Two Days of Social Thinking with Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke – In-Person

Registration for this event is now closed.


Thursday & Friday,
February 9 & 10, 2023

February 09, 2023 & February 10, 2023

9:00 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time

In-person registration is now full. You can still join us via live web stream here.


Recording available for one month after the live stream
Web streaming to Canadian residents only

Presented by Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP & Dr. Pamela Crooke

Join Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke for a rare live presentation in Canada. Michelle and Pamela will discuss practical strategies to support the needs of social learners who struggle with self-regulation, teaching lessons that promote development of social competencies. Michelle Garcia Winner is the founder of Social Thinking®; Dr. Crooke is co-creator of this methodology. Together these two thought provoking presenters will stimulate us to look at the social world with new eyes.

Available Options

In-Person: Professional$325.00
In-Person: Family Members/Autistic Individuals/Para-pros/Students$275.00

For information on bursaries for low-income individuals or Indigenous community members, see ACT’s Bursary page.

Group discounts

Receive a 10% discount when registering 3 or more attendees at the same time.

If you registered for this event prior to October 17, please view postponement details here.

No products in the cart.

Event Details

About the Event

In this two day presentation, Michelle Garcia Winner, CCC-SLP, founder and CEO of Social Thinking®, and co-creator of the methodology, Dr. Pamela Crooke, will use Social Thinking® methodology to focus on the needs of social learners who struggle with self-regulation by teaching lessons that promote development of social competencies. 

Session Details

Day 1: Thursday, February 9, 2023, 9:00am to 3:00pm Pacific Time

Practical ideas for teaching social competencies targeting self-regulation and friendship presented by Michelle Garcia Winner

When a student’s behavior (action or reaction) is obviously or subtly out of sync with the group, often they are labeled as a “behavior problem”. Likewise, when it’s hard to make a friend, or friendships quickly dissolve, we may see this as reluctance or resistance to building relationships.

The reality is that both managing behavior and building friendships develop from a foundation of self-awareness, social interpretation and problem solving. In Day 1, we will unpack different aspects of peer-based relations, from friendship to dislike, and provide practical tools and perspective-taking activities. The goal is to encourage the student’s motivation to develop increasingly complex relational competencies as they age. We’ll also focus on how to rethink “behavior problems” and teach lessons that encourage the development of social competencies to target the personal goals of the student.


Session 1: 9:00am - 10:15am Pacific Time

  • Unpacking the difference between teaching social competencies vs modifying inappropriate behavior.
  • Role of co-regulation.
  • How interventionists and parents can use the four steps of communication to monitor the development of their relationship with their students..
  • Defining expectations for how the social mind functions at school.
  • Reviewing Social Thinking vocabulary.
  • Exploring the ‘Social Emotional Chain Reaction’ along with tools to teach these to students of different age groups.

Session 2: 10:30am - 11:30am Pacific Time

  • Exploring how students experience different aspects of the social world.
  • The role of social emotional memory, social awareness, and self-awareness.

Session 3: 12:30 - 1:45 pm Pacific Time

  • General social expectations tied to friendship across different developmental ages.
  • How friendships with teachers and other adults are different from friendships with peers.
  • The role of metacognition in making and keeping friends.
  • An overview of different types of “friends”: The Friendship Pyramid.
  • Relationships are not always friendly: The Pyramid of Dislike.
  • Feelings are at the core of friendship: introducing The Friendliness Detector.
  • How do I figure out who I might want to be friends with?

Session 4: 2:00pm - 3:00 pm Pacific Time

  • Approachability, Social Feedback Loop, Our inner voices.
  • Tips for managing one’s own social anxiety.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Define the four parts of the ‘Social Emotional Chain Reaction'.
  2. Describe the role social emotional memory plays in self-regulation.
  3. Explain how “we-thinking” is an essential ingredient in making and sustaining friends.
  4. Describe the six levels on the Friendship Pyramid.
  5. Explain how a student’s inner voice can promote or discourage attempts at making friends.

Day 2: Friday, February 10, 2023, 9:00am to 3:00pm Pacific Time

Individualized Journeys: explaining how the social world works before expecting self-regulation presented by Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke

Knowing what to teach to whom can be complicated as the social world is complex! In Day 2, we will explore a unique six-step decision-making template. The goal is to guide individualized treatment planning to foster social development across different types of social learners.

This decision-making template can be used by parents and professionals who work hands-on with students to individualize social emotional treatment. Using the template, we will explore how to layer and combine teaching tools within a Social Thinking based treatment model. We will discuss how and why treatment choices were made, what was taught to the social learner, and how the sessions evolved based on the input and responses of students.


Session 1: 9:00am - 10:15am Pacific Time

  • Review a six-step decision making template to guide the treatment planning process.
  • Explore information designed to understand the social learner’s needs.

Session 2: 10:30am - 11:30am Pacific Time

  • Explore how a variety of Social Thinking® treatment frameworks can be layered together to help individuals engage in understanding how the social world works, in order that they can better regulate to navigate the social world.

Session 3: 12:30 - 1:45 pm Pacific Time

  • Continue to explore treatment frameworks and concepts within the Social Thinking® Methodology for use with different developmental ages.

Session 4: 2:00pm - 3:00 pm Pacific Time

  • Review highlights from the nine-month treatment journey of a 13-year-old. This school-phobic social learner had a history of both executive function and social emotional learning challenges.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Use the multi-step decision making template to connect external factors and informal assessment to treatment decisions and journeys.
  2. Explain why an intervention journey starts with learning how the social world works prior to learning to work (navigate to regulate) in the social world.
  3. Explain how the Friendship Pyramid and the 4 Steps of Face-to-Face Communication can be bundled in treatment.
  4. Explain how the metacognitive concepts (inner coach, and active avoidance of one’s self-defeater trap) are taught.


