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Conferences for Professionals, Parents, Family Members & Students

About Social Thinking Conferences

Our conferences are designed to teach professionals and parents practical strategies to help children, teens, and adults improve their social thinking abilities.

The Social Thinking Methodology teaches individuals how to think about the social world in order to communicate more effectively. Our practical frameworks and strategies help people learn to interpret and respond to abstract social information and produce related social skills for use in the classroom, home and community.  We connect social learning to the Common Core / State Standards and our teachings are in alignments with Social Emotional Learning, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Response to Intervention. 

The Social Thinking Methodology was developed for individuals with solid language and learning skills ages 4 years old through adulthood. Many of those we help have a diagnosis ranging from Asperger's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder (Levels 1 & 2), Social Communication Disorder, PDD-NOS-, ADHD, NVLD, Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder, Twice Exceptional, Social Anxiety to head injury, but many have no diagnosis at all. Mainstream kids benefit from our strategies too, which is why Social Thinking curricula are popping up in mainstream classrooms around the world!

Social Thinking Conferences

At our conferences we share our latest frameworks, lessons, and strategies for teaching social thinking and related social skills to people ages 4 years old through adulthood. We offer 15+ full-day courses, each offering unique concepts and strategies regarding a particular theme or age group. All information presented in can be used immediately in the classroom, home, community, and workplace!

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Conferences sponsored by Social Thinking (i.e. those you can register for on our website) offer continuing education, complimentary lunch and dessert, and our products available for purchase. The aforementioned cannot be guaranteed at conferences sponsored by other organizations.

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Continuing Education Available

Social Thinking is a continuing education provider for Speech Language Pathologists, Certified Counselors, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Nurses, and Clinical and School Psychologists. Continuing education credits/units/clock hours are available at no cost with the purchase of a "Professional" conference registration, and are not available with the purchase of a “Parent, Family Member & Student” registration. Each of our courses offers 6 hours of instruction as well as a certificate of attendance that is given to each participant.
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Courses

Each of our 15+ full-day courses are packed with unique concepts and strategies for teaching social thinking and related social skills that pertains to a particular theme or age group. Our courses are constantly updated with new information as our work continues to grow and evolve. Attended a particular course two years ago? Today that course has totally new information!

a
Social Thinking Across the Home and School Day: The ILAUGH Model
b
The Social Thinking Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies
c
Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME
Day D
Executive Functioning: Tackle Homework and Classwork with these Helpful Strategies!
e
Implementing Social Thinking Concepts and Vocabulary: A Day to Develop Team Creativity
Day F
“I’m going to be a video game designer!” Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World
Day G
Let’s Get Real: Tackling Dilemmas Faced by Adults with Social Learning Challenges
h
Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities
j
ZOOMING IN: Strategies for Concrete Learners
k
ZOOMING IN: Strategies for Individuals with Subtle but Significant Social Problems
l
Social Thinking Meets RTI and PBS: Social Thinking as a School Wide Systems Approach
m
Social Detective, Superflex®, and Friends Take On Social Emotional Learning
p
What Does Play Have to Do with Classroom Learning? Exploring Social Executive Functioning and Social Emotional Learning for Early Learners
q
Master Class 1: Exploring Key Social Communication Concepts through Hands-on Activities
r
The Zones of Regulation®: A Framework to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control
y
Problem Solving with Students: Two Different Sets of Strategies
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Complementary Angles: Using Collaborative & Proactive Solutions in Tandem with Social Thinking to Solve Problems and Teach New Skills
a
Social Thinking Across the Home and School Day: The ILAUGH Model: (kinder - young adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
This conference day is designed to teach professionals and parents frameworks, concepts, and strategies so that they may better understand the social learning experience and guide others toward improved social processing and social skills. Conference attendees will gain new insights into the power of their own social emotional intelligence as they explore their social motivations and how they process and respond to social information.  We will dissect the hidden rules, contemplate how social rules change with age, and discuss how social problem solving is at the heart of social skills, and affects how one interprets and responds to social-academic information and assignments. Social Thinking has developed a large range of treatment* strategies, and attendees will walk away with a number of them including those for helping students avoid “the blurt”, cope with “boring moments”, and develop conversational language. Additionally, we will focus much of our attention on the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking. The ILAUGH model is an acronym to represent treatment ideas and research related to: Initiating communication, Listening with the eyes and brain, Abstracting and inferencing, Understanding perspective, Getting the gist, and Humor & human relationships. The ILAUGH model not only demonstrates why people with social learning challenges have weaker social skills but also how social interpretation is linked to academic tasks such as written expression, conversational language, reading comprehension and organizational skills. As we wrap up the day, we will explore how we want to “teach in the roots” and not through the leaves of Social Thinking’s Social Learning Tree. We will then discuss how to write achievable IEP goals based on rubrics. Mainstream teachers find the information presented on this conference day applicable to all students as it pertains to social emotional learning, and audiences around the world love that it furthers their own social emotional insights! *Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use of social skills and social thinking.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Explain how teaching "think with your eyes" is different from simply teaching good eye contact.
  2. Explain why a person with social learning deficits may have reading comprehension problems in the classroom.
  3. Distinguish and describe the difference between a useful IEP goal and one that is of little benefit.
  4. Describe how the use of spiral bound strategy cards can facilitate teaching how to initiate communication.
  5. Explain how gestalt processing relates to written expression and organizational skills.
  6. Describe a strategy to help students avoid blurting. 

