We are thrilled to be part of these recent news stories! Social Thinking stands committed to providing quality, practical information that is rooted in research, built upon real-world experiences, and is responsive to the needs of the people who use our materials and those who teach it.

For over 25 years Social Thinking has been a guiding resource for schools, clinics, and families around the world, and our teachings continually evolve based on the latest research and clinical insights. Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP and the founder of Social Thinking is a leading expert in her field and has received many awards for her groundbreaking work.

Social Thinking has developed social emotional learning strategies for 25+ years. Our teachings help engage people in social learning not only about themselves but about others. Social Thinking does this by developing evidence-based strategies that help people age 4 through adult improve their social competencies, including: self-regulation, executive functioning, perspective taking, friendship & relationship development, and social problem solving. While our deeper work is for individuals with social learning differences (ADHD, twice exceptional, social communication disorders, autism spectrum levels 1 and 2, etc. or no diagnosis,) a subset of our work has been adopted into mainstream classrooms and workplaces around the world to improve social emotional learning for all.

Resources by Age

Teaching people social emotional learning concepts & strategies to help them reach their social goals, whether Neurodivergent or neurotypical, for over 25 years.

Recent Media Coverage

Adelaide Fringe Festival artist Mali Isabel using art to help teach self-regulation at Carlton School

September 2023
ABC North and West SA / By Isabella Carbone

Read how artist Mali Isabel, known for the 2022 Adelaide Fringe Festival poster, helped Aboriginal children develop emotional literacy using The Zones of Regulation.

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Friedreich's Ataxia News - Recalibrating Column

Friederich's Ataxia - Recalibrating Column
The article discusses how schools have integrated social and emotional learning programs, such as the Zones of Regulation, to equip students with tools for navigating challenging situations. The author shares their experience implementing the Zones of Regulation system at home, creating designated zones with helpful tools. The article emphasizes the benefits for children with chronic illnesses and highlights the positive impact of occupational therapy (OT) in supporting daily living activities and building skills for independence.
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Using Social Thinking in the Mainstream Classroom

Using Social Thinking in the Classroom
The Social Thinking Methodology originated in schools over 25 years ago in response to a lack of practical ways to explain different aspects of the social-emotional world to both neurotypical and neurodivergent students. Michelle Garcia winner, the founder of the Social Thinking Methodology, continues to update core strategies and tools in response to ongoing and valuable input from individuals with a range of social-emotional learning differences, disabilities and/or difficulties, as well as form mainstream teachers and learning specialists. Dr. Pamela Crooke joined forces with Michelle almost 17 years ago to further evolve components of the methodology. Tools from the Social Thinking Methodology have found their way into inclusion-based or mainstream classrooms since ALL students can benefit from a common vocabulary and understanding of the social and emotional world together.
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Washington Post Article

How parents can help their children cultivate healthy friendships

Heading into a new school year, it is essential for parents to prioritize helping their children make and maintain friends. Ryan Hendrix, a speech and language pathologist specializing in social cognition and communication, underscores the complexity of forming friendships, referring to it as a "social executive function task."

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Autism Knows No Borders Podcast

Autism Knows No Borders Podcast Episode 135. Social Thinking, with Michelle Garcia Winner
Discover what’s possible when we relate through emotions. In this podcast, Michelle Garcia Winner, Founder and CEO of Social Thinking discusses: grouping students based on social needs rather than diagnostic labels; how to increase social competence; why small talk is embedded in most social situations; navigating the dating world; maintaining friendships; and tips for autistic people going into a job interview.
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Peer Reviewed Article

Rethinking Autism Assessment, Diagnosis, and Intervention Within a Neurodevelopmental Pathway Framework
Some researchers and intervention developers are seeking to update historical practice, to reflect the neurodiversity paradigm, respect neurodiversity, and acceptability of approaches to supporting social understanding to the neurodivergent community.
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Today's Parent

James Van Der Beek
With six kids at home, it's no wonder James Van Der Beek has some savvy tricks in his parenting arsenal. The trick definitely calls to mind the Zones of Regulation, a framework and curriculum that educators use to help kids identify and regulate their feelings by attaching colors to different emotions.
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Social Success Strategies: Helping Your ADHD Child Make Good Friends
In this audio webinar “Social Success Strategies: Helping Your ADHD Child Make Good Friends." Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP discusses Social Thinking and why it’s important, how to improve social skills, awareness, and problem-solving, ADHD-friendly techniques for paying attention
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Edutopia Elementary School
Learn how a school counselor uses Social Thinking's Size of My Problem framework in her school's Wellness Wednesday initiative, which establishes weekly goals for taking a breath, finding moments of mindfulness, slowing down, resetting, and recharging.
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Therapy on the Cutting Edge

