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Our Speakers: Global Training Experts

The Social Thinking Training & Speakers' Collaborative (STTSC) consists of highly trained professionals who are therapists and teachers based in several regions of the US and abroad (Singapore and Israel). All members of the STTSC are required to maintain active caseloads in schools or clinics in order to provide attendees with practical and relevant treatment information. Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke, thought leaders in the development of the Social Thinking methodology, guide ongoing trainings of all members of the STTSC.

Note: The speakers listed below are officially trained and sanctioned by Think Social Publishing to provide trainings related to the Social Thinking Methodology. Before attending a training in your area, please make sure to look for the official STTSC member badge or confirm the name of the speaker on this website.

Social Thinking Training & Speakers' Collaborative

Our Training Team

Michelle Garcia Winner
Michelle Garcia Winner Michelle receives accolades for her energetic and educational conference presentations, as well as her down-to-earth approach to teaching social competencies. The strength of Michelle's work is her ability to break down abstract social concepts and teach them in practical, concrete ways to help people improve their social problem solving abilities and social responses. Click through to learn more about Michelle.

Michelle Garcia Winner

Founder & CEO Social Thinking • M.A., CCC-SLP

Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP 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.

 

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Pam Crooke
Pamela Crooke Pam's most recent publications focus on using Practice-based research to examine how educators, mental health specialists, and parents utilize strategies within the Social Thinking methodology. Pam maintains an active clinical practice of both adolescents and adults. Click through to learn more about Pam.

Pamela Crooke

PhD, CCC-SLP • Chief Strategy Officer

Pamela J. Crooke is the Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Research, Content, Clinical Services, and the Social Thinking Training & Speakers Collaborative.

 

Dr. Crooke has co-authored, with Michelle Garcia Winner, five award-winning books related to Social Thinking: Socially Curious and Curiously Social, You Are a Social Detective, Social Fortune or Social Fate, Social Town, and their book geared to adults, Good Intentions Are Not Good Enough. She and Winner collaborate on writing articles and blogs that appear on the Social Thinking website and in a wide array of publications.

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Kari Zweber Palmer
Kari Zweber Palmer 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. Click through to learn more about Kari.

Kari Zweber Palmer

MA, CCC-SLP

Kari Zweber Palmer 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.

 

Kari's 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.

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Ryan Hendrix
Ryan Hendrix Ryan received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a minor in Art Therapy and her Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Arizona. While at the U of A, Ryan met Dr. Crooke, who introduced her to the unpredictable, quirky world of Social Thinking. Click through to learn more about Ryan.

Ryan Hendrix

MA, CCC-SLP

Ryan Hendrix is a Social Cognitive Therapist at Social Thinking Stevens Creek in San Jose and a private therapist in San Francisco. She trained and works directly with Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke. Her diverse caseload experience includes preschool-age children through young adults with varying levels of social cognitive learning challenges.

 

In addition to running groups, she actively collaborates with families and related professionals (teachers, resource specialists, psychologists, etc.) on ways to promote carryover and generalization of learning outside of the clinic setting. Ryan also helps supervise and train graduate students and clinicians in their clinical fellowship year and does ongoing mentorships within the Social Thinking Stevens Creek clinic.

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Nancy Clements
Nancy Clements Before founding and opening Social Thinking Boston in 2012, Nancy was the Program Manager for Communication Services at the Stern Center for Language and Learning. She developed an in-depth Social Thinking program, including developmentally based groups, off-site coaching and consultations, and a three-credit graduate course in partnership with Saint Michaels College. Click through to learn more about Nancy.

Nancy Clements

MA, CCC-SLP

Nancy Clements is a speech language pathologist and Executive Director of Social Thinking Boston®, the East Coast sister clinic to Social Thinking Stevens Creek and Social Thinking Santa Clara. She brings her highly creative approach to her clinical practice, where she maintains a very active and varied caseload ranging from early social learners through adults. She is especially interested in bringing Social Thinking concepts to all learners and continuing to analyze the impact of social thinking methodologies across all tiers using a Response to Intervention (RTI) model. Nancy enjoys formulating programs from the ground up through creative strategies, systems of implementation, and models of efficacy that are data driven. Having been raised by parents who were both educators, she brings an empathic and collaborative approach to coaching teachers, administrators and specialists.

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Nancy Tarshis
Nancy Tarshis Nancy’s private clinical work includes Altogether Social, a social cognitive practice she co-founded with Debbie Meringolo, that serves clients age 14 months through 22 years. Altogether Social provides individual and group sessions, trainings for parents and professionals, and school consultations. Click through to learn more about Nancy.

Nancy Tarshis

MA, MS, CCC-SLP

Nancy Tarshis, a speech-language pathologist and special educator with extensive experience working with children and their parents, is the Director of Early Childhood Programming at The Quad Preparatory School, which is dedicated to twice exceptional children, Grades K-12. For 27 years, she was a member of the professional team at the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, serving as Supervisor of Speech and Language Services for 21 of them.

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Renee Attaway
Renee Attaway Renee's career has included working in private schools, the university setting, and private practice. She has focused on the school setting for over 14 years through work with the public schools as a supervisor, consulting with private schools and her position at The Parish school, a private school for children with language and learning differences. Click through to learn more about Renee.

Renee Attaway

MS, CCC-SLP

Renee Attaway is the founder and director of Social Thinking® at Parish, a program at The Parish School that offers social cognitive services in the Houston, Texas. For over 5 years, her program provides group and individual therapeutic services for children from preschool to high school, an overnight social learning summer camp called Camp Social Superheroes, and a parent group.


