Course Descriptions

Day G - Information and Agenda

Let's Get Real: Tackling Dilemmas Faced by Adults with Social Learning Challenges

Course Outline, Objectives, Speakers, Agenda, Contact Info 

Course Outline

Day G is the second day of the Day F workshop, with a continued emphasis on exploring and teaching children and teens the Social Thinking concepts and skills they will need as they emerge into adulthood. Teachers and parents of school-age students have described this workshop day as essential for helping them orient their teachings toward encouraging "success" in the adult years.

In this workshop our focus moves into the world of adult work, the social-emotional expectations that exist in the workplace, and what it takes to live as an independent adult. We set aside diagnostic labels and discuss the broader concept that we all live within social boundaries that encourage others to include us and show they value us, whether or not we realize it.We introduce the 5 Steps to Social Thinking Psychology and also the Social Thinking Social-Emotional Chain Effects to which we all subconsciously react and respond. Through review of dilemmas encountered by "bright" adults who have fallen off career tracks, we demonstrate where social learning breakdowns happen and discuss strategies to avoid them, including coping skills and how to work as part of a team.

In addition, we redefine what it means to function as an "independent adult" and provide strategies to determine where to begin the Social Thinking treatment process. Remarkably, even college-educated, scientifically or artistically gifted adults who are living "on their own" may still not be able to manage all adult expectations until we teach them how to function independently. We will also address the complex issues that parents of these adults face.

Prior to attending this workshop, please feel free to read a blog written by Michelle Garcia Winner and a parent of an adult with social communication challenges:

Adults: Becoming the Directors of Their Own Treatment Teams and Treatment Plans

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

Populations to be discussed: Individuals with high-functioning autism, PDD-NOS, Asperger syndrome, NLD, ADHD and related disabilities, focusing on those with near normal to far above normal verbal intelligence (verbal IQs above 70). Strategies will concentrate on teenagers and young adults and adults; however, the content will provide guidance for the treatment direction we should provide for school-age students.

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

Objectives of Day G:

  1. Participants will be able to describe the meaning of "Social Thinking nuance and sophistication" of the adult mind and how this influences our expectations and related intervention strategies.
  2. Participants will be able to list in order, from most fundamental to most appreciated, the four skills we have in mind when we refer to someone as functioning independently as an adult.
  3. Participants will be able to describe three elements related to the Social-Emotional Chain Effect and how this awareness impacts our own communicative interpretation and responses.
  4. Participants will be able to explain why in Social Thinking we describe everyone as having "social paranoia" and how this affects what we teach based on our own social responses.
  5. Participants will be able to define the term "emotional compression" and how this relates to what we teach students and how they process others' responses.
  6. Participants will learn how to review with a teen/adult his or her relative learning strengths and weaknesses, to help the client put social learning challenges in context when compared to the client's other learning systems.

The Reason for This workshop

When we released our book, Socially Curious and Curiously Social: A SocialThinking Guidebook for Teens and Young Adults, we were flooded with requests for a workshop to teach Social Thinking to adults. Many adults were writing us, requesting we address their specific issues, while many counseling and psychology groups approached us to present on our treatment methodology. There is little comprehensive information offered in conferences to address the needs of our "smart" but at times "clueless" adults, many of whom were never diagnosed and have received few concrete treatments. As a result, we developed this two-day workshop to meet these pressing needs.

STTSC Members Available to Present Day G:

Michelle Garcia Winner
  Pamela  Crooke


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

Explain social learning challenges as they relate to adults and explore the connection to mental health. Redefine the concept of independence to determine a starting place for setting treatment goals.


Review how the ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking relates to adults in the workplace and community; explain Social Thinking nuance and sophistication in workplace and community settings.

Break for Lunch

Discuss where to begin and Social Thinking paradigms for adults: the Social-Emotional Chain Effect and the five steps of adult social emotional thought processes; explore related treatment strategies


Continued discussion of strategies to help teach self-awareness and self-monitoring of key Social Thinking concepts and related skills for use in the workplace and community; examine issues related to dating


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.