For more information about Social Thinking, visit the Social Thinking website.

Participant Comments

Comments from previous workshops:

  • "I always leave Michelle Garcia Winner conferences with “aha” moments, where I can’t wait to think and implement my ideas." – Professional
  • "I loved how Michelle, while absolutely professional and so intelligent, is clearly approachable and human. It helps to make the content so relatable." – Family Member
  • "All of Michelle's stories and examples were very rich and helped drive home the points she was making." – Professional

ACT’s Commitment to Public Health Measures

ACT is committed to following public health recommendations for our in-person events.

We will require proof of vaccination status for all people attending the event in-person. This is to protect the health of vulnerable attendees, staff and our presenter as we will be sharing the same space for two days. We will encourage the use of masks, even if it is not a public health requirement.

If you are unable to meet these requirements, online attendance via web stream is available, or you may request a full refund before February 2, 2023. After February 2, ACT will offer a transfer to online attendance.

As public health requirements may change shortly prior to the event, please be prepared to carefully review your emails from ACT for the latest information.

In the event public health orders will not permit in-person gatherings on February 9 & 10, 2023, all in-person registrations will be transferred to online attendance via web stream. See current BC Public Health Orders.

About the Presenters

Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP – Founder & CEO of Social Thinking

Michelle Garcia Winner is a Speech-Language Pathologist who specializes in the treatment of students with social cognitive deficits at the Social Thinking Center, her clinic in San Jose, California. After years of working in schools and in private practice with a wide-range of individuals on the autism spectrum, Social Thinking was born out of necessity as a way to reach those “bright but socially clueless students” who needed more information than just what social skill to use. She coined the term “Social Thinking®” in the mid-1990s and continues to evolve the Social Thinking framework that today includes information, vocabulary, curriculum, and strategies that help individuals with social learning challenges become better social thinkers. Her years of experience demonstrated that lessons taught through Social Thinking could apply across a range of disorders that extends beyond ASD, to individuals with ADHD, nonverbal learning challenges, as well as those with head injuries or emotional learning challenges.

Dr. Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP • Co-developer of the Social Thinking® Methodology • Chief Curriculum Officer

Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP, is the Chief Curriculum Officer and Director of Research, Content, Clinical Services, and the Social Thinking Training & Speakers’ Collaborative at Social Thinking. She served as a clinical faculty member of three universities and worked as a speech-language pathologist in the Arizona public schools for 15 years. Pam is a prolific speaker both in North America and abroad, and has co-authored, with Michelle Garcia Winner, five award-winning books related to Social Thinking. Their book, You Are a Social Detective! won the 2012 Autism Society of America Literary Book of the Year Award, and a second edition is now available (2020). She and Winner collaborate on writing articles and blogs that appear on the Social Thinking website and in a wide array of publications. Her current research focuses on using practice-based research to examine how professionals and parents utilize frameworks and strategies within the Social Thinking® Methodology.


  Date Parents, Para-Pros & Students Professionals
Regular Rate ends January 26, 2023 $275 $325
Late Rate begins January 27, 2023* $300 $350

*Last day to register is February 6, 2023


ACT provides bursary funds from our own resources and through support from private donors. Anyone wishing to attend an ACT event is eligible to apply if the cost is a barrier to attending the event. Bursaries are provided as reduced event registration fees. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as bursary funds are limited. Visit ACT's Event Bursary page for more information on our bursary programs. Donate to our bursary fund.

Complete ACT's Bursary Form to apply before February 2, 2023 at 4:30pm. If you identify as Indigenous, or work for an Indigenous organization, complete our Bursary Form for Indigenous Community.

Autism Funding

If you wish to use your child’s Autism Funding to pay for your registration, ACT can invoice the Autism Funding Branch directly. If you are paying in advance to be reimbursed, you must contact the Autism Funding Branch for approval first.

For information on how to register with your Autism Funding, visit Workshop Registration Using Autism Funding.

Workshop Location

Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Simon Fraser University
149 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, located on the 2rd floor

Click to view map

Parking is expensive downtown, however this venue is very accessible by public transit. Contact Translink for directions and schedules for the West Coast Express, Skytrain, Seabus and bus routes.

Postponement details

This event has been rescheduled from its original date, Thursday & Friday, October 20 & 21, 2022. If you registered prior to October 17 and would like a refund of your registration costs, please email ACT at Full refunds will be provided until January 26, 2022.



Registration closes Monday, February 6, 2023 at 4:30pm Pacific time.

Level Introductory/Intermediate

Focus Across the life-span from age 5 through adulthood

For Parents and Caregivers, Community Professionals

Approach Social Thinking Methodology - the strategies in this training relies heavily on both language (“talking about thinking”) and metacognition (“thinking about thinking”) and is not a good fit for those who are not yet communicating using language.

Autism-Specific? No, relevant for a range of individuals with diverse diagnoses

Event Schedule

All times are Pacific Time Zone.
8:15 am - 9:00 am Registration
9:00 am - 10:15 am Session 1
10:15 am - 10:30 am Morning Break

Coffee and light snacks will be provided

10:30 am - 11:30 am Session 2
11:30 am - 12:30 pm Lunch

Bring/buy your own

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm Session 3
1:45 pm - 2:00 pm Afternoon Break

Coffee and light snacks will be provided

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Session 4

ACT Events

Payment Details