The Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies

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


Who should attend

Interventionists supporting ages 5- young adult. At our conferences we share our latest frameworks, lessons, and strategies for teaching social thinking with a wide variety of interventionists, including: speech-language pathologists, special and general education teachers, social workers, counselors, clinical and school psychologists, occupational therapists, behavior specialists, and school administrators to name a few. It’s also used by family members and caregivers across settings.

Social Thinking

Course Overview

  • Description
  • What You Will Learn
  • Schedule
  • CE Credit

We begin the day by exploring how to better understand the minds of individuals with social learning challenges when traditional standardized tests fall short. We introduce the Social Thinking Informal Dynamic Assessment (ST-IDA), a series of tasks with corresponding templates described in Michelle Garcia Winner's book Thinking About You Thinking About Me, 2nd Edition. The dynamic tasks included in the ST-IDA examine the way the individual approaches social communication, executive functioning, and problem solving in real time. The ST-IDA can be a useful tool for initial or three-year testing and can provide valuable insight to all members of the educational or support team.

Results of the ST-IDA can help to uncover the link between social thinking challenges and social and academic learning. We provide a detailed checklist for two assessment tasks, which serves as a catalyst to guide more meaningful observations. Deeper observations, in turn, lead to developing more meaningful treatment* programs. Discussion related to the video footage of the informal assessment tasks will highlight how stakeholders (e.g., parents, diagnosticians, paraprofessionals, teachers, counselors, therapists, etc.) can work more effectively with those we aim to help. Parents and professionals applaud the highly practical nature of this workshop.

In the afternoon, we will review two practical treatment frameworks. The first, Social Behavior Mapping (SBM), is a visual framework that teaches social responsibility by highlighting that social expectations occur in a given context based on the situation and people. SBM enables individuals to discover what is expected or unexpected in a social situation while also learning the impact their behavior has on others’ feelings. How others feel about our behavior also impacts how they treat us and ultimately affects our own feelings! SBM has been widely adopted for use with all ages. This core Social Thinking treatment framework reflects our cognitive behavioral teaching style. Audience members will create their own Social Behavior Map as part of the training.

To help individuals understand the difference between friendly and friendship we have a visual treatment framework called the Friendship Pyramid. We will delve into five different levels of relationship development starting with the importance of initiating and responding to greetings with people who are not “friends.”

To round out the day, we will describe a four-phase social competency pathway to guide our students as they engage in a social learning process.

*Treatment refers to using conceptual and strategy-based frameworks to help individuals improve their social competencies.

Upcoming Livestream Conferences

This course is being offered on April 28, 2020.

  1. Describe how to assess thinking with your eyes and how this is different from identifying the direction of eye gaze.
  2. Describe how core components of the double interview can assess perspective taking.
  3. Describe the challenges and shortcomings of standardized tests and traditional measures in determining social competencies.
  4. Describe the Social-Emotional Chain Reaction through the four columns of the Social Behavior Map.
  5. List and describe at least three different levels of the Friendship Pyramid and how they can be used to help students focus on different aspects of relationship development.

Upcoming Livestream Conferences

This course is being offered on April 28, 2020.

This agenda may change without notice.

7:30-8:30 Use social competencies to problem solve how to sign in, find a seat, and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while getting to know fellow attendees
8:30-10:15 Explore the Cascade of Social Thinking to understand how social attention triggers social responsiveness. Introduce the Informal Social Thinking-Dynamic Assessment tool.
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-12:00 Show video examples of parts of the dynamic assessment tasks and the impact on treatment planning.
12:00-12:50 Lunch provided
12:50-2:15 Continue assessment discussion. Explore key factors to consider when developing Social Behavior Mapping. Create a Social Behavior Map (audience activity).
2:15-2:25 Break
Review the Friendship Pyramid and discuss how to use with social learners of different ages (audience activity). Discussion of how to apply to group treatment.

Upcoming Livestream Conferences

This course is being offered on April 28, 2020.

At this conference, earn continuing education units/credits/clock hours at no additional cost! Each course offers 6 hours of instruction and each attendee will be given a certificate of attendance and a course agenda for their records.


We are proud to be a continuing education provider for Speech-Language Pathologists, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Clinical and School Psychologists, and Certified Counselors, such as Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors, and others.


We offer continuing education units/credits/clock hours through:

  • ASHA: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • CES: Commonwealth Educational Seminars
  • NBCC: National Board for Certified Counselors
  • And more!


Click here to see more Continuing Education Information

Upcoming Livestream Conferences

This course is being offered on April 28, 2020.

Reserve Your Seat Today

Chicago Livestream

Moving online for healthy learning

April 28 - 30, 2020

Speakers: Michelle Garcia Winner, Pamela Crooke, Ryan Hendrix


At our Chicago Livestream conference you will learn about:

  • The Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies
  • Case Journeys: Treatment Planning for Improving Social Competencies
  • Social Detective, Superflex®, and Friends Take On Social-Emotional Learning


Register Now

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The social interaction and collective knowledge at our conferences make for a rich and inspirational learning experience, which is why 98% of people who attend want to join us again!

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