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Zooming In: Strategies

for Concrete Learners

December 5 Lakewood NJ

Using video from treatment* sessions, we zoom in on strategies to promote social attention and perspective taking (theory of mind) with students, clients, and patients who interpret language very literally and struggle to interpret what others think and feel. These more literal-minded individuals—who may have a diagnosis of autism levels 1 and 2, ADHD, and/or sensory integration challenges—are slow to develop social competencies and exhibit a range of other learning challenges related to their weak socially-based critical thinking. Video-based case studies will offer treatment ideas and show how this type of student evolves in their understanding of the social world as they grow up. Attendees will receive checklists to help differentiate types of social learners and connect social learning to the educational standards. Group treatment ideas for different age groups will also be introduced. Attendees appreciate the practical information shared across the day! 


*Treatment refers to using conceptual and strategy-based frameworks to help individuals improve their social skills and competencies


Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe two or more core characteristics of Challenged and/or Emerging Social Communicators and explain the impact on social and academic learning.

  2. Explain the connection between academic standards, social learning, and the challenges of literal learners using the Social Thinking Social Learning Tree.

  3. Explain the process for creating a rubric for measuring outcomes related to perspective taking (point of view) for students who are more literal learners.

  4. Describe two practical lessons for developing theory of mind.

Early Bird Special


(valid till October 14)


Early Bird Special 


(valid till October 14)








This agenda may change without notice.

7:30-8:30  Use social competencies to problem solve how to sign in, find a seat, and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while getting to know fellow attendees.

8:30-10:15  Three key aspects to teaching Social Thinking: reviewing a case study of a 25-year-old college graduate; social attention and its relationship to developing social interpretive concepts and skills; a review of our Social Thinking–Social Communication Profile to zoom in on the Challenged and Emerging Social Communicators. 

10:15-10:30   Break

10:30-12:00  Exploring characteristics of Challenged Social Communicators and explore treatment strategies to help foster basic theory of mind development for academic learning and narrative language. Discuss realistic expectations for learning. Explore three critical levels of perspective taking and how science thinking is different from social thinking. 

12:00-12:50  Lunch provided

12:50-2:15  Review the characteristic summary of the Social Communication Profile. Explore our Social Learning Tree and exam standards based expectations and how these pair with developmental social learning abilities. Use of rubrics for measuring progress.

2:15-2:25   Break

2:25-3:45   Explore the strengths and learning challenges of those we describe as Emerging Social Communicators and review a case study of two identical twins. Introduce group social learning activities for students of different ages.