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Michelle's Blog

Thoughts on Encouraging Students to Ask for Help

By Michelle Garcia Winner

Learning to ask for help is an important life skill. Within the Social Thinking® teaching framework, this social ability is part of the larger skill set Initiation, the "I" that kicks off the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking. It's important for all individuals to learn to initiate requests for help in various environments, such as at home, in their classes, and when around others, and this is especially relevant to individuals with social learning challenges, for whom this skill set doesn't unfold through typical social development.

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Upcoming Workshops

CT 2014 May IConCA 2014 SSFPC ICon

What is Social Thinking

Day E - Information and Agenda

Implementing Social Thinking® Concepts and Vocabulary into the School and Home Day: A Day to Develop Team Creativity

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info

Course Outline

This is a favorite course for parents and educators, filled with very practical information that can be infused into home and school environments. Lessons offered are relevant for all school age students; people working with preschoolers and young adults will also benefit from the information presented.

We define many Social Thinking concepts and explain how to apply Social Thinking Vocabulary (STV) across the school and home day. Included are: working as part of a group, the three parts of play, lessons related to abstracting and inferencing information, what it means to share an imagination and more. We discuss how all the concepts and vocabulary work together to teach students how to communicate. As with all of our workshops, clinical examples are used to highlight how to teach these abstract concepts to help make the information more concrete.

Participants will experience working as part of a group by creating one or two of their own lesson plans. The focus of Day E is discussing and brainstorming ways to teach social concepts and vocabulary across a variety of environments. Our goal is to help students carry these ideas out of the treatment room and into their real lives. Hopefully workshop participants will leave the course fully prepared to infuse more Social Thinking concepts into their home or school day.

Social Thinking Vocabulary has become the backbone of the Social Thinking teaching program. Research published in 2008 (Crooke, et al) in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders demonstrated that students were able to generalize vocabulary and social thinking concepts once taught how to think about them. Lessons will be taught in the order they are introduced in Michelle's curriculum, Think Social! A Social Thinking Curriculum for School Aged Students (2005). This curriculum has been adopted by school districts in the USA, in Canada, Hong Kong, and in other countries around the world.

This workshop is intended as a more advanced course for adults who have attended one or more of the following workshops:


Have read one or more of the following books:

Intended audiences: teachers; speech-language pathologists; therapists (MFTs; LCSWs; OTs; PTs); autism specialists; clinical, educational, developmental psychologists; clinical and educational administrators; physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, particularly those in developmental practice; social workers; paraprofessionals; parents and other family members and caregivers of students with social thinking challenges.

Populations to be discussed: School-age students  and adults who have social and communication difficulties, including but not limited to those related to high-functioning autism, PDD-NOS, Asperger Syndrome, NLD, ADHD and undiagnosed challenges. Information presented concentrates on students with near normal to far above normal verbal intelligence (verbal IQs above 70). Most strategies focus on school-age children and adults, although the information is helpful for those living and working with younger children.

Please scroll to the bottom of this page for the agenda.

Objectives for Day E:

  1. Participants will be able to describe how teaching Social Thinking and related skills can be done in the classroom during academic and social tasks.
  2. Participants will be able to define five different Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts.
  3. Participants will be able to describe how Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts facilitate generalization across settings.
  4. Participants will create a lesson plan to teach students about being part of a group.
  5. Participants will create a lesson plan to teach students how to be more aware of nonverbal and verbal communicative information.
  6. Participants will describe what is meant by teaching students the concept of the three parts of play.

STTSC Members Available to Present Day E


Michelle Garcia Winner
Pamela Crooke
Kari Palmer
Nancy Tarshis 
Debbie Meringolo
Nancy Clements
Renee Attaway



Register and use appropriate social skills to chat and find a seat! The conference begins at 8:30

Explore how Social Thinking concepts develop the infrastructure for students to meet the educational standards, demonstrating how key these concepts are to reading comprehension, written expression, etc.


Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts: working as part of a group, and developing self-awareness

12:00 to 12:40
Break for Lunch

Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts: social detective, making abstractions and sharing an imagination


Social Thinking Vocabulary that form tools for conversation; explore other ideas that contribute to complex social learning

If you have questions, please contact:

Social Thinking
3031 Tisch Way, Suite 800
San Jose, CA 95128

Phone: (408) 557-8595 ext. 302 Fax (408) 557-8594
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.