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A Methodology to Infuse Evidence-Based Practices

The Social Thinking Methodology embraces what the literature tells us about working directly with individuals who have social learning challenges (e.g., ASD, Social Communication Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Twice Exceptional, etc.) and promotes the use of visual supports, modeling, naturalistic teaching, and self-management. Also, the methodology anchors to the research in fields that study how individuals evolve and develop to function in society. Many of the components of Social Thinking fit well into the multi-tiered research-based implementation framework of Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS). And while PBIS is not an approach, it is a framework that encourages schools to consider the uptake of a variety of practices where the "mutually beneficial relationship between academic and social behavior student success is highlighted (Chard, Harn, Sugai, & Horner, 2008; Sugai, Horner, & Gresham, 2002). In the same vein, CASEL's five Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Core Competencies are reflected within and throughout the Social Thinking Methodology.
Social Thinking

Evidence Supporting the Foundation of the Social Thinking Methodology

The Social Thinking Methodology - Layers of Evidence

Research to Frameworks to Practice
Social Thinking Methodology: A deeper look at the evidence base underlying the practice The Layers of Evidence illustrates a structured way to show how the Social Thinking Methodology is grounded in theoretical research-based concepts and constructs, and how each lesson and activity can be traced back to its roots in the research literature. It is also a way to make sense of the many different pathways of information we have created over time.

NOTE: The Layers of Evidence helps to show the research-based foundation of the Social Thinking Methodology and is not meant to show a 1:1 correlation between each column from left to right. The reality is that the social learning process is dynamic and synergistic, and many of the frameworks (both conceptual and treatment) overlap with a variety of research-based concepts, constructs, and therapies. In other words, use this table as a resource to help you understand the origins and connections to the literature within the lessons and activities you teach. To be clear, the pathways demonstrated in this table are NOT as unidirectional and linear as they appear—it's just not that simple. There is tremendous overlap, which makes sense! We have over-simplified the information to simply demonstrate theoretical research-based pathways. Nor is the table comprehensive by any means! Our hope is that these examples will guide your thinking, discussions with others, and ultimately your understanding of the deeper roots of the Social Thinking Methodology.
The Layers of Evidence illustrates a structured way to show how the Social Thinking Methodology is grounded in theoretical research-based concepts and constructs, and how each lesson and activity can be traced back to its roots in the research literature. It is also a way to make sense of the many different pathways of information we have created over time.

Research to Frameworks to Practice

The Social Thinking Methodology embraces what the literature tells us about working directly with individuals who have social learning challenges (e.g., ASD, Social Communication Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Twice Exceptional, etc.) and promotes the use of visual supports, modeling, naturalistic teaching, and self-management. Also, the methodology anchors to the research in fields that study how individuals evolve and develop to function in society: anthropology, cultural linguistics, social psychology, and child development.

 

I'm Doing Social Thinking® - But Where Is the Evidence? To answer the question about evidence and Social Thinking, we need to first begin with a common language and a shared understanding of terms.
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Research That Includes Components of the Social Thinking Methodology

Peer-Reviewed Studies

Browse the latest peer-reviewed studies below or click through to see all publications including thesis, dissertations, studies and other published articles. 

Social Thinking

Other Peer-Reviewed Studies

Clavenna-Deane, Beth & Pearson, Mary & Hansen, Blake. (2020). The Impact of Social Communication on Employment Success for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals.

 

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Müller, E., Cannon, L.R., Kornblum, C., Clark, J., & Powers, M. (2016). Description and Preliminary Evaluation of a Curriculum for Teaching Conversational Skills to Children With High-Functioning Autism and Other Social Cognition Challenges. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July, Volume 47, pp 191-208.

 

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Lee, K. Y. S., Crooke, P.J., Lui, A.L.Y, Kan, P.P.K, Luke, K.L, Mak, Y.M, Cheung, P.M.P, Cheng, L., & Wong, I. (2015). The outcome of a social cognitive training for mainstream adolescents with social communication deficits in a Chinese community. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education.

 

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Winner, M.G. & Crooke, P.J. (2014). Executive Functioning and Social Pragmatic Communication Skills: Exploring the Threads in Our Social Fabric. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, December, Vol. 21 (2), pp 42-50.

 

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Volkmar, F., Siegel, M., Woodbury-Smith, M., King, B., McCracken, J., State, M. (2014). Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, February 2014, Volume 53, pp 237-257.

 

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Crooke, P.J. & Winner, M.G. (2012). Social Thinking®: A Developmental Treatment Approach for Students with Social Learning/Social Pragmatic Challenges. Originally published: Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, Vol. 16(2), 62-69.

 

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Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta‐analysis of school‐based universal interventions. Child development, 82(1), 405-432.

 

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Winner, M.G. & Crooke, P.J. (2009). Social Thinking: A training paradigm for professionals and treatment approach for individuals with social learning/social pragmatic challenges. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 16 (2); 62-69.

 

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Winner, M.G. & Crooke P.J. (2009). Assessing the Social Mind in Action: The Importance of Informal Dynamic Assessments. Autism News:Education/Therapy, Vol. 5(2), pp 12-16.

 

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Crooke, P.J., Hendrix R., and Rachman J. (2008). Brief Report: Measuring the effectiveness of teaching social thinking to children with asperger syndrome (AS) and high functioning autism (HFA). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38 (3) pp 581-91.

 

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Koning, C, Magill-Evans, J., Volden, J., Dick, B. (2008). Efficacy of cognitive behavior therapy-based social skills intervention for school-aged boys with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7 (10), pp 1282-1290.

 

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Winner, M.G. (2002). Assessment of social skills for students with asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. Assessment for Effective Intervention, Fall-Winter 2002 vol. 27 no. 1-2 73-80.

 

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Conceptual & Treatment Frameworks

Social Thinking Conceptual Frameworks are built upon research-based theoretical concepts, constructs, and therapies in a manner that blends or scaffolds the information to help parents and professionals organize their thinking about social learning (social cognition). In turn, this fosters their own ability to conceptualize their students’ or children’s experiences and challenges. The Conceptual Frameworks are not to be used directly with the students/clients.

 

Treatment Frameworks evolve from the Conceptual Frameworks and transform evidence-based concepts into a concrete and structured framework that can be introduced to and used with students.

 

Treatment Frameworks help students (and adults) observe that everything they are learning about the social world applies to a larger, more holistic social framework. These frameworks are used to help the parent/professional understand key concepts AND act as a teaching tool with the client/student.

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Links to Other Evidence

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders is the leading peer-reviewed, scholarly periodical focusing on all aspects of autism spectrum disorders and related developmental disabilities.

 

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ADHD and National Institutes of Mental Health

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood brain disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood.

 

 

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INSAR

The International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) is a scientific and professional organization devoted to advancing knowledge about autism spectrum disorders. INSAR was formed in 2001 and is governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors who oversee all functions of the Society.

 

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SFARI

SFARI's mission is to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by funding innovative research of the highest quality and relevance. Launched in 2003, SFARI is a scientific initiative within the Simons Foundation's suite of programs and is its only program focusing on the science underlying a medical condition.

 

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The Informed SLP

The Informed SLP searches the top speech–language pathology journals each month, looking for articles that are immediately relevant to daily practice. They then read and reduce that research down to plain-language reviews of only the most clinically-applicable pieces.

 

 

 

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Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation began as a family movement in 1981 and has become the world’s leading private funder of mental health research. Since 1987 they have awarded more than $394 million to fund more than 5,700 grants.

 

 


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