7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:00 Introduce concepts of Social Thinking and the social academic connection.
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-12:00 Introduce the ILAUGH Model: Initiation and Listening with Eyes and Brain
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:15 Abstracting/inferencing and understanding perspective.
2:15-2:25 Break
2:25-3:45
Gestalt thinking and developing IEP goals: "Winnerman's" worst goals and discussion about creating rubrics to help with IEP goal measurement.
b
The Social Thinking Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies : (kinder - young adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
We launch the day exploring three practical frameworks and teaching strategies. First, Social Behavior Mapping (SBM) is a visual framework that teaches how to better understand the social expectations in a given situation. SBM then guides us to strategies specific to an individual’s needs as they discover what’s “expected" or “unexpected" in a social situation and how their behavior impacts the feelings of others.  How others feels about us impacts how they treat us in that situation and ultimately affects our own feelings!  Social Behavior Mapping has been widely adopted for use with all ages.  This core Social Thinking tool reflects our Cognitive Behavioral teaching style. Next, we explain through a visual framework the journey between learning to be friendly and maintaining successful friendships through our Peer-a-mid of Friendships.  We will delve into what it means to be a friend, distinguishing between 1) "being friendly," 2) developing a friendship, and 3) having a "bonded friend." We will also discuss how conversational skills are only one component to keeping friends - as "hanging out" actually means we share space without necessarily talking! For individuals with strong social self-awareness but nuanced social learning challenges, social anxiety commonly emerges as another factor to be considered in treatment. The visual tools named the Spiral of Social Success and the Spiral of Social Failure guide how we teach social competencies while also teaching how to manage social anxiety.We will also offer some basic concepts and ideas for running Social Thinking groups.  Our treatment goals are to help make the abstractions of the social world more easily interpreted through our concrete explanations! We round out the day by demonstrating to parents and professionals how to better understand the inner minds of individuals with social learning challenges when our standardized testing falls short. We introduce the Informal Dynamic Social Thinking  (IDST) Assessment, a tool described in Michelle's book, Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME, 2nd Edition. IDST assessment tasks are useful as part of the initial or three-year testing process – and can also be used by any parent or professional to better understand how an individual processes and responds to social information. The IDST is invaluable in learning more about the way individuals think, and how their social thinking challenges affect their social and academic learning. This, in turn, illuminates why they need direct teaching of social concepts and arms us with relevant knowledge to determine specific treatment strategies that are best aligned with their needs. Video footage of the informal assessment will demonstrate ways in which all of us (diagnosticians, parents, paraprofessionals, treatment clinicians, etc.) can work more effectively with our students. Parents and professionals give high praise for the highly practical nature of this workshop. *Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use of social skills and social thinking.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe how to assess "thinking with your eyes" and how this is different from identifying the direction of eye gaze.
  2. Describe the core components of the "Double Interview" and explain how it helps assess perspective taking.
  3. Describe the social-emotional chain reaction through the four columns of the Social Behavior Map.
  4. Define at least three of five different stages of the friendship pyramid and one example of how to teach “approachability”.
  5. Explain how the “excuse bucket” impacts an individual’s ability to teach their brain new concepts and skills.

7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:00 Explore the Cascade of Social Thinking to better understand how our social attention triggers social responsiveness.  Introduce our Informal Dynamic Social Thinking Assessment tasks.
10:00-10:10 Break
10:10-12:00 Use of video to demonstrate the four Informal Dynamic Social Thinking Assessment tasks and reviewing their impact on treatment planning.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:15 Explore key factors to consider when developing Social Behavior Mapping.  The audience will create a social behavior map specific to their situation.  Review the Friendship Peer-a-Mid and discuss how to use it with students of different ages.
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30-3:45
Explore how social competencies are part of the Social Anxiety treatment process. Introduce the Spirals of Anxiety as a treatment tool. Learn about running Social Thinking groups.
c
Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME: (kinder - young adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
Ever wondered how most people can intuitively “read” other people and make split-second decisions about how to interact with them? The process of social communication requires perspective taking. Perspective taking is not one thing but requires many things to happen at once, including conceptual processing (central coherence), figuring out the gist of the situation (executive functioning), and considering the thoughts and emotions of oneself as well as others (theory of mind). This workshop will explore how central these skills and others are to all social contact, nonverbal or verbal, intentional or unintentional. Audiences rave about this workshop day as being filled with research-based information while helping attendees better understand the specific social and academic needs of their students or children. The day starts with exploring the normal development of the social mind. We then move on to explore the different levels of social learning challenges and how they impact a person at school, at home, and into the adult years. In the afternoon, we will explore basic treatment concepts for our “higher functioning” clients, including the Four Steps of Communication and other practical treatment strategies. Clips from popular movies and TV shows will demonstrate how the media can be used to help teach social thinking and encourage social learning. To better understand the different levels of the social mind, we will present our newest information with our model, The Cascade of Social Attention. The Cascade helps us to better understand why individuals have different social learning abilities, even if they share the same diagnostic label.  We provide further information on this topic through a framework we have created called the Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile™ (ST-SCP), formerly known as the Spectrum of Perspective-Taking. The ST-SCP was developed based on years of clinical work focusing on more efficient and effective treatments to help students evolve in their social thinking abilities. Four of the seven levels defined in the ST-SCP will be reviewed during this conference day, illuminating how varying levels of social learning lead to different competencies - exposing why some treatments are more effective than others. As attendees better understand the social functioning of a particular individual, they can select the treatment best suited for the specific needs of that person.If our goal is to help others gain access to critical information they can use across their lives, it is essential that we move away from the idea that all persons with social learning challenges can benefit from the same treatment group or classroom. The ST-SCP not only facilitates a better understanding of an individual’s social and academic learning needs, it helps to define which individuals need to work on learning social rules versus which individuals need help with social nuance - and why this difference is essential. See why the number of buttons a student buttons on a shirt can guide our treatment practices! This is a fascinating day to explore how the little characteristics we notice in our students may be symptoms of a deeper social learning challenge. *Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use of social skills and social thinking.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Define what "perspective taking" means and how it impacts academic learning as well as social communication.
  2. Define at least four different levels of the Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile.
  3. Explain why social observation is critical for interpreting language.
  4. List the four steps involved in developing social communication skills.
  5. Describe a treatment activity that aligns with each of the four steps above.

7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:00 Investigate the early development of the social mind: Theory of Mind, executive functions and central coherence, and how this contributes to perspective taking.
10:00-10:10 Break
10:10-12:00 Introduce the Cascade of Social Thinking and related video clips.  Introduce Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile © (ST-SCP) and related characteristics.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:15 Continue exploring the five levels of the ST-SCP, related social academic connections, learning needs, prognoses with video clips.
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30-3:45
Explore select lessons related to the Four Steps of Communication. Demonstrate how video clips from the media can be used to expand upon lessons.
Day D
Executive Functioning: Tackle Homework and Classwork with these Helpful Strategies!: (5th grade - young adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
The majority of individuals with social learning challenges have difficulty developing organizational skills to manage the increasingly complex expectations of life in upper elementary, middle, high school and into their adult years. Our organizational abilities emerge from our executive functioning skills that are expected to develop through time with minimal instruction. However, for many individuals finding their motivation, knowing how to get started on a project, and managing time across a variety of homework assignments can feel like an overwhelming set of tasks - even for the most intellectually sharp individuals. The impact of poor organizational skills is immense; it affects one's outcome in school, at work, well as at home. People often misinterpret folks with poor organizational skills and limited motivation as being lazy, without understanding that these challenges are more likely the result of a neurologically-based executive function weaknesses than a lack of desire to be competent in their work. Often, relatively little support is provided by parents and teachers to guide individuals to develop these critical skills. Even those who want to provide support are not sure where to begin! In this conference, we explore critical executive functioning skills and practical strategies for individuals to track and tackle homework and other deadline-based responsibilities. Discover two types of organizational skills: static and dynamic. Zoom in on dynamic organizational skills and dissect them into 10 steps that are critical in the completion of any homework assignment. Learn an educational strategy aligned with each step and receive an extensive take-home handout to support this teaching method. This conference has been enthusiastically received by parents, counselors, mainstream and special education teachers, administrators, psychologists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, etc. As with most Social Thinking conferences, hands-on activities help attendees relate their own experiences to the challenges discussed. We do not merely give a general description of the issues. Instead, we guide attendees to actively explore key concepts and to appreciate the pivotal role parents and professionals play in teaching these concepts to individuals. While this conference was designed to help individuals with social learning challenges, the information provided has also proven to be relevant to all students and young adults. Mainstream teachers love this conference day! This information is cutting edge for all populations.

