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The 5 Steps of Being with Others

Perspective taking helps us make sense of social situations & understand the power of our own thoughts, feelings & behaviors.

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Step 1: I notice

I notice where I am, who is around,
and what's happening.

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Step 2: I have thoughts & feelings

I realize I have thoughts, & sometimes feelings, about what's happening & who is there. I realize you are doing the same.

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Step 3: I try to figure out

I try to figure out why you are here, what you are doing, and why. This helps me figure out your plan or intentions.

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Step 4: We try to figure out

I realize that you are trying to figure out my plan or intentions too. We are trying to teach each other's perspective.

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Step 5: I decide

Based on my social goal for the situation, I monitor what I do & say and then decide whether to adjust to keep you thinking & feeling the way I hope you will.

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Recognizing and Understanding Our Own & Others’ Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors

As we begin another school year, perspective taking is something our students are required to do every day, all day. Whether working in a group, reading a book, hanging out, or writing for others, understanding another’s point of view is embedded in every school’s curriculum. Perspective taking also helps us be consciously aware of each other and consider the thoughts, feelings, and intentions as we participate in and work our way through social situations.

 

Perspective taking is what helps us make sense of social situations—where we are, who is there with us, and what’s happening—even when we aren’t actively interacting with each other. Perspective taking helps us be consciously aware of each other and to consider the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of others as we work our way through social situations and regulate our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and adjust what we do and say to meet our own and others’ social goals—whether we’re playing a game, enjoying a family meal, learning in a group, or driving a car. Our ability to take perspective is a developmental learning process that impacts everything we experience in the social world. Most of us begin learning to take perspective intuitively as infants, but those with social learning differences and/or challenges may need explicit guidance and tools. It’s that important.


The Social Thinking® Methodology deconstructs the perspective taking process to make each element visible, understandable, and doable. We explain terms such as emotional regulation, Alexithymia and social learning differences. Its evidence-informed conceptual and teaching frameworks show interventionists, children, students, and clients how the social world works and why through concrete, explicit vocabulary and step-by-step instruction. And it provides developmentally based strategies and engaging activities to support social learners ages four to adult in moving toward improvement in their own social goals.


Explore our broad range of products, online courses, conferences, and free resources for teaching practical concepts, vocabulary, and strategies to help guide social learners in some of the most significant learning of their lives.

Free Webinars —Learn Essential Social Thinking Concepts for Free

Products to Support Social Perspective Taking Across Developmental Ages

On Demand Courses—Practical Strategies You Can Use Right Now

Brand New Course

What’s Alexithymia? and How Does It Affect Emotional Regulation and Awareness?

Understanding One’s Feelings to Foster Emotional Regulation at School & Home

What is alexithymia? It refers to challenges in developing awareness of one’s feelings, identifying, and distinguishing them from other physical sensations—and it’s gaining interest in the research, schools, and clinical arenas. Educators and parents have reported an increase in overall “regulation” challenges in the classroom, on the playground, and during small group activities. We’ll highlight select key aspects of emotional awareness and regulation and its role in perspective taking. Specifically, we’ll explore how alexithymia can impact the building blocks for spontaneous perspective taking across all contexts. We will suggest practical strategies to increase awareness of feelings within the perspective-taking process to use within the classroom, school, community, and home.
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Brand new course! Replay access through December 31
1.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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All About Emotions

Part 1: Helping Students Gain Perspective on Their Emotions

Series Name: The Power of Emotions: Strategies to Fuel Self-Regulation, Learning, and Communication

In this first part of a four-part series, we explore how our emotions are central to our social competencies, executive functions, and self-regulation. Emotions are our brain’s powerhouse; they can help fuel motivation or derail us. We investigate how negative emotions are processed differently than positive emotions and how emotions are the cornerstone of each person's memories, both good and not so great. Learn strategies to help students unpack their daily emotional experiences.

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3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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All About Emotions

Part 2: Learning about Shame, Pride, and Pathways toward Social Emotional Self-Regulation

Series Name: The Power of Emotions: Strategies to Fuel Self-Regulation, Learning, and Communication

In this second part of a four-part series, we explore the special role of self-conscious emotions, such as pride and shame. We explore how to help social learners take command of their brain by learning metacognitive strategies to foster development of social competencies and motivation to build and sustain relationships. A case study illustrates how we worked with a teen to develop the desire and strategies to make friends while he actively boasted “I am the most hated kid in school, and I love it!”

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3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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All About Emotions

Part 3: Emotions Guide Meaning Making and Language to Relate

Series Name: The Power of Emotions: Strategies to Fuel Self-Regulation, Learning, and Communication

This third part of our four-part series on the power of emotions explores how emotions are embedded within academic standards. Social emotional navigation is a crucial ingredient for teamwork, both in school and in the 21st-century workforce. Practical strategies about perspective taking accompany the social investigation into how each child, student or client reads each other’s intentions, what each individual wants from the other as they relate, and how collectively, individuals sync their emotions as part of our narrative language. This is a fascinating day! As you learn to help the individuals you live or work with, you will also learn a lot about yourself.
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3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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All About Emotions

Part 4: Learning to Manage One’s Anxieties while Developing Social Competencies

Series Name: The Power of Emotions: Strategies to Fuel Self-Regulation, Learning, and Communication

In this fourth of our four-part series, we spotlight the Social Operating Systems: exploring the power of one’s inner voice, developing awareness and management of one’s own social anxiety, and differentiating between social success and “failure,” while also learning, step by step, how to relate to peers. We demystify the power of small talk and show how to encourage an individual’s motivation by validating their progress to help them manage their vulnerabilities. The course is packed with practical strategies!
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Replay access through December 31
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Brand New Course

