The Spectrum of Social Functioning: Getting Started with Treatment Planning

In this course, we answer the questions: What are core social learning challenges? How do we determine these challenges? How can we support learning and where do we start? Diagnostic labels such as ASD, ADHD, Twice Exceptional, Social Communication Disorder, etc. fail to pinpoint how to help an individual develop social competencies for use across the classroom, community and home. Nor do diagnostic labels help interventionists (professionals and family members) understand how social learning challenges are co-mingled with theory of mind, executive functioning and mental health challenges. In this course we will explain different types of treatment needs based on an individual’s social self-awareness, social-interpretive abilities, and social problem-solving skills. Learn practical strategies to develop skills that are required not only in relationship development but throughout academic curricula and standards.


Who should attend

Interventionists supporting ages 5 - 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

Diagnostic labels are usually the gateway into intervention and services. However, diagnostic labels are not always helpful in planning treatment* goals, nor do they guide the overall intervention plan. Using video clips and case journeys, this course will explore several factors that contribute to social learning abilities and challenges and how to support our clients’ and students’ needs across the school, home, community, and workplace. We will examine how social and academic competencies interact and the importance of setting realistic expectations. Attendees find the inclusion of research-based information combined with practical no-nonsense strategies engaging, refreshing and thought-provoking.

The day begins with an exploration of early social development and Social Thinking’s Group Collaborative Play and Problem-Solving Scale (GPS) for early learners (four-seven years old). This tool provides a systematic guide for our observations of peer-to-peer interactions. We’ll review treatment strategies and practical ways to teach collaboration within a small group for each of the five play levels identified in the GPS.

To understand the developmental and unique learning needs of older students (nine+ years), we will use the Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile™ (ST-SCP). This tool is a way to explore an individual’s current social learning abilities. We will present an overview of five cohorts of learners and then take a deeper dive into three cohorts to identify their unique learning traits (e.g., self-awareness, social self-awareness, executive functioning, mental health, etc.). The Social Thinking Social Competency Model will also serve as a guide to plan treatment based on the individual learner’s level of competencies. We will discuss why certain treatment programs may or may not be recommended to use with a student based on their social learning profile. As attendees understand their student’s core social functioning more deeply, they can plan and select the treatment pathway best suited for the specific needs of that person. This course is packed with insights and tools to explore!

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

Upcoming Conferences

This course is being offered at the following conference location:

Orange County

January 29 - 31, 2020


  1. List and describe two or more levels found in the (GPS) Group Collaboration Play and Problem Solving Scale.
  2. List and describe core characteristics of three or more levels in the Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile (ST-SCP).
  3. Contrast and describe why concrete or literal social communicators benefit from learning social rules and nuance-challenged social communicators benefit from learning social problem solving.
  4. Describe the four levels of the Social Thinking - Social Competency Model and how this tool helps to define treatment pathways.
  5. Describe how anxiety varies across the different levels of the Social Thinking- Social Communication Profile.

Upcoming Conferences

This course is being offered at the following conference location:

Orange County

January 29 - 31, 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 early development of peer-based social interactions. The Group Collaboration Play and Problem Solving Scale (GPS) will serve as a guide for understanding and interpreting peer-to-peer relationships and guide interventionists towards specific types of treatment.
10:15-10:30 Break

Use the Social Thinking Social Competency Model (SCM) to understand social competencies for use in school, class, work and home. Connect critical factors represented on the SCM and unique neurologically-based social learning strengths and weaknesses. Explore the impact of social competency across the five levels of the Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile with an emphasis on Challenged Social Communicators.

12:00-12:50 Lunch provided

Discuss treatment pathways and possible prognoses for Challenged Social Communicators. Compare science learning abilities with possible mental health issues in Emerging Social Communicators. Explore prognoses and socially-based treatment pathways.

2:15-2:25 Break

Explore social learning abilities and possible mental health issues in Nuance Challenged Social Communicators. Discuss treatment pathways that consider and address both social competencies possible mental health issues.

Upcoming Conferences

This course is being offered at the following conference location:

Orange County

January 29 - 31, 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 Conferences

This course is being offered at the following conference location:

Orange County

January 29 - 31, 2020


Reserve Your Seat Today

Orange County, CA

Social Thinking Orange County Conference

January 29 - 31, 2020

Speakers: Michelle Garcia Winner, Pamela Crooke, Kari Zweber Palmer


At our Orange County conference you will learn about:

  • The Spectrum of Social Functioning: Getting Started with Treatment Planning
  • Emotions Part 2: Emotion-Based Strategies to Foster Relationship Development and Academic and Career Performance
  • Case Journeys: Treatment Planning for Improving Social Competencies


Register Now

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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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