Participants will be able to:

1. Identify a strategy for helping individuals explore their own motivation when approaching complex tasks.
2. Define executive functioning with an easy three-part definition that will help individuals develop awareness of their strengths and weaknesses.
3. Describe the importance of time prediction and how analog clocks teach this concept differently than digital clocks.
4. Define the difference between static and dynamic organizational skills.
5. Describe how a Gantt chart is helpful in understanding multiple assignments across time.
 
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:30 Audience Activity Introduction to executive functioning issues in adolescents and adults. Define and discuss static versus dynamic organization.
10:30-10:40 Break
10:40-12:00 Explore executive functions more deeply: Know what needs to be done; Move it with motivation; Prepare the environments.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:00 Chunk it and time it; Visually structure it; Prioritize and plan it daily
2:00-2:15 Break
2:15-3:45
Hunt and gather; Communicate about it; Take Perspective; Persist and self-reward; IEP goal ideas, Exploring 13 questions as to whether a student is likely to "make it" going away from home upon graduation; Think about your own Organized Thinking.
e
Implementing Social Thinking Concepts and Vocabulary: A Day to Develop Team Creativity: (kinder - young adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
This conference day is all about Social Thinking Vocabulary and concepts! Teach students to communicate through concepts such as “working as part of a group”, the “three parts of play,” “abstracting and inferencing information” and “sharing an imagination”. We will examine clinical examples that highlight how to make these abstract concepts more concrete and teachable. The Social Thinking Vocabulary is the backbone of Social Thinking teaching programs. Research published in 2008 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Crooke, et al.) demonstrated how individuals benefited from learning these concepts. The study found that once children were taught how to think about the concepts, they were able to generalize the information. Participants will work in groups to learn how to use Social Thinking concepts across settings, creating one or two of their own lesson plans. We explore how to make lessons applicable across a variety of environments, and focus on enabling students to apply the lessons into the rest of their lives. Michelle will present some lessons from her book, Think Social! A Social Thinking Curriculum for School Aged Students, which is used in school districts around the world. This conference day offers an advanced exploration of Social Thinking – and is particularly suited for those who have read Social Thinking books, attended our workshops or are otherwise familiar with Social Thinking concepts. It is intended as a more advanced course for people who have attended one or more of the following workshops: Social Thinking Across the Home and School Day:  The ILAUGH Model, The Social Thinking Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies, Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME AND/OR Have read one or more of the following books: Thinking About YOU, Thinking About ME, Inside Out: What Makes a Person With Social Cognitive Deficits Tick?, Think Social! A Social Thinking Curriculum.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe why the context or situation is key for figuring out social expectations and related social skills.
  2. Describe the core steps of Social Behavior Mapping to help teach social responsibility.
  3. Define at least five Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts.
  4. Describe how Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts facilitate generalization across settings.
  5. Describe the difference between sharing an imagination and a singular imagination as these relate to conversations and reading comprehension.

7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:00 Introduction to our Research to Frameworks to Practice: Social Thinking's Many Layers. Explore the Four Steps of Communication, related treatment strategies and activities related to our thinking, our physical presence and our eyes.
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-12:00 Explore the language we use to relate to others. Delve into teaching around the Four Steps of Perspective Taking.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:00 Demonstrate how our Developmental Motivational Tools help incorporate Social Thinking's core teachings into established and sequenced lessons.
2:00-2:10 Break
2:10-3:45
Explore tools for Social Self-Regulation: Emotional Understanding, Emotion Compression, Social Behavior Mapping and Superflex! If we have time, we also teach how to avoid errors when teaching our concepts.
Day F
“I’m going to be a video game designer!” Helping Teens Prepare for the REAL Adult World: (upper elementary - young adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
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. Developmentally, this time is called the “Transition to Adulthood" and we, as teams, develop plans, outline trajectories, and write goals to facilitate the process. We teach the importance of both academic and social skills, but at the end of the day it's not uncommon to hear, "No thanks, I'm just gonna design video games so I don't really need to learn that other stuff."  Interestingly, no matter where we travel around the globe, the love affair between the teenager and the field of video game design poses a stumbling block to more realistic planning and preparation for the social demands of the adult world. This transition can overwhelm individuals born to social learning challenges, even those who are “bright” with strong language skills. This conference focuses on helping parents and professionals (e.g., teachers, counselors, psychologists, speech language pathologists) 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.

The day is organized to address some of the most common statements from our tweens/teens and young adults including: - "I just want to have a friend.” (Preferably a boy/girlfriend!)
- "I saw a video on YouTube, so I got this."
- "I already know how to hang out, I just don't know what to say."
- "I thought the person just wanted to hang out (not take advantage of me)."
- "My parents are driving me nuts!"
- "I know what to do, but it stresses me out."

We will use the research related to friendships, anxiety, social communication, and perspective takings to teach concrete strategies for: - Becoming comfortable with discomfort
- Understanding the levels of friendship and approachability
- Encouraging self awareness and accountability
- Understanding stress and anxiety (the good, the bad, and the roadblocks)
- Motivation and grit (the good 4 letter word)