As a Speech Language Pathologist, Renee has offered Social Thinking® groups since discovering Michelle's work in 2003. She has completed both the mentor training and internship at the Social Thinking clinics in San Jose, CA.

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Debbie Meringolo
Debbie Meringolo Debbie is an enthusiastic speaker who enjoys sharing her own clinical experiences with audiences across the country. She has been speaking about social cognitive development, preschool play skill development, assessment and intervention, and developing social groups across the age range. Click through to learn more about Debbie.

Debbie Meringolo

MA, MS, Educator

Debbie Meringolo, a special educator, clinician and developmental specialist, is the Director of Early Childhood Programming at Quad Preparatory School, a school for twice exceptional children, Grades K-12. She assumed this role in July 2018, after a 27-year history as the Associate Director of the Infant/Toddler Team and RELATE program at the Rose F. Kennedy Center Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center of Montefiore. Prior to her current role at Quad Prep, Debbie served as a consultant, bringing Social Thinking methodology to the school, developing the social emotional learning program and training staff members. Debbie has a long history working in schools as a reading specialist, supervisor and program developer in the New York City Department of Education for many years.

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Beckham Linton
Beckham Linton In 2009, Beckham began working in the public school system as a staff speech language pathologist in both elementary and middle schools and spent time supervising interns, developing in-service training programs and consulting with IEP teams. She noticed a rapid rise in students with autism on her caseload whose strong verbal language skills combined with relatively weak social and emotional regulation skills interfered greatly with their ability to function academically and socially across settings. Click through to learn more about Beckham.

Beckham Linton

MA, CCC-SLP

Beckham earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology at Oklahoma State University. She has worked in a variety of settings since 1990 and developed an early interest in social communication while working in acute care and rehabilitation settings in the Midwest. Beckham and her family moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado in 1996 where she served as staff therapist and director of the Speech-Language Pathology and Cognitive Rehabilitation departments at The Brain Injury Recovery Program. Her responsibilities included evaluation and treatment planning for adults and children, cognitive rehabilitation program development, in-service training, client care coordination and public education. Beckham also served as staff therapist at The Speech-Language Stimulation Center in Ft. Collins working with clients from birth to 3 years as well as adults with voice disorders.

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Ariela Jokel
Ariela Jokel Ariela conducts research on language and autism, has published a number of papers and provides various clinical talks and workshops in the field. She has been a board committee member of the Israeli Speech Hearing and Language Association (ISHLA) since 2012. Click through to learn more about Ariela.

Ariela Jokel

PhD, CCC-SLP

Ariela Jokel, P.h.D, CCC-SLP is the head Speech Language Pathologist at the Weinberg Child Development Center at Safra Children's Hospital, Tel Hashomer Sheba Medical Center in Israel. She completed her undergrad degree at York University in Toronto, Canada in psychology with a minor in Spanish and her Masters and Doctoral degrees at The Callier Center, UTD in Dallas, Texas in communication disorders. She is currently a lecturer at the Department of Communication Disorders, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, at Tel Aviv University and has a private practice in Kochav Yair, Israel where she consults and works with individuals their families from birth to adulthood.

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Chithra Kathiresan
Chithra Kathiresan After graduating from Flinders University of South Australia, Chithra began her career in Singapore, working with adults with social cognitive deficits following stroke or traumatic brain injury. At the Tan Tock Seng Hospital Neuroscience Institute, she worked first in acute care, followed by leading speech therapy services at their then newly founded rehabilitation center. Click through to learn more about Chithra.

Chithra Kathiresan

B. App. Sc., SLP

Chithra Kathiresan is a speech-language therapist who has lived and worked in Singapore for 25 years. She trains professionals, parents and teachers extensively in Singapore and the region. She is a passionate speaker and leads highly engaging sessions, that are tailored to spark curiosity, inspire and move people to action. She is the co-founder and clinical director of Connect and Communicate in Singapore, a private practice dedicated to social communication and supporting relating and thinking across the lifespan. Social Thinking®, DIR® Floortime™ and Hanen® are cornerstones of this multi-disciplinary practice, that sees children as young as 1 year of age, all the way to adults in their late 20s.

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Mental Health Consultant for STTSC

Ways to Train & Learn About the Social Thinking Methdology Directly From Our Experts

Personalized Training for Your School or Clinic

Social Thinking offers a wide array of all day and partial day courses and embedded school trainings to fit your needs. Our speakers collectively instruct over 15 courses offering practical concepts and strategies to boost the social learning process and academic achievement that can be used across settings, such as in the classroom, on the playground, at home, at work, and in the community. Each course covers a specific topic, from working with early learners, to the transition to adulthood; to helping mature adults improve executive functioning skills. Each speaker has unique specialties that align with the courses they instruct.
Book a Speaker

Attend a Live Conference Event

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Become immersed in a topic you’re passionate about, surrounded by others who share your passion, while questions fly around the room and are answered by the experts where the learning feels infinite. The social interaction and collective knowledge at our conferences make for a rich and inspirational learning experience, which is why 98% of people who attend want to join us again!

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Watch eLearning Modules Anytime

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Informed by the latest research,  20+ years of clinical work, and honed through hundreds of worldwide presentations, these one-of-a-kind video courses explore all aspects of developing social competencies including building self-regulation, executive functioning, social problem solving abilities, and much more.

 

 

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Attend Our Clinical Training Program

Social Thinking Clinical Training for Professionals

Get an inside look at how our clinicians teach at Social Thinking clinics by attending our three-day intensive Clinical Training Program. Designed for professionals with experience using the Social Thinking Methodology. Continuing education credit is available.

 

 

 

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