Small Talk & Conversations

Strategies to Demystify Conversational Complexities

Small talk and conversations are dynamic, and we cannot create reliable scripts for how they will unfold. We can, however, increase our students' awareness of why we engage in social exchanges such as small talk. In this online course, we will unpack the complexities of small talk and conversation. We’ll break these down into their component parts to build strategies that support engagement in initial and ongoing social connection for children, teens, and adults.
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Brand new course! Replay access through December 31
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Early Learners (Ages 4-7)

Part 1: Foundations for Early Learners—Teaching Thoughts, Feelings, and The Group Plan

Series Name: Introducing Social Thinking® Concepts to 4–7-Year-Olds Through Ten Storybooks and Two Curricula

Guide children’s early social learning and play experiences to strengthen social competencies and classroom learning. Part 1: Foundations for Early Learners—Teaching Thoughts, Feelings, and The Group Plan examines the foundations of our work with early learners, delves into the core concepts thoughts and feelings and the group plan, and provides strategies, lessons, and examples for teaching them to children ages 4–7 years old using We Thinkers! Volume 1 with fidelity.

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3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Early Learners (Ages 4-7)

Part 2: Building on Foundations—Teaching Thinking with Eyes, Body in the Group, and Whole Body Listening (Listening with Body and Brain)

Series Name: Introducing Social Thinking® Concepts to 4–7-Year-Olds Through Ten Storybooks and Two Curricula

Part 2 of this four-course series expands on the research-based foundations of our work with early learners introduced in Part 1 related to the core Social Thinking® concepts taught through our curriculum. In this course, we focus on the concepts thinking with your eyes, body in the group, and whole body listening (listening with body and brain). Learn strategies, lessons, and examples for teaching these concepts with fidelity using our We Thinkers! Volume 1: Social Explorers Curriculum with 4–7-year-olds in the mainstream classroom and specialized treatment settings.
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3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Social Thinking: Building the Social Mind in Early Childhood

Parents and caregivers are always asking about how to teach and support self-regulation. In this course designed specifically for parents and caregivers, we’ll talk about the ways the social mind can support social thinking and self-regulation for early learners. We will cover practical strategies including how we can use stories, activities, and play to build self-regulation; how to teach children to better understand their own and others’ thoughts and feelings, and the plan of the group and their role within it. Please note: this course is not eligible for Continuing Education.
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New On Demand Course for Parents & Caregivers
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Social Thinking Vocabulary

Part 1: The Social World: Practical Vocabulary and Concepts for Teaching How It Works

Series Name: Social Thinking Vocabulary and Strategies

We all need practical social emotional learning tools for teaching social information. Part 1 of this two-part series introduces two core teaching frameworks, multiple tools, and practical strategies as part of the Social Thinking® Methodology’s concrete vocabulary. Discover social emotional learning strategies for teaching how the social world works.
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3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Social Thinking Vocabulary

Part 2: Strategies and Concepts for How to Navigate to Regulate in the Social World

Series Name: Social Thinking Vocabulary and Strategies

Using concrete social emotional vocabulary and frameworks, we teach strategies for social learners to navigate (to regulate) in the social world. In this second half of this series, learn additional Social Thinking Vocabulary to make abstract social concepts more concrete. We describe practical examples for guiding children, students or clients to build social competencies in conversations, executive functions, self-awareness, self-regulation, perspective taking, and flexible thinking.
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Replay access through December 31
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Social-Academic Connection

Part 1: The Social-Academic Brain: The Role of Initiation and Listening with One’s Eyes and Brain

Series Name: Navigating Across School, Home, and Screen Landscapes using the ILAUGH Model

Fostering social emotional learning and competencies is embedded in educational standards. Part 1 explores two components of the ILAUGH Model of Social Cognition (Thinking) to deconstruct how the social world works. Discover how differences and/or challenges in social communication, initiation, and self-regulation impact written expression, reading comprehension of literature, and working in groups. Learn practical strategies via in-person or online.

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Replay access through December 31
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Social-Academic Connection

Part 2: Thinking Socially Through the Lens of Abstract Thinking, Understanding Perspectives, Gestalt Thinking, and Humor

Series Name: Navigating Across School, Home, and Screen Landscapes using the ILAUGH Model

In this second part of a two-part series, we explore four critical parts of the ILAUGH Model of Social Cognition (Thinking) as a way to deconstruct and make sense of the relationship between the social and academic world. The social brain forms the foundation for how children, students, and clients interact, learn to write, comprehend others’ perspectives, use narrative language, participate in groups, and learn in classrooms or online. This course examines how abstract thinking, perspective-taking, executive functioning, and self-regulation impact written expression, reading comprehension and working in groups. Learn practical strategies to teach social competencies.

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Replay access through December 31
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording

Free Stuff for Home & School

What is Social Thinking?

The foundation of our work provides interventionists (teachers, speech language pathologists, therapists, clinicians, parents) and social learners with frameworks, tools, skills and a shared language to improve social competencies—more than just social skills.

Our goal is to help people learn explicitly how to engage in social information processing; how to attend, interpret, problem solve and respond in any situation—the thinking and doing skills that will aid them in becoming increasingly successful in the social world throughout their lives.

At some point we all struggle in social situations. Engaging  in a social emotional thinking/feeling based process can be difficult at times for everyone in the social world. Our role as interventionists is to help motivate social learners to "do the work" and explore how we all share social expectations, thoughts, feelings, make mistakes and try again as we learn to navigate our way toward our social goals. The practical nature of our teaching and the concrete way we explain social concepts helps engage people in social learning not only about themselves but about others. 

Social Thinking
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