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the impact that social learning challenges have on academics and relationship building during the teen/young adult years.
  2. Discuss how the Cascade of Social Attention relates to styles of learning (concrete vs. nuanced based).
  3. Explain how anxiety can be a "stop sign" in an individual's ability to use Social Thinking and related skills.
  4. Explain how a student can learn to identify and prioritize his or her own treatment* goals.
*Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use of social skills and social thinking.
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:30 Explore the unique challenges of tweens/teens and young adults: The ILAUGH model and how it relates to this age group.  The Cascade of Social Attention.
10:30-10:40 Break
10:40-12:00 Discuss how different levels of social communication affect mental health and strategies to use with teens and young adults.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:00 More strategies for increasing students' self-awareness of purpose, anxiety, motivation, accountability, responsibility, social networking, and social emotional transition planning.
2:00-2:15 Break
2:15-3:45
Acronym soup: The regulations related to moving into the adult world, strategies for managing anxiety, parents wear out! and defining success in transition planning.
Day G
Let’s Get Real: Tackling Dilemmas Faced by Adults with Social Learning Challenges: (middle school - mature adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
This conference day is the sequel to the conference, “I’m going to be a video game designer!” Helping Teens Prepare for the Adult World - with a continued emphasis on teaching children and teens the concepts and skills they will need as they emerge into adulthood. However, on this day the focus moves into the world of adult work, the social-emotional expectations that exist in the workplace, and what it takes to live as an independent adult. We set aside diagnostic labels and discuss the broader concept that we all live within social boundaries and want others to include us and show they value us, whether or not we realize it. We introduce the 5 Steps to Social Thinking Psychology and also the Social Thinking Social-Emotional Chain Effects to which we all subconsciously react and respond. Through review of dilemmas encountered by bright adults who have fallen off career tracks, we demonstrate where social learning breakdowns happen and discuss strategies to avoid them – including strategies for coping and for working as part of a team. In addition, we redefine what it means to function as an "independent adult". Remarkably, even college-educated, scientifically or artistically gifted adults who are living "on their own" may still not be able to manage all adult expectations until we teach them how to function independently. We will also address the complex issues that parents of these adults face. Teachers and parents of school-age students have described this conference day as impactful for orienting their teachings toward encouraging success in the adult years. Prior to attending this workshop, please read a blog written by Michelle Garcia Winner and a parent of an adult with social communication challenges: Adults: Becoming the Directors of Their Own Treatment Teams and Treatment Plans. The Reason for This Conference Day:  When we released our book, Socially Curious and Curiously Social: A Social Thinking Guidebook for Teens and Young Adults, we were flooded with requests for a conference day to teach Social Thinking to adults. Many adults were writing us, requesting we address their specific issues, while many counseling and psychology groups asked for our treatment* methodology. There is little comprehensive information offered in conferences to address the needs of our "smart" but at times "clueless" adults, many of whom were never diagnosed and have received few concrete treatments. As a result, we developed this two-day workshop to meet these pressing needs. *Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use of social skills and social thinking.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the meaning of "social thinking nuance and sophistication" of the adult mind and how this influences our expectations and intervention strategies.
  2. Describe three elements related to the Social-Emotional Chain Effect and how this awareness impacts our own communicative interpretation and responses.
  3. Define the term "emotional compression" and how this relates to how we teach students to react to one another.
  4. Explain one strategy for how to review strengths and weaknesses to allow individuals to put social learning challenges in context.
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:30 Explore dilemmas faced by adults with social learning challenges to understand treatment needs.
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:00 Co-mingled mental health challenges, encouraging practice and production of social competencies related to physical presence and beginning to explore social psychology.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:15 Social emotional chain effect, emotional synching in conversation, emotional problem solving, stop-think-and flex, Me-minded vs We-minded statements.
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30-3:45
Emotional Expression Compression, Intention-based Social Behavior Mapping, a derivative for adults and understanding our shifting roles as communicators: information vs social relater.
h
Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities: (pre-K - 2nd grade)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations

This course introduces professionals and parents to the many important facets of development that underlie social learning in preschool and early elementary aged children.  What looks like pure fun to us has important social consequences for the developing mind. The ability to participate in collaborative pretend play and learn as part of a group depends upon having a flexible brain, competent language ability, self regulation, and solid social-emotional development as well the executive function skills to multi-task the use of all of the above! The Common Core Standards highlight the importance of “listening and collaboration” in the classroom, which are hallmarks of developmental learning in preschool and during the early elementary years. This course is designed to give participants knowledge of the key components of social cognitive development from birth to five years of age as they connect to the core concepts. Social-emotional growth, executive functioning/self-regulation and their interactive impact on socio-communicative abilities will also be discussed. This course will also focus on how to put the research and best practices of teaching social into action.  We will introduce five Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts that have been adapted for children ages 4-7:  Thoughts and Feelings, The Group Plan, Thinking With Your Eyes, Body in the Group, and Whole Body Listening.  We will explore methods to teach these concepts through storybooks, music, structured activities, and play.  We will also look at different strategies for service delivery in a variety of settings. Strategies for home and school are designed for young children with average to strong language and learning abilities.

 

PLEASE NOTE: While this course focuses on the use of one product - The Incredible Flexible You Vol. 1*,  there are strategies, concepts and vocabulary that apply to a wide range of materials. Our goal for this course is NOT to market this product, but instead to teach how to understand and use the curriculum in the manner it was designed. Our hope is to increase the consistency and fidelity in the ways in which all of us are teaching these concepts. If you (or your district or place of employment) are uncomfortable with a full day focusing on strategies related to a product(s), please select another course to attend.

 

*The Incredible Flexible You Volume 1 will eventually be renamed We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers due to the mass confusion caused by the use of the term "flexible" in the names of many of our products. There will be no content change in Volume 1, only a name change. Volume 2 is named We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers. We thank you for being "flexible" about this change!

 

Participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the difference between a skills-based approach and a social cognitive-based approach.
  2. Identify at least three key milestones that underlie the development of social cognitive skills birth to five years of age.
  3. Explain why a preschool or early elementary aged child with a social cognitive learning challenge may have trouble with learning as part of a group.
  4. Identify ways to structure learning experiences in preschool and early elementary settings.
  5. Describe ways to teach at least three Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts to students ages 4-7.
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:00 Exploring the difference between a skills-based approach and a social cognitive based approach in teaching social to young learners. Introducing the key components of social cognitive development from birth to five years of age.
10:00-10:10 Break
10:10-12:00 Best practices for teaching Social Thinking to early learners. Using the Social Thinking Vocabulary© . Introducing the concepts: Thoughts and Feelings, The Group Plan, Thinking With Your Eyes, Practical strategies to teach these concepts through storybooks, music, structured activities, and play.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:00 Social Thinking Vocabulary: Body in the Group, Whole Body Listening. Practical strategies to teach these concepts through storybooks, music, structured activities, and play.
2:00-2:15 Break
2:15-3:45
Explore frequently asked questions about implementing Social Thinking for early learners. Bringing it all together: using the Social Thinking vocabulary as means of giving effective feedback.
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ZOOMING IN: Strategies for Concrete Learners: (kinder - young adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
This conference day focuses on developing rule-based social learning activities that connect to the Common Core/State Standards and support the student with significant social processing challenges. We will concentrate specifically on students who are described as Challenged or Emerging Social Communicators (CSC and ESC) on our Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile. These students are more literal, more aloof, miss sarcasm, are less organized, show marked difficulty reading social contextual cues from people and the situation, comprehending reading material, expressing themselves through writing, and appear more awkward in their attempts to socially engage with their peers. The emphasis of this day will be around expanding our understanding of where to start and how to progress with these students based on their age, what is realistic to teach, and how to apply this learning in the inclusion-based classroom. Because this conference day is focused on expanding and deepening knowledge around Social Thinking strategies, it is advised that participants already have basic knowledge about Social Thinking and introductory treatment concepts. Participants should familiarize themselves with the Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile by reading the article, Social Communication Learning Styles as a Guide to Treatment and Prognosis: The Social Thinking‐Social Communication Profile™. *Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use of social skills and social thinking.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe four core characteristics of Challenged and/or Emerging Social Communicators and explain how these may impact social and academic learning.
  2. Describe two tools for determining strengths and challenges of concrete-based learners.
  3. Describe the suggested sequence of three core lessons, beginning with “I have thoughts/feelings”, when planning treatment for concrete learners.
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:30 Explore how to teach social learning in different situations for the Challenged and Emerging Social Communicator.
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:00 Understand and define the characteristics of individuals considered to be Challenged and Emerging Social Communicators and discuss realistic expectations for learning. Zoom in on tools that are helpful in describing characteristics of the CSC and ESC.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:15 Zoom in on the Common Core Standards for select grade levels and the relationship to social and academic learning. Explore the sequence of 3 core lessons for CSC/ESCs across environments.
2:15-2:25 Break
2:25-3:45
Discuss sample lessons, goals/objectives, and measuring progress (Rubric design).
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ZOOMING IN: Strategies for Individuals with Subtle but Significant Social Problems: (kinder - young adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
This conference day will explore how to work with individuals who struggle with self-regulation, social anxiety, and depression (Nuance Challenged Social Communicator). We will offer nuance-based social learning activities that connect to the Common Core Standards, and take a deeper look at how teaching lessons related to social nuance differs from teaching social “rules.” Individuals in this group may represent a range of diagnoses such as: ADHD, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS, ODD, OCD, NVLD – or be undiagnosed. Nuance-based social learners tend to have significant issues, yet they are least likely to get peer mentor support because they often appear to “blend in” with their peers, at least from an adult perspective. They are also the most likely to be bullied since they are seen by their peers as subtly different. As a result, they may have significant social anxiety and experience meltdown moments. Many have considerable challenges with Executive Functioning such as asking for help, working in peer-based groups, and doing homework. There tends to be an underlying struggle to interpret the intentions and perspective of others, but a keen ability to notice when others aren’t following the social rules. These individuals often act without a deeper understanding of the social situation or how their actions affect those around them. Because this conference day is focused on expanding and deepening knowledge around Social Thinking strategies, it is advised that participants already have basic knowledge about Social Thinking and introductory treatment concepts. Participants should familiarize themselves with the Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile by reading the article, Social Communication Learning Styles as a Guide to Treatment and Prognosis: The Social Thinking--‐Social Communication Profile™. *Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use of social skills and social thinking.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe four core characteristics of those considered to be Nuance Challenged Social Communicators and how to consider those characteristics in group planning.
  2. Describe how to develop strategies for use in school and home settings, differentiating cognitive behavioral treatment from applied behavior analysis.
  3. Describe why using the terms “mild” social skills problem does not reflect the subtle, but significant social challenges of this group.
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:30 Define characteristics of individuals considered to be Nuance Challenged Social Communicators (Weak Interactive and Socially Anxious). Understand the executive functioning and anxiety challenges of this group.
10:30-10:40 Break
10:40-12:00 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, treatment strategies and video to better understand symptomology.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:15 Explore teaching concepts and strategies related to friendship, motivation, and social emotional regulation from different perspectives.
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30-3:45
Link Common Core and State Standards to teach Social Thinking. Explore a range of strategies to encourage narrative language, self-regulation and building self-monitoring.
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Social Thinking Meets RTI and PBS: Social Thinking as a School Wide Systems Approach: (kinder-young adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
Students with Social Thinking challenges, such as those with ASD, ADHD, NLD, Social Communication Disorder, and other social and behaviorally-based disorders often struggle in the areas of organization, attention, social engagement, group dynamics, and self-regulation; all of which make learning difficult. In this presentation, we will explore how the Social Thinking framework can easily be introduced school wide, offer strategies to differentiate Social Thinking instruction across the three tiers of intervention and describe effective tools for universal screening, data collection, progress monitoring, and more. The model presented is based on the framework of RTI and PB/PBIS. Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tiered method of academic intervention designed to provide early, effective assistance to struggling learners at increasing levels of intensity. It is designed to address the learning needs of all students, school wide, through academic supports aligned with individual student need. Positive Behavior Supports (PBS/PBIS) is another school initiative that uses a differentiated system of supports to increase learning and decrease problem behavior. RTI and PBS are both used at the group and individual level and help educators and intervention providers ensure that instructional practices are high quality, based on scientific evidence, and are assessment driven, differentiated, and specific. Information gained from an RTI or PBS process is used by school personnel and parents to adapt instruction as needed to facilitate student learning.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe systems for teaching Social Thinking in a Differentiated Instruction Model.
  2. Gain data collection tools for Universal Screening and progress monitoring of Social Thinking skills.
  3. Review a plan for introducing, planning for and implementing a school wide Social Thinking model.
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:00 Social Thinking in a nutshell: An introduction and review of Social Thinking
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-12:00 Education today: RTI, PBS, UDL, CCSS and other school invitations. How does Social Thinking fit in?
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:15 Differentiating instruction for Social Thinking: Tiers 1 and 2 Benchmark and Strategic Students, Universal Screeners
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30-3:45
Differentiating instruction for Social Thinking: Tier 3 Intensive Students
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Social Detective, Superflex®, and Friends Take On Social Emotional Learning: (kinder - 8th grade)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
You asked for this day! You have been asking about how to use some of our core curricula with different types of learners and ages – and voila – here is the answer. This workshop day will focus on how to use strategies in our core curricula You are a Social Detective! and Superflex®. We will explore how to use these and other tools to foster social attention and self regulation in developmentally appropriate ways for students in kindergarten through middle school. We will describe the connections between the Social Thinking concepts and the Common Core/State Standards, how these concepts integrate with Social Emotional Learning, and the interrelationships with Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS). This interactive conference day will be filled with creative group activities to help our students move from being 'Me' thinkers to 'We' thinkers!   More specifically we will be exploring: The core concepts we are teaching through these curricula that weaves throughout the school-age years. Linking the Common Core/State Standards and examples of how You are a Social Detective and Superflex have been used in the mainstream classroom to help teach literature, writing, conflict resolution and working as part of a group. How we adapt our teachings for Kindergartners, young elementary school students, older elementary school students, and how the core lessons transfer into middle school and high school. How to encourage children to become social detectives to figure out the hidden rules. Creative ideas to help students learn self-awareness, self-monitoring and self-control through the teachings of Superflex's Five-Point Power Plan. How these lessons are used as part of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Response to Intervention (RTI). How to foster your own super-flexible creativity when teaching these lessons to your own children or students. PLEASE NOTE: This conference day focuses on the use of the books You are a Social Detective, Superflex… a Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum, to teach concepts related to Social Thinking. Our intention is NOT to market the products, but instead teach how to use these curricula in the manner they were designed. Our hope is to increase the consistency and fidelity in the ways in which all of us are teaching these concepts. If you (or your district or place of employment) are uncomfortable with a full day focusing on strategies related to products, please select another conference day to attend.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Define the concept of 'hidden rules' and its importance for self-monitoring and behavioral regulation.
  2. Describe how Superflex teaches self-awareness, self-monitoring and self-control to 3rd-5th graders.
  3. Explain how the curricula You are a Social Detective! and Superflex can be used in social-academic lessons that teach to the State/Common Core Standards (e.g. Speaking and Listening, Reading Literature, and Writing) for all elementary school grades.
  4. Explain why we modify the Superflex Curriculum for K-2nd graders so that they are not asked to defeat their Unthinkables.
  5. Explain how Superflex's Five Point Power Plan helps to foster deeper social learning for 3-5th graders.
  6. Describe how implementing Social Thinking Vocabulary, You are A Social Detective! and Superflex can be utilized school-wide to support the mission of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:15 Explore Social Thinking as a "meaning maker" and it's ties to executive functioning, social attention and cognitive flexibility. Review the basic idea of Social Thinking Vocabulary © and how to share this broadly through You Are a Social Detective!
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-12:00 Connect the teachings of Social Detective and Superflex to the Common Core or State Educational Standards by exploring the social academic connection. information on emotional dysregulation and Superflex's teachings.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:15 Extension of Superflex for all students through PBIS. Newest teachings related to Superflex for 3rd to 5th graders: Powerpals and Thinkables.
2:15-2:25 Break
2:25-3:45
Newest teachings of Social Detective and Superflex for K-2 and linking it to the Common Core. Extend concepts learned from Superflex but explored through a new lens with middle and high school students.
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What Does Play Have to Do with Classroom Learning? Exploring Social Executive Functioning and Social Emotional Learning for Early Learners: (pre-K - 2nd grade)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations

