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Teach social learners of all ages the why and how of developing meaningful connection with others

Help Social Learners Build Strategies That Support Connection

Conversation is hard to do! For something that is so basic to human interaction and social connection, engaging in conversation requires a complex array of social competencies and, at times, is surprisingly difficult to pull off successfully. How do we teach social learners of all ages the why and how of developing meaningful connection with others through face-to-face conversations at home, school, in the workplace, and within their communities?


Whether we have conversations to share information, communicate physical and emotional needs, or simply to develop a personal connection through small talk, we cannot just follow a reliable script for how they will unfold. We can, however, learn to increase our social awareness, organize our thinking before conversations begin, and practice strategies to keep the connection going.


The Social Thinking® Methodology delves into the complicated conversation process to make each element visible, understandable, and doable. Its evidence-based conceptual and teaching frameworks teach interventionists, children, students, and clients how the social world operates through concrete, practical 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 resources for teaching conversation and connection to help guide social learners in some of the most significant learning of their lives.

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4 Steps of Communication with Ryan Hendrix

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Telling individuals with compelling social anxiety that others are having thoughts about them might lead to more anxiety. In this video, Michelle Garcia Winner explains how she helped her 15-year-old client manage his social anxiety by focusing on the impressions he forms of peers, rather than on the impressions peers may be forming of him.
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Related On Demand courses taught by thought leaders in social emotional & academic learning

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.
Expires
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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Replay access through December 31
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.
Expires
Replay access through December 31
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording
Early Learners (Ages 4-7)

Part 3: Assessing Peer-Based Collaboration and Play to Provide Specific Teaching Pathways

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

In this third part of a four-part series, we explore the use of the Group Collaboration, Play and Problem-Solving (GPS) Scale for 4- to 7-year-olds to better assess a child’s ability to relate with peers, what to focus on in teaching related lessons. Learn cutting-edge information about how to use the We Thinkers! Volume 2: Social Problem Solvers Curriculum with fidelity. This course builds on the precursory courses in the four-part series: Introducing Social Thinking® Concepts to 4–7-Year-Olds Through Ten Storybooks and Two Curricula: A Four-Part Series.

Expires
Replay access through December 31
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording
Early Learners (Ages 4-7)

Part 4: Advancing Social Learning with Five Concepts to Promote Executive Functions

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

In this last part of a four-part series, we explore how to teach more advanced social and executive function concepts, expected/unexpected behavior based on the situation, flexible thinking, smart guess, size of problems and sharing an imagination. We’ll demonstrate how to use our curriculum, We Thinkers! Volume 2: Social Problem Solvers with fidelity. This course builds on the precursory courses Parts 1-3 of the series: Introducing Social Thinking® Concepts to 4–7-Year-Olds Through Ten Storybooks and Two Curricula: A Four-Part Series

Expires
Replay access through December 31
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording
Concrete Literal Learners

Part 1: Understanding and Supporting the Social Emotional Learning needs of Challenged Social Communicators

Series Name: Zooming In on Strategies for Concrete Literal Learners

If you are working or living with an individual(s) who tends to be very literal in how they interpret and respond to social information, this course will explore their social learning needs. Using video from therapy sessions, we’ll outline the characteristics of five different social learning styles and zoom into the characteristics of Challenged Social Communicators (CSC). We’ll provide concrete examples of how these social learners interpret information in a very, very literal manner, which contributes to extreme challenges with problem-solving abilities. Practical strategies to encourage the development of fundamental social concepts will be demonstrated. Practical recommendations will focus on helping these social learners become a little more flexible when interpreting what’s happening in their social world.
Expires
Replay access through December 31
3 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Concrete Literal Learners

Part 2: Strategies for Expanding Social Emotional Learning in Emerging Social Communicators

Series Name: Zooming In on Strategies for Concrete Literal Learners

Literal-minded individuals—who may have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, ADHD, twice exceptional and/or sensory integration challenges— are often reported to struggle with social competencies and exhibit a range of other learning differences and/or challenges related to socially based critical thinking. Video-based case studies will offer teaching ideas and show how these social learners evolve in their understanding of the social world as they grow up. Group lesson ideas for different age groups will also be introduced.
Expires
Replay access through December 31
3 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Part 1: Understanding Social Learners with Subtle yet Significant Differences and/or Challenges

Zooming In on Strategies for those with Subtle yet Significant Social Differences and/or Challenges

The focus of this course is to explore the needs of those with traits such as perfectionism, self-protective resistance, social anxiety, and executive functioning struggles. These individuals commonly have a diagnosis of ADHD, autism level 1, OCD, NVLD, social anxiety, twice exceptional and other learning differences—or may have no diagnosis at all). Usually in mainstream classes, these individuals struggle with the intricacies of developing social relationships, working through assignments, and engaging in peer-based groups. This course is part one of a two-part series where attendees will learn how issues with flexible thinking, emotional understanding of self and others, problem solving, self-advocacy, and nuanced social interpretations can contribute to subtle but significant social differences and/or challenges. Teachers and parents describe these learners as struggling with organization (executive functioning), emotion management (self-regulation), and mental health (social anxiety, and depression). We describe this group as Nuance-Challenged Social Communicators (NCSC). Nuance-based social learners tend to have subtle but significant differences and/or challenges and are the most likely to be bullied by peers and adults.
Expires
Replay access through December 31
3 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording

Part 2: More Strategies for those with Subtle yet Significant Social Differences and/or Challenges

Zooming In on Strategies for those with Subtle yet Significant Social Differences and/or Challenges

Students, clients, and patients who struggle with self-regulation, social anxiety, and depression (Neurodivergent and neurotypcial) can be characterized as Nuance-Challenged Social Communicators. Individuals in this group may represent a range of diagnoses such as ADHD, Autism (levels 1 and 2), PDD-NOS, ODD, OCD, NVLD, social anxiety, perfectionism, twice exceptional—or may have diagnosis. This course is part two in a two-part series and will take a deeper look at how to use practical visual tools and supports to deepen social interpretation and produce more nuanced social responses that incorporate perspective taking, executive functioning, managing anxiety, etc. We will also explore teaching strategies to help social learners meet their own social goals as well as tips to motivate group or session participation.
Expires
Replay access through December 31
2 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Executive Functioning

Part 1: How Do We Get Things Done?

Series Name: Fostering the Development of Executive Functions

Organizational skills for homework and classwork start with organized thinking. In this first of a two-part series, we explore three critical and fascinating aspects involving how every individual engages in organized thinking and then explore the process of identifying goals, creating action plans, and developing metacognitively based strategies to help our children, students, or clients get things done.
Expires
Replay access through December 31
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording
Executive Functioning

Part 2: Finding One’s Motivation to Tackle Many Moving Parts of Any Assignment

Series Name: Fostering the Development of Executive Functions

This second part of a two-part series is an exploration of metacognitive strategies to help students find their motivation, learn about time prediction, prioritize their workload, and track multiple assignments simultaneously. We explore the importance of perspective taking and how we can help.
Expires
Replay access through December 31
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording

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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