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Social Thinking Workshop Melbourne 21 - 22 August 2017

Quick Overview

Two-Day Social Thinking Workshop, Melbourne 21 - 22 August 2017

Day 1 Topic: Exploring Key Social Communication Concepts through Hands-on Activities: (kinder - young adult)

Day 2 Topic: Problem Solving with Kids and Working with Risistant Learners.  A new workshop that will give you a lot of new skills. (kinder - young adult)

* scroll to the bottom of the page for workshop descriptions.

Dates: Monday 21 August 2017 and Tuesday 22 August 2017 (this is a 2 day workshop, single days not available)

Presenters: Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr Pamela Crooke

Location:  William Angliss Institute Conference Centre,  555 La Trobe Street Melbourne.  


1. Super Keen: $650 plus GST tickets available 25 September 2016 to 31 December 2016 - Great value!  SOLD OUT.

2. Group Rate: $650 plus GST (per person) only available if you book with a friend or colleague or as part of a group.  SOLD OUT.

3. Keen: $750 plus GST tickets available 1 January 2017 to 31 March 2017;  SOLD OUT

4. Early: $800 plus GST (i.e. $880) tickets available 1 April 2017 to 30 June 2017;

5. Standard: $850  plus GST (i.e. $935) tickets available 1 July 2017 to 1 August 2017.

Note: All tickets sales are subject to seating availability and ticket sales will close when the venue is full.

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

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What's Included:  Both days will include morning and afternoon tea and lunch. You can email any special dietary requirements to

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

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Scroll down for more details about the workshop days...

Availability: In stock



Day 1 Topic: Exploring Key Social Communication Concepts through Hands-on Activities: (kinder - young adult)

Date:  Monday 21 August 2017

Presenters:  Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr Pamela Crooke


The USA reviews about this workshop are in and they are terrific! Participants love the hands on activities while simultaneously learning how to teach core Social Thinking concepts and strategies. Using video clips that incorporate deep lessons from The Four Steps of Communication treatment framework, we will guide you in hands-on activities to facilitate improved social communication skills with your students/clients/children. A detailed handout for guided observations, as well as a bag of physical manipulatives, will be provided for attendees to work in small groups to practice and interact with one another.

Different activities will focus on students with different levels of the social mind:

1. Use the newly developed Cascade of Social Attention Checklist, which is only available at this conference. The Checklist is a tool to help evaluate an individual's social interpretive systems to better understand where to begin in the process of teaching how to think socially and ultimately produce related social skills. The Cascade also helps to explain why many of our students/clients/children have challenges with academic tasks such as reading comprehension and written expression.

2. For some literal-minded individuals who show challenges in social self-awareness and observational skills, we often see a struggle to distinguish what is real versus what they hope or wish would be real. The audience will learn and practice activities to encourage more reality-based perspective taking.

3. When trying to relate with others, many of our students/clients/children have a weak sense of physical presence and facial expressions. We will explore how to use simple technology (phone camera) and Popsicle sticks for teaching abstract ideas in very concrete ways.

4. We will also teach an array of activities to encourage social conversational skills within a group to balance participation between your more talkative and less talkative individuals.

5. Core lessons and activities will show a connection to the state and Common Core standards. We will also include examples of goals and rubrics for the activities taught throughout the day.

6. Finally, we will track the social growth of four different clients over 5-15 years of development and discuss how social emotional and executive function needs shift across time.

What you will learn

Participants will be able to:

1. Describe one strategy for how to teach the difference between reality-based comments and fantasy-driven statements.

2. Describe one practical lesson to facilitate self-awareness of how a person is communicating with the movement of his or her nonverbal language (body proximity to others).

3. Explain how to use visual supports to foster the development of three different types of social conversational skills.

4. Describe how to create two types of rubrics: 1) conceptual understanding of a concept and 2) demonstration of the use of social behavioural output (social skills)

5. Describe how Landscape versus Tunnel social attentions impacts one’s ability to interpret the social landscape.

Day 2 Topic: Problem Solving with Kids! Combining Collaborative & Proactive Solutions with Social Thinking to Teach Everyone New Skills: (kinder - young adult)

Date:  Tuesday 22 August 2017

Presenters:  Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr Pamela Crooke


It doesn't get more exciting than this! Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr Pam Crooke team up to help participants tackle a range of problems experienced by parents, professionals, and students. Michelle and Pam will draw on Dr. Ross Greene’s empirically supported model shared through his influential books The Explosive Child and Lost at School. Dr Greene’s Collaborative Proactive Solutions (CPS) model has transformed thinking and practices in countless schools, inpatient psychiatry units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities across the USA. It has been associated with dramatic reductions in disciplinary referrals, detentions, suspensions, seclusions, and physical, chemical, and mechanical restraints. The model represents a significant departure from discipline-as-usual: it focuses on solving problems rather than on modifying behaviour, emphasizes collaborative rather than unilateral solutions, encourages proactive rather than reactive intervention, de-emphasizes diagnostic categories, and provides practical, research-based tools for assessment and intervention.

Michelle will describe the key themes of the CPS model, how to assess lagging skills and unsolved problems, the three options (Plans A, B, and C) for solving problems with kids, and the ins and outs of solving problems collaboratively and proactively.

Attendees will leave with an understanding of the underpinnings of the model, along with practical assessment and intervention tools to be used in a range of diverse settings. During her presentation, Michelle will explain how solving problems is at the heart of learning personal and social responsibility.

In order to teach individuals how to engage in the problem solving process, we must also address social learning issues related to Theory of Mind, executive functioning and central coherence. This leads us to teaching flexible thinking, exploring others points of view, making choices, identifying consequences, and a range of other strategies for helping people initiate communication and action plans related to their problems in times of stress. The ability to & blend in socially is more about problem solving than it is about memorizing social skills to apply across different situations. It is through problem solving that we figure out how to choose and adapt our social and organizational skills to meet the hidden rules of any situation. Moving through a problem solving process to avoid or tackle difficult moments can also lead us to improved conflict resolution skills. Attendees will be provided a tool and a series of activities to engage individuals in the social and organizational problem solving process. This information is critical for improving social communication competencies.

What you will learn

Participants will be able to:

1. Identify and prioritize unsolved problems precipitating challenging behaviour.

2. Describe the three basic mechanisms by which adults handle unsolved problems and unmet expectations in kids (Plans A, B, and C) and what is accomplished by each, and the three steps or “ingredients” of Plan B.

3. Describe how to effectively implement Plan B to solve problems, teach skills, and reduce the frequency and intensity of challenging behaviour.

4. Describe how teaching a student to label a current or potential problem is at the heart of conflict resolution.

5. Use Social Thinking’s Social Problem Solving Thinksheet to explain how to teach individuals to recognize what makes for a “good” or “poor” choice when problem solving.

6. Describe a progression of lessons to help individuals better communicate when stressed in order to problem solve their dilemmas.