Social executive functioning is at the heart of developing Shared, Collaborative, Interactive Play (SCIP). On this conference day we will teach how to move from the five basic Social Thinking lesson sets in We Thinkers! Volume 1**, our early learner curriculum, story books and music CD to the more complex lessons presented in Volume 2 (to be released in Spring, 2016). This day is filled with creative activities, which align with the research and extend our thinking about how to work, play and learn in groups.  Attendees will engage in group learning activities and learn strategies to use in their classroom or home the very next day! We will present concepts that include but are not limited to: The role of play and working as part of a group in the development of self-regulation, impulse control, social problem solving, and executive functioning. Why a child who has difficulty with social attention will have trouble with sharing an imagination and interacting/playing with peers. Strategies for individuals to develop the skills to decipher the “hidden rules” and social expectations in a specific context. The strategies revolve around the concepts of Flexible verses Stuck Thinking, recognizing the Size of the Problem, and strategies to stay calm, making Smart Guesses, and Sharing an Imagination. Learn to use our newest tool, Social Thinking’s Group Play and Problem Solving Scale (GPS) to understand the five different levels of play and how that relates to classroom participation and the Common Core/State Standards! Learn how the lessons and activities in the We Thinkers! curriculum are adapted for each level of the Social Thinking’s GPS. Explore how all of this is part of Social Emotional Learning that can be used in pre K-2 mainstream classrooms, connects to Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as well as Response to Intervention (RTI).

 

*Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use of social skills and social thinking.

 

**The Incredible Flexible You Volume 1 will eventually be renamed We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers due to the mass confusion caused by the use of the term "flexible" in the names of many of our products. There will be no content change in Volume 1, only a name change. Volume 2 is named We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers. We thank you for being "flexible" about this change!


Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe two strategies for helping individuals learn to be more flexible thinkers. 
  2. Describe two strategies to help individuals learn how problem solving involves self-regulation. 
  3. Design a lesson to promote a child’s development of shared, collaborative, imaginative play (SCIP). 
  4. Describe two aspects of each of the five levels of play as explained through Social Thinking’s Group Play and Problem Solving Scale (ST-GPS). 
  5. Define two different strategies to provide differentiated instruction to students who have different SCIP based play abilities. 
  6. Explain how to teach students how to read the “hidden rules” to figure out what behaviors are expected in a specific situation. 
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:30 Exploring Shared Collaborative Imaginative Play (SCIP): how it develops, the relation to social executive function, the connection to academics and classroom learning, and why it can be so difficult for an individual with a social learning challenge.
10:30-10:40 Break
10:40-12:00 Introduce the Social Thinking Group Collaboration, Play and Social Problem Solving Scale (ST-GPS).
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:10 Detailing the tenants of teaching and related strategies embedded in the five units of The Incredible Flexible You Volume 2: Expected and Unexpected Behavior, Smart Guess, Flexible and Stuck Thinking.
2:10-2:25 Break
2:25-3:45
Continue to explore practical strategies for teaching The Incredible Flexible You Volume 2: Size of the Problem and Sharing an Imagination.
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Master Class 1: Exploring Key Social Communication Concepts through Hands-on Activities : (kinder - young adult)
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations

The reviews are in and they are terrific! Participants love the hands on activities while simultaneously learning how to teach core Social Thinking concepts and strategies. Utilizing video clips that incorporate deep lessons from The Four Steps of Communication treatment framework, we will guide you in hands-on activities to facilitate improved social communication skills with your students/clients/children. A detailed handout for guided observations, as well as a bag of physical manipulatives, will be provided for attendees to work in small groups to practice and interact with one another. Different activities will focus on students with different levels of the social mind:

1. Use the newly developed Cascade of Social Attention Checklist, which is only available at this conference. The Checklist is a tool to help evaluate an individual's social interpretive systems to better understand where to begin in the process of teaching how to think socially and ultimately produce related social skills. The Cascade also helps to explain why many of our students/clients/children have challenges with academic tasks such as reading comprehension and written expression.

2. For some literal-minded individuals who show challenges in social self-awareness and observational skills, we often see a struggle to distinguish what is real versus what they hope or wish would be real. The audience will learn and practice activities to encourage more reality-based perspective taking.

