Master Class 1: Exploring Key Social Communication Concepts Through Hands-on Activities

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


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

How do we teach students, clients, and patients to hold a thought in their heads? How do we explore the fact that there is a difference in how others interpret the statements: “I wish ____” vs. “I am ____?” What strategies encourage the ability to pay attention to others' thoughts, motives, and intentions? What does it take to improve conversational interactions? (Hint: more than we think.) How do we perceive each other’s physical movements? How do we create teaching strategies to help our clients with more subtle challenges improve their face-to-face communication?

In this conference, we will explore treatment* frameworks and hands-on strategies not currently taught in other Social Thinking courses. We will use video clips of individuals in treatment sessions to demonstrate the scope and sequence that we use to teach important Social Thinking concepts. We will also provide samples of specific treatment tools for the audience to use to develop a deeper understanding of social conversational engagement. A special Cascade of Social Attention assessment tool, not provided in any of our other materials, will be provided attendees to help guide their observations of an individual’s social input (interpretive) and output (social skills) to better understand how to develop a treatment plan as well as gain related prognostic information.

We will discuss how executive functioning, theory of mind, and central coherence form the heart of social competencies. As always, we will connect this information to educational standards to show that we teach social concepts—not in addition to the educational standards—but as part of core social-academic instruction. We will also brainstorm lessons and strategies in teams, give tips for writing solid IEP goals, and developing rubrics for data collection.

Guided observation of specific individuals’ longitudinal (10–20 years) video footage will also be shown to explore how specific students evolve socially across time.

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

Upcoming Conferences

Currently this course is not being offered at any of our upcoming conferences. But there are many other ways to train and learn about the Social Thinking Methodology:

  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 (e.g., everyday materials) to foster the development of three different types of social conversational skills.
  4. Describe how rubrics can be used to track social emotional learning outcomes over time.
  5. Explain how the treatment framework Four Steps of Communication can be taught using visual tools and concrete, hands-on strategies.

Upcoming Conferences

Currently this course is not being offered at any of our upcoming conferences. But there are many other ways to train and learn about the Social Thinking Methodology:

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 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 Lunch provided
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
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.

Upcoming Conferences

Currently this course is not being offered at any of our upcoming conferences. But there are many other ways to train and learn about the Social Thinking Methodology:

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 Conferences

Currently this course is not being offered at any of our upcoming conferences. But there are many other ways to train and learn about the Social Thinking Methodology:

What People Are Saying


Where the Learning Feels Infinite

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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