Social Thinking

What is Social Thinking?

social thinking art


Social thinking is what we do when we interact with people.  We think about what we want to say AND we think about the people with whom we are interacting.  Are they happy, sad, angry, and attending to what we say or are they indifferent?   How we think about people affects how we behave and communicate, which affects how others respond to us, which in turn affects our own emotions.

Whether we are with friends, sending an email, in a classroom or at the grocery store, we consider the thoughts, emotions and intentions of the people with whom we interact.

Most of us have developed our communications sense from birth onwards, steadily observing and acquiring social information and learning how to respond to people. Because social thinking is an intuitive process, we usually take it for granted.  However, for many individuals, this process is anything but natural.  Many of us know of someone who presents difficulty interacting socially with others and presents social limitations.  These difficulties and limitations frequently have nothing to do with conventional measures of intelligence.  In fact, many of these people score high on IQ and standardized tests, yet do not intuitively learn the nuances of social communication and interaction.

These challenges are commonly experienced by individuals with autism spectrum disorders (high-functioning), social communication disorder, Asperger’s, ADHD, nonverbal learning disability (NLD) and similar diagnoses.  However, children and adults experiencing social learning difficulties often have received no diagnosis.

The Speech-Language Pathologists, at Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center, are offering a treatment framework and curriculum that are based on the principles developed by Michelle Garcia Winner’s “Social Thinking.”  This curriculum targets improving individual social thinking abilities, regardless of diagnostic label.  Therapy strategies address individual strengths and weaknesses in processing social information.

Our Social Thinking program targets pre-teens, teens, and young adults with social thinking challenges. For more information please visit or call and speak to one of our speech-language pathologists about enrolling in one of our programs.