3. When trying to relate with others, many of our students/clients/children have a weak sense of physical presence and facial expressions. We will explore how to use simple technology (phone camera) and Popsicle sticks for teaching abstract ideas in very concrete ways.

4. We will also teach an array of activities to encourage social conversational skills within a group to balance participation between your more talkative and less talkative individuals.

5. Core lessons and activities will show a connection to the state and Common Core standards.  We will also include examples of goals and rubrics for the activities taught throughout the day. 6. Finally, we will track the social growth of four different clients over 5-15 years of development and discuss how social emotional and executive function needs shift across time.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe one strategy for how to teach the difference between reality-based comments and fantasy-driven statements.
  2. Describe one practical lesson to facilitate self-awareness of nonverbal language (body proximity to others).
  3. Explain how to use visual supports to foster the development of three different types of social conversational skills.
  4. Describe how to create two types of rubrics: 1) conceptual understanding of a concept and 2) demonstration of the use of social behavioral output (social skills)
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:15 Historical video of nuanced social communicator. Learn about and practice hands-on activities for teaching three different types of social conversational language.
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-12:00 Review our newest update to Social Thinking's Cascade of Social Attention and participate in guided observation of different types of social learners. Practice scoring differences in how individuals socially attend and interpret social information. Increase social self-awareness and how this impacts different types of anxiety. All information is at the core of treatment planning. 
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:15 Historical video examples of how those individuals who show trends towards weak social observation, interpretation and social self awareness tend to have limited ability to distinguish reality from fantasy and how this can further impact narrative language and critical thinking. Practice hands on activities using thought bubbles and playing cards to develop treatment skills and explore IEP goal writing and rubric creation. 
2:15-2:25 Break
2:25-3:45
Longitudinal video of two twins spanning 15-30 years old will be used to explore treatment needs across the years. Explore how to use simple technology to teach about facial expression. Wrap up with the practice of more Popsicle stick activities to foster the development of social conversation and how to represent this teaching through IEP goal writing and further rubric development.
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The Zones of Regulation®: A Framework to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control: (kinder-young adult)
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The Zones of Regulation®: A Framework to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control

Brand new course! Use The Zones of Regulation to explore a variety of tools (sensory supports, calming techniques, and thinking strategies) to help students develop self-awareness and self-regulate within their “zones”.
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
The Zones of Regulation is a framework and curriculum designed to foster skills in self-regulation, including emotional control, sensory regulation, and executive functions. It is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach that uses four colors to help students visually and verbally self-identify how they are functioning in the moment given their emotions and state of alertness. The model incorporates Social Thinking concepts to help students use perspective taking to understand the social context and how their management of their feelings and states impact those around them. Through using the curriculum, individuals become more self-aware and learn tools they can use to regulate emotions and states to meet environmental and social demands. It can be used effectively in home, school, and clinical settings, as well as in conjunction with other social emotional learning (SEL) strategies. 

The Zones of Regulation presentation provides teachers, therapists, and parents with hands-on knowledge on the nature of self-regulation and strategies for improving self-regulation and emotional control in individuals of all ages. The presentation addresses topics such as: the brain’s involvement, typical development, sensory processing, emotional regulation, social cognition, and executive functioning. Audience participants will learn an explicit, stair-stepped method and tools to guide students in using The Zones framework across situations and environments to regulate sensory needs, impulses, and emotional states to social demands. 

Visuals, videos, and student work samples are highlighted to illustrate numerous learning activities. A variety of tools (sensory supports, calming techniques, and thinking strategies) are explored to help students recognize their internal emotions, sensory needs, and thinking patterns in each zone, when shifting from one zone to another, and then self-regulate within zones. Participants explore ideas on how to support students using tools effectively across environments. The Zones of Regulation presentation also incorporates core concepts from Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking framework to help teach students about perspective taking, so they better understand how being in the different zones impacts the thoughts and feelings of other people around them and use this insight to guide them in self-management. 

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the role sensory processing/ modulation, emotional regulation, executive functioning, and social cognition play in self-regulation.
  2. State three ways in which the Zones of Regulation’s framework teaches students to self-regulate.
  3. Identify two ways to integrate The Zones into practice and support generalization of skills across settings.
  4. Explain how to teach students to individualize their own tools for self-regulation.
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:00

Introduction to Self-Regulation

  • What is self-regulation?
  • Development of self-regulation
  • Components of self-regulation: Sensory and think, pair, share on their sensory lifestyle; Executive functioning
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-11:30

Self-Regulation Continues: Emotional regulation; Social cognition
How we view behavior
The Zones of Regulation framework: Integrating theories and approaches; Defining the four Zones

11:30-12:20 Break for Lunch
12:20-2:00

Zones Curriculum

  • Introducing the Zones to students
  • Identifying the Zones in self and others
  • Zones and perspective taking
  • Exploration of tools for the Zones: Sensory supports; Calming techniques; Thinking strategies
  • Reflection on personal Toolbox
2:00-2:10 Break
2:10-3:45

Zones Curriculum Continues: When and how to use tools; Identifying triggers; Stop, Opt and Go problem solving

Implementing the Zones: Adapting to different population; Using with other approaches; Assessment and data collection; Multi-disciplinary collaborative approach

Endnotes and Questions
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Problem Solving with Students: Two Different Sets of Strategies : (kinder - young adult)
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Problem Solving with Students: Two Different Sets of Strategies

Brand new course! Learn how to use Dr. Ross Greene’s Collaborative & Proactive Solutions approach and the Social Thinking methodology to discover the root cause of challenging behavior and help kids take ownership of their social problems.
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations

It doesn’t get more exciting than this!  Dr. Ross Greene and Michelle Garcia Winner team up to help participants tackle a range of problems experienced by parents, professionals, and students.

 

Ross will kick off the day presenting his empirically supported model shared through his newest book, Lost and Found (2016). The Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) model has transformed thinking and practices in countless schools, inpatient psychiatry units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities. It has been associated with dramatic reductions in disciplinary referrals, detentions, suspensions, seclusions, and physical, chemical, and mechanical restraints.  The model represents a significant departure from discipline-as-usual:  it focuses on solving problems rather than on modifying behavior, emphasizes collaborative rather than unilateral solutions, encourages proactive rather than reactive intervention, de-emphasizes diagnostic categories, and provides practical, research-based tools for assessment and intervention. 

Ross will describe the key themes of the CPS model, how to assess lagging skills and unsolved problems, the three options (Plans A, B, and C) for solving problems with kids, and the ins and outs of solving problems collaboratively and proactively. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the underpinnings of the model, along with practical assessment and intervention tools to be used in a range of diverse settings.

