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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Apr 28, 2021

My guest this week is Michelle Winner, MA, CCC-SLP who specializes in the treatment of individuals with social learning challenges and is the founder and CEO of Social Thinking®, a company dedicated to helping individuals from four through adulthood develop their social competencies to meet their personal social goals. Michelle coined the term “Social Thinking” in the mid-1990s and since that time has created numerous unique treatment frameworks and curricula that help educators, clinicians, professionals of all types, and parents/family members appreciate that social capabilities are integral to a person’s success in life, socially, academically, and professionally.

In this episode, Michelle and I discuss what social skills actually entail. Most people, including education professionals, believe that social skills can be taught the way other competencies are taught. Michelle has dedicated her entire career to helping school professionals and parents understand that social skills involve so much more. That’s why she created “Social Thinking” courses. Many people have the ability to hear their own thoughts, that inner voice, and observe their thoughts before speaking or taking action. This enables them to engage in a conversation, join a group, meet new people, etc. Michelle noticed early on that there are many people in the world, even high academic achievers, who do not possess this ability innately. So she has designed several programs, developed research, and written many papers on how to help people learn social thinking. Head over to for lots of free resources on this topic.