Michelle Garcia-Winner


Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst is honored to host Michelle Garcia-Winner for a one-day event focusing on children with language and social difficulties. This workshop is geared for parents, therapists, and teachers and is approved for 6 CTLE and 6 contact hours. Registration is required and will be closing on Monday, December 10. Please register at HandsOnApproaches.com.

This course for educators, therapists, social workers, audiologists, parents, and other professionals focuses on developing rule-based social learning activities that connect to educational standards and support the student with significant social attention and social interpretation challenges. The class will concentrate specifically on students who are described as Challenged Social Communicators (CSC) or Emerging Social Communicators (ESC) on the Social Thinking–Social Communication Profile.

These students are more literal, more aloof, miss sarcasm, are less organized, show marked difficulty reading social contextual cues from people and situations, comprehending reading material, and expressing themselves through writing, and they appear more awkward in their attempts to socially engage with their peers. The day (8:15 a.m.–3:45 p.m.) will explore the power of social attention using video clips to provide explicit and practical examples for teaching basic social concepts to encourage the development of theory of mind (perspective taking), sharing social attention, and awareness of trickery.

Video case studies will explore the social learning trajectory of academically bright students who are more literal interpreters. Throughout the day, the presenters will explore the assumptions made about social attention and learning in a group, how test scores remove socially based critical thinking and executive functioning, making it more difficult to truly understand a student’s real-time learning abilities, and how aloof students enjoy social relationship building.

Audience members will receive checklists featuring characteristics associated with different types of social learners, information inspired by the Social Thinking–Social Communication Profile.

Examine how social learning is embedded within many academic standards and how the roots of social learning fan out across a large variety of information explored across a school day (e.g., reading comprehension, narrative language, peer engagement and group work, etc.). The use of rubrics to help with measurement of treatment goals will be introduced.

Activities for different age groups will also be explored to promote social learning in the group treatment setting. Across the day, presenters will explain how this learning is slow and deep, with the goal being to help each student improve when compared to their own baseline abilities. Audience members appreciate the honest and very practical information shared on this day.

The featured presenter, Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP, specializes in the treatment of individuals with social learning challenges and is the founder and CEO of Social Thinking®, a company dedicated to helping individuals from four through adulthood develop their social competencies to meet their personal social goals. Michelle coined the term “social thinking” in the mid-1990s and since that time has created numerous unique treatment frameworks and curricula that help educators, clinicians, professionals of all types, and parents/family members appreciate that social capabilities are integral to a person’s success in life, socially, academically, and professionally.

Garcia Winner maintains a private practice, the Center for Social Thinking, in Santa Clara, California, where she works with clients who continue to teach and inspire her. She travels globally, presenting courses on the Social Thinking Methodology, an evidence-based approach she created that she continues to develop and expand on. Michelle helps to develop educational programs, consults with and trains families and schools, and is a guiding presence with a wide range of professionals, politicians, and businesses on the topic of social emotional competencies. She is a prolific writer and has written and/or co-authored more than 40 books and over 100 articles about the Social Thinking Methodology.

Garcia Winner receives accolades for her energetic and educational conference presentations, as well as her down-to-earth approach to teaching social competencies. The strength of Michelle’s work is her ability to break down abstract social concepts and teach them in practical, concrete ways to help people improve their social problem solving abilities and social responses.



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