Kicking off the afternoon, Michelle will explain how solving problems is at the heart of learning personal and social responsibility. In order to teach individuals how to engage in the problem solving process, we must also address social learning issues related to Theory of Mind, executive functioning and central coherence.  This leads us to teaching flexible thinking, exploring others’ points of view, making choices, identifying consequences, and a range of other strategies for helping people initiate communication and action plans related to their problems in times of stress. 

The ability to “blend in” socially is more about problem solving than it is about memorizing social skills to apply across different situations. It is through problem solving that we figure out how to choose and adapt our social and organizational skills to meet the hidden rules of any situation. Moving through a problem solving process to avoid or tackle difficult moments can also lead us to improved conflict resolution skills. 

Attendees will be provided a tool and a series of activities to engage individuals in the social and organizational problem solving process. This information is critical for improving social communication competencies. 

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify and prioritize unsolved problems precipitating challenging behavior.
  2. Describe the three basic mechanisms by which adults handle unsolved problems and unmet expectations in kids (Plans A, B, and C) and what is accomplished by each, and the “ingredients” of Plan B.
  3. Describe how to effectively implement Plan B to solve problems, teach skills, and reduce the frequency and intensity of challenging behavior.
  4. Describe how teaching a student to label a current or potential problem is at the heart of conflict resolution.
  5. Explain how using Social Thinking’s Social Problem Solving Thinksheet can teach individuals to recognize what makes for a “good” or “poor” choice when problem solving.
  6. Once problems are identified, describe three ways to help students develop a set of strategies and initiate problem solving.
7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:00 Dr. Ross Greene explores key themes and questions. Delves into When and Why challenging kids present challenging behaviors. Identifies lagging skills and unsolved problems. Introduces the Problem Solving Plan.
10:00-10:10 Break
10:10-12:00 Overview of plans-Plan B: The Empathy Step: Drilling for Information and Other Topics. The Define Adult Concerns Step: How is the Problem Affecting the Child and/or Others? The Invitation Step: Reaching Realistic and Mutually Satisfactory Solutions.
12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:15 Michelle Garcia Winner explores the strategies to explicitly teach socially based problem solving and how this relates to executive functioning. Taught through a case-study, we will review fundamental lessons in executive functioning and perspective taking. Demonstrate the use of narrative data collection with teens.
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30-3:15
Introducing the "how to solve problems before they become problems" Strategy-Based Framework. Learn how to identify a problem, make choices and follow through with communication and activities to engage in pro-active problem solving.
 3:15-3:45 Questions and answer time with Dr. Ross Greene and Michelle Garcia Winner.
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Complementary Angles: Using Collaborative & Proactive Solutions in Tandem with Social Thinking to Solve Problems and Teach New Skills: (kinder - young adult)
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Complementary Angles: Using Collaborative & Proactive Solutions in Tandem with Social Thinking to Solve Problems and Teach New Skills

Brand new course! Delve into the models of Social Thinking and Dr. Ross Greene’s highly influential Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach for helping kids with explosive behavior. Discover their similarities and differences, and the scope and sequence for how to use these methodologies in unison.
  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • Conference Locations
Many parents and professionals have asked either Dr. Ross Greene or Michelle Garcia Winner how their two distinct treatment methodologies can be used in unison. This inspired Ross and Michelle to brainstorm the similarity and differences between Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) and Social Thinking’s Treatment Methodology (STM) in order to showcase core recommendations to the public when they seek to use their materials in tandem. Throughout the conference day, Ross and Michelle will share the stage to discuss and problem solve the process of developing meaningful student-centered interventions.

The day will be broken into five sections:

Section 1. Exploring our individual origins that inspired the development of our different methodologies. Exploring our methodologies’ similarities and differences as well as why our differences complement each other to create a benefit for using our programs in tandem.

Section 2. Utilizing the Assessment of Lagging Skills & Unsolved Problems (ALSUP) and the Informal Dynamic Assessment of Social Thinking Tasks. Exploring what type of information each methodology’s assessment tools provide and how to use them in layers.

Section 3. Exploring core intervention ingredients for each methodology, highlighting how the tandem use of both methodologies creates an even stronger holistic treatment package. Clinical video of different types of students will be shown from which Dr. Ross Greene and Michelle Garcia Winner will spontaneously discuss their individual and collaborative points of view on the use of CPS and Social Thinking in tandem.

Section 4. Generalization: how do we plan for generalization using either program or both programs in tandem? In this section we will explore how we teach parents, professionals and students how to plan for and practice new concepts and skills across a range of people, situations and environments.

Section 5. Audience sharing student case studies for Dr. Greene and Ms. Garcia Winner to discuss, as well as general question and answer.

It is recommended that participants have attended a full workshop day provided by Dr. Ross Greene about his CPS and a full workshop day provided by Michelle Garcia Winner about Social Thinking, or attend the workshop day they give together called Problem Solving With Students: Two Different Sets of Strategies presented by Dr. Ross Greene and Michelle Garcia Winner, hosted by Think Social Publishing, Inc.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify one way in which the two different treatment models have similar overall goals and underlying frameworks.
  2. Describe how the Assessment of Lagging Skills & Unsolved Problems of CPS and Social Thinking’s Informal Dynamic Assessment Tasks can be combined to assist in developing intervention plans for short and long-term treatment goals.
  3. Describe the differences in applying the two models with students with significant behavioral challenges versus those with more subtle but significant social learning challenges.
  4. Explain how the architecture of Plan B is helpful when teaching Social Thinking frameworks and strategies.
  5. Explain how caregivers can use knowledge about a student’s social thinking to better understand why a child may present with difficult-to-solve/challenging behaviors.

(Subject to change as this workshop is still under development)

7:30-8:30 Sign in and use "expected" social skills to chat and find a seat. Conference begins at 8:30.
8:30-10:00

Exploring the origins of the two different treatment methodologies, Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) and Social Thinking, to understand how they are similar and different. Introducing how these two models complement each other and can be used in tandem.

Explore the use of CPS’s Assessment of Lagging Skills & Unsolved Problems (ALSUP) and ST’s Informal Dynamic Assessment to address treatment planning. What’s to gain from using each of the assessment techniques?

10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-12:00 Further discussion of similarities and differences in our assessment techniques and making treatment decisions.

Investigating each methodology’s intervention ingredients to better understand their points of uniqueness and mutual convergence.

12:00-12:50 Break for Lunch
12:50-2:00 Clinical video of different types of students will be shown from which Dr. Ross Greene and Michelle Garcia Winner will spontaneously discuss their individual and collaborative points of view on the use of CPS and Social Thinking in tandem.
2:00-2:10 Break
2:10-3:45

Discussing generalization of student learning and self-management.

Active question and answer & audience-generated case explorations.