Therapy on the Cutting Edge Podcast
In this episode, Michelle talks about her Social Thinking work, and discussed her career working in an autism spectrum clinic, working with adults with brain injury, working in a high school, and later starting her own clinic.
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Seminars in Speech & Language

Seminars in Speech Language Article
This article highlights how social and emotional learning is embedded in many academic standards and how speech-language pathologists can use the Social Thinking–Social Competency Model to better understand the unique strengths and needs of individual social learners and describe the relationship to academics.
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Recognition & Awards


Award from the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Lectureship Award, 2019

Michelle Garcia Winner, a speech-language pathologist MA, CCC-SLP and the founder of the Social Thinking Methodology, was honored to receive the Lectureship Award from the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (SDBP) at their Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. in September 2019. The SDBP Lectureship Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of developmental and behavioral pediatrics.


At the meeting, Michelle presented a keynote address on the Social Thinking-Social Competency Model and breakout session on social anxiety management to an interdisciplinary audience of clinical psychologists and nurse practitioners in addition to the developmental and behavioral pediatricians. Michelle enjoyed teaching and sharing ideas with attendees. One pediatrician told her after the meeting, “This information is so important, it should be taught everywhere.”


SDBP advocates for an integrated approach to the biological, psychological, social, educational, and cultural influences on children, youth, and their families. As the leading voice for interprofessional developmental and behavioral pediatric care, the mission of SDBP is to improve the health and well-being of children and families by promoting high quality research, education, advocacy, and practice.


Ron Suskind Introduces Michelle Garcia Winner

Michelle Garcia Winner, author and founder of Social Thinking®, specializing in the treatment of individuals with social learning challenges is honored by Ron Suskind at the John Pratt Memorial Lecture.

The John Pratt Memorial Lecture is dedicated to facilitating the impact of research on practice at the Ivy Street School in order to improve student outcomes.

Congressional Award

Congressional Recognition Award, 2008

Michelle Garcia Winner received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for her groundbreaking work helping individuals who have autism spectrum disorders and related social thinking challenges.


Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey honored Michelle with the award, as the social thinking methods Michelle has developed are becoming the basis for curricula around the country.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Prentice School, 2012


Michelle Garcia Winner received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Prentice School on the 24th of February. Carol Clark, the administrative executive director of Prentice School, presented the award to Michelle at the Social Thinking conference hosted by the Prentice School in Santa Ana, CA, for her innovative contributions to parents, professionals and individuals with social and communication challenges.


The Prentice School is an independent, nonprofit school for students who struggle with reading, writing, spelling, oral language, and math.

Award for Education



We are thrilled to announce that AASCEND (Autism, Asperger Syndrome Coalition for Education, Networking and Development) has honored Michelle Garcia Winner for her steadfast work with the autism community and in education!


The mission of AASCEND is to build and sustain a community of support for adults on the autism spectrum, family and friends, and autism service professionals. We work together to create and implement innovative approaches in education, networking and development to address autism's core challenges.

Outstanding Achievement Award

California Speech, Language and Hearing Association (CSHA), 2012


Outstanding Achievement Award to Dr. Pamela Crooke and Michelle Garcia Winner.


CSHA's mission is to foster excellence in the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology through education, advocacy and collaboration in partnership with the increasingly diverse population we serve.

Community Partner Award

Massachusetts Association for the Blind (MAB) Community Services, 2016


Michelle Garcia Winner was humbled to receive this award, here is MAB's statement about why she was chosen: "We honor you for your great courage and for the beautiful example you set for the others inspired to make a difference as you do."


MAB is the oldest social service agency in the country (established in 1903) providing services to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Outstanding Clinical Service to Individuals with Autism

Tom Jenkins Award, 2005

Dr. Pamela Crooke received the Tom Jenkins Award for Outstanding Clinical Service to Individuals with Autism – October 2005.

A Leading Resource for Schools, Clinics & Families for Over 25 Years

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