Friday, September 21, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 3:45 PM CDT
Add to Calendar 


McHenry County Mental Health Board 
620 Dakota Street
Crystal Lake, IL 60012

Driving Directions 


Kristen Doherty 
McHenry County Mental Health Board 

Implementing Social Thinking Concepts and Vocabulary: A Day to Develop Team Creativity

Presented by Kari Zweber Palmer, MA, CCC-SLP

Friday, September 21, 2018 - 8:30 am - 3:45 pm

This training is full.
Please contact Kris at kdoherty@mc708.org to be added to the waitlist. 

                  Free: 5.0 CEU's for attending this training (lunch is on your own)

                                              (IAODAPCA pending)

Who Should Attend: Psychiatrist (MD), Psychiatric Nurse (RN), Psychologist (Ph.D), Social Worker (MSW), Mental Health Counselor, Mental Health Therapist, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), and other mental health professionals. 

Implementing Social Thinking Concepts and Vocabulary: A Day to Develop Team Creativity 

Age Focus:  ages 5 – young adult

It’s time to get practical! Using Social Thinking’s Social Competency Model, learn to guide individuals to better socially attend, interpret, problem solve and respond to social information. Explore how to teach three core treatment*- based frameworks and more than 20 unique strategies based on Social Thinking Vocabulary and related activities. 

Social Thinking’s treatment-based frameworks and strategies can easily be used in conjunction with programs such as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Response to Intervention (RTI) and other social and emotional learning (SEL) programs for all students.

Participants will work in groups to learn how to use Social Thinking concepts to create their own lesson plan. We explore how to make lessons applicable across a variety of environments and focus on enabling students to apply these lessons in their lives. Most lessons are further explained in the book Think Social! A Social Thinking Curriculum for School-Age Students (Winner, 2005), which is used in schools around the world.

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

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe why the context or situation is key for figuring out social expectations and related social skills.
  • Describe the core steps of Social Behavior Mapping to help teach social responsibility.
  • Define at least five (5) Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts.
  • Describe how Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts facilitate generalization across settings.
  • Describe the difference between sharing an imagination and a singular imagination and their relationship to conversations and reading comprehension.

Presenter: Kari Zweber Palmer

Kari is a speech-language pathologist/social-cognitive therapist at her private practice, Changing Perspectives, in Excelsior, MN. She has co-authored, with Michelle Garcia Winner, Ryan Hendrix, and Nancy Tarshis, We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers and We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers. Additionally, Kari consults with local school districts on implementing Social Thinking into their programming.

Her interest in communication and related disorders began long before she studied it formally. Her mom, Jane, is a speech-language pathologist and Kari grew up in the field. Kari received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and Master’s from the University of Kansas. Following her formal training, she started her career as a speech-language pathologist in the public schools in Minnetonka, MN, working predominately in the early childhood and elementary levels.

Kari's interest in Social Thinking was first ignited in graduate school when she was encouraged to facilitate a "social skills" group for teens. As she attempted to pull together a lesson plan for the group, she quickly realized she had no idea how to truly teach social. Discovering Michelle's work made all the difference, as she found information that concretely explained what to do and more importantly, why.

Finding herself increasingly fascinated in Social Thinking, Kari researched and wrote "The Double Interview: Assessing the Social Communication of Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome" for her Master's thesis. Department faculty at the University of Kansas awarded her the Margaret C. Byrne Saricks Graduate Research Award for demonstrating excellence in Master's thesis research.

Kari worked as a full-time therapist at Michelle Garcia Winner's Center for Social Thinking in San Jose, CA. Her diverse caseload included preschool children to young adults, all with varying levels of social-cognitive challenges. She had the good fortune of training directly with Michelle and co-treated a teen group with her each week.

Kari is an active presenter and likes nothing better than to share the power of Social Thinking with others. Comments from past workshop participants include: "Kari was engaging, enthusiastic and obviously passionate about the topic. She was not only knowledgeable but balanced the information with real-life examples and humor."


Kari can usually be found chasing after her kids, thinking about training for another triathlon with her husband, and enjoying the lakes of Minnesota. She loves to travel and considers her experiences with an infant on an airplane the most interesting social experiment.

 Workshop Schedule: 

7:45-8:30 (Registration) 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 Introduction to our research, frameworks, and practice: Social Thinking's many layers. Explore the Four Steps of Communication, related treatment strategies, and activities related to our thinking, our physical presence, and our eyes.

10:15-10:30 (Break)

10:30-12:00 Explore the language we use to relate to others. Delve into teaching the Four Steps of Perspective Taking.

12:00-12:50 (Lunch - on your own)

12:50-2:15 Demonstrate how our motivational developmental tools help incorporate Social Thinking’s core teachings into established and sequenced lessons.

2:15-2:25 (Break)

2:25-3:45 Explore tools for social self-regulation: emotional understanding, emotion compression, Social Behavior Mapping, and the Superflex curriculum. If time permits, we also teach how to avoid errors when teaching our concepts.