaking fees. 

    Non-­financial: No relevant non-­financial relationships exist. 

    see more

Chithra Kathiresan

B. App. Sc.

  • Chithra Kathiresan
  • Course Expertise

    hover left

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

    New information on writing goals and taking data with rubrics. Discover an array of strategies that bolster social learning and help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core)! Explore lessons to make the abstract social world more concrete and understandable. Through the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking learn how social ability impacts academic success. Uncover how challenges in social communication, executive functioning and perspective taking impact written expression, reading comprehension, organizational skills, and working in a group &ndash; and learn strategies to improve all of the above! Rounding out the day: learn essential tips for effective IEP goal writing and data keeping.

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

    Learn over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary! Help individuals advance their ability to understand the social context and tailor their behaviors accordingly. Help others improve their social observational skills, how they work in a group, share an imagination, understand what it means to be a "Just Me" versus "Thinking of Others" person, and relate more effectively with language. Discover tools 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 your home, clinic, or classroom the very next day. People love this hands-on, engaging workshop!

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

    Delve into the needs of our more literal learners who may have diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, language learning or sensory integration challenges. They are often perplexed by the abstractions of the school curriculum, show marked difficulty in reading social cues, and are often aloof and less organized.&nbsp; Discover how best to teach individuals based on their age and how to enhance learning in the inclusion-based classroom. Explore lessons that translate abstract social concepts into concrete ideas that can help improve social understanding over time. Participants are provided with tools to tie social treatment plans to the Common Core Standards. Audience members love the many video examples and treatment tools! <br />

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

    Explore the needs of nuance-challenged social communicators who may have diagnoses such as Asperger&rsquo;s syndrome, ASD, ADHD, or social anxiety. They are often in mainstream education and struggle with the intricacies of social relationships, homework assignments, and working in peer-based groups. Discover effective strategies that encourage nuanced perspective taking and executive functioning while attending to the person&rsquo;s mental health. Take with you nuance-based social learning lessons for use in both treatment plans and the mainstream classroom to help improve performance on educational standards at the state level (including the Common Core).<br />

  • Chithra has been working as an SLP in Singapore for over 20 years, upon completing her training in Australia. She has worked with adults and children with diverse needs and profiles both within hospital and community settings. She has been in private practice for the last 10 years. Chithra has a special interest in disorders of relating and communicating including Autism Spectrum Disorders.

     

    Chithra is Hanen certified and has been conducting the More than Words and Talkability parent training programs since 2003. She is a certified DIR Floortime Expert with ICDL DIR Institute and a DIR trainer with Profectum. In 2013 Chithra started Connect and Communicate LLP in Singapore, a centre dedicated to social communication in children and young adults.


    Chithra was introduced to Social Thinking in 2005 and attended mentorship training with Michelle Garcia Winner in 2006. She has conducted Social Thinking programs since both in groups and individually. In 2008 she attended the inaugural Social Thinking providers summit in San Francisco followed by more training at Michelle's Clinic. In 2012 Chithra was invited to be a member of the Social Thinking Speakers Collaborative and maintains close ties with the team. She has provided numerous consultations and trainings in Singapore and in the region.

     

    Financial Disclosure

    Financial: Speaker for Think Social Publishing, Inc. and receives speaking fees. 

    Non-­financial: No relevant non-­financial relationships exist. 

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