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Two-Day Social Thinking Workshop, Brisbane 24 – 25 August 2017

Registrations are now closed.

Day 1: The Social Thinking Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies (kinder – adult)

Day 2: Executive Functioning: Tackle Homework and Classwork with these Helpful Strategies!: (primary school – young adults)

Presenters: Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr Pamela Crooke

Location:  The workshop will be held at The Greek Club, 29 Edmondstone Street South Brisbane.  The workshop will commence at 8:30am and conclude at 4pm with registration open from 7:30am both days.


1. Current Price: $880 including GST, tickets available 1 April 2017 to 30 June 2017;

2. Standard Price: $935 including GST, tickets available 1 July 2017 to 1 August 2017.

* To purchase a ticket, add the number of tickets you require to the cart at the bottom of this page.

Day 1: The Social Thinking Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies: (kinder – adult)

Date:  Thursday 24 August 2017

Presenters:  Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr Pamela Crooke


We launch the day one of this two-day workshop exploring three practical frameworks and teaching strategies. First, Social Behaviour Mapping. Social behaviour Mapping is a visual framework that teaches how to better understand the social expectations in a given situation. Social Behaviour Mapping then guides us to strategies specific to an individual’s needs as they discover what’s “expected” or “unexpected” in a social situation and how their behaviour impacts the feelings of others. How others feel about us impacts how they treat us in that situation and ultimately affects our own feelings! Social Behaviour Mapping has been widely adopted for use with all ages. This core Social Thinking tool reflects our Cognitive Behavioural teaching style.

Next, we explain through a visual framework the journey between learning to be friendly and maintaining successful friendships through our Peer-a-mid of Friendships. We will delve into what it means to be a friend, distinguishing between 1) “being friendly,” 2) developing a friendship, and 3) having a “bonded friend.” We will also discuss how conversational skills are only one component to keeping friends – as “hanging out” actually means we share space without necessarily talking!

For individuals with strong social self-awareness but nuanced social learning challenges, social anxiety commonly emerges as another factor to be considered in treatment. We will teach you two visual tools: the Spiral of Social Success and the Spiral of Social Failure. We will show you how you use these tools to teach social competencies while also teaching how to manage social anxiety.

We will also offer some basic concepts and ideas for running Social Thinking groups. Our treatment goals are to help make the abstractions of the social world more easily interpreted through our concrete explanations!

We round out the day by demonstrating to parents and professionals how to better understand the inner minds of individuals with social learning challenges when our standardised testing falls short. We introduce the Informal Dynamic Social Thinking Assessment, a tool described in Michelle’s book, Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME, 2nd Edition. Informal Dynamic Social Thinking Assessment tasks are useful as part of the initial or three-year testing process – and can also be used by any parent or professional to better understand how an individual processes and responds to social information. The Informal Dynamic Social Thinking Assessment tool is an invaluable way of learning more about the way individuals think, and how their social thinking challenges affect their social and academic learning. This, in turn, illuminates why they need direct teaching of social concepts and arms us with relevant knowledge to determine specific treatment strategies that are best aligned with their needs. Video footage of the informal assessment will demonstrate ways in which all of us (diagnosticians, parents, paraprofessionals, treatment clinicians, etc.) can work more effectively with our students.

Parents and professionals give high praise for the highly practical nature of this workshop. *Treatment refers to conceptual and strategy-based frameworks for building understanding and use of social skills and social thinking.

What you will learn

Participants will be able to:

1. Describe how to assess “thinking with your eyes” and how this is different from identifying what someone is looking at.

2. Describe the core components of the “Double Interview” and explain how it helps assess perspective taking.

3. Describe how to fill out each of the four columns on the Social Behaviour Map.

4. Describe the Four Steps of Communication as a primary component to assessing and treating social skill deficits.

5. Define at least three of five different stages of making friends and how to teach students to advance from one stage to the next.

6. Explain how the “excuse bucket” impacts an individual’s ability to teach their brain new concepts and skills.

Day 2:  Executive Functioning: Tackle Homework and Classwork with these Helpful Strategies: (primary school – young adults)

Date:  Friday 25 August 2017

Presenters:  Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr Pamela Crooke


The majority of individuals with social learning challenges have difficulty developing organizational skills to manage the increasingly complex expectations of life in primary school, high school and into their adult years. Our organizational abilities emerge from our executive functioning skills that are expected to develop through time with minimal instruction. However, for many individuals finding their motivation, knowing how to get started on a project, and managing time across a variety of homework assignments can feel like an overwhelming set of tasks – even for the most intellectually sharp individuals. The impact of poor organizational skills is immense; it affects one’s outcome in school, at work, well as at home. People often misinterpret folks with poor organizational skills and limited motivation as being lazy, without understanding that these challenges are more likely the result of a neurologically-based executive function weaknesses than a lack of desire to be competent in their work. Often, relatively little support is provided by parents and teachers to guide individuals to develop these critical skills. Even those who want to provide support are not sure where to begin!

In this conference, we explore critical executive functioning skills and practical strategies for individuals to track and tackle homework and other deadline-based responsibilities. Discover two types of organizational skills: static and dynamic. Zoom in on dynamic organizational skills and dissect them into 10 steps that are critical in the completion of any homework assignment. Learn an educational strategy aligned with each step and receive an extensive take-home handout to support this teaching method.

This conference has been enthusiastically received by parents, counsellors, mainstream and special education teachers, administrators, psychologists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, etc. As with most Social Thinking conferences, hands-on activities help attendees relate their own experiences to the challenges discussed. We do not merely give a general description of the issues. Instead, we guide attendees to actively explore key concepts and to appreciate the pivotal role parents and professionals play in teaching these concepts to individuals.

While this conference was designed to help individuals with social learning challenges, the information provided has also proven to be relevant to all students and young adults. Mainstream teachers love this conference day! This information is cutting edge for all populations.

What you will learn

Participants will be able to:

1. Identify a strategy for helping individuals explore their own motivation when approaching complex tasks.

2. Define executive functioning with an easy three-part definition that will help individuals develop awareness of their strengths and weaknesses.

3. Describe the importance of time prediction and how analogue clocks teach this concept differently than digital clocks.

4. Increase awareness of one’s own personal organizational structures in order to better offer support to others.

5. Define the difference between static and dynamic organizational skills.

6. Describe how a Gantt chart is helpful in understanding multiple assignments across time.

Refund and Cancellation Policy: Our workshop refund and Cancellation Policy can be found here. By making payment you accept the terms as outlined.

What’s Included:  Both days will include morning and afternoon tea and lunch.

Who should attend?  This workshop will suit teachers, other professionals and parents.

* To purchase a ticket, add the number of tickets you require to the cart at the bottom of this page.