Key Topics: Motivational Developmental Tools, How Social Learners Evolve

Concrete Literal Learners Part 2: Strategies for Expanding Social Emotional Learning in Emerging Social Communicators
Instructor: Ryan Hendrix

Part 2 of this two-part series explores

  • The learning strengths, differences and/or challenges of emerging social communicators
  • The use of motivational developmental tools to highlight lessons within different age groups
  • Group lesson ideas for students of different developmental ages


In Part 1 of this two-part series, we will briefly review five different learning styles and then focus our lens on individuals we describe as Challenged Social Communicators. We will provide concrete examples of how these learners interpret information in a very, very literal manner resulting in ongoing issues with problem-solving.


3 hours of training and CE credit available for select professionals. For any special accommodations or assistance with resources email us.

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Part 2: Strategies for Expanding Social Emotional Learning in Emerging Social Communicators

Series Name: Zooming In on Strategies for Concrete Literal Learners

Literal-minded individuals—who may have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, ADHD, twice exceptional and/or sensory integration challenges— are often reported to struggle with social competencies and exhibit a range of other learning differences and/or challenges related to socially based critical thinking. Video-based case studies will offer teaching ideas and show how these social learners evolve in their understanding of the social world as they grow up. Group lesson ideas for different age groups will also be introduced.

Replay access through July 31, 2023

Individual / Small Group
$69.00 per attendee
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Team / Large Group
$59.00 per attendee
5 or more attendees
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Non-Professional & Family
$59.00 per attendee
Intended to help people using the information in their personal lives.
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Detailed Description

Who should attend

Video case studies will explore the social emotional learning trajectory of Emerging Social Communicators (ESCs) who are described as being academically bright as well as very literal interpreters. We’ll explore common learning strengths, differences, and challenges and then introduce three different types of social emotional learning strategies often helpful for this cohort, beginning in elementary school and progressing through high school. We’ll also review longitudinal case studies of those who have graduated from universities.

Examine how social learning is embedded within many academic standards and how the roots of social learning fan out across a large variety of information explored across a school day (e.g., reading comprehension, narrative language, peer engagement and group work, etc.). We will introduce a crash course in the use of rubrics to measure outcomes.

Activities for different age groups will also be explored to promote social learning in the group setting. We emphasize that this learning is slow and deep, with the goal being to help individuals improve in their social learning goals compared to their own abilities. Attendees appreciate the honest and very practical information shared on this day.

Concepts covered include but are not limited to:

  1. Emerging Social Communicators: learning strengths, differences, and challenges
  2. Defining social versus science learning competencies
  3. Why bother learning about what other people think and feel?
  4. Strategies to encourage productive use of perseverative language
  5. Mini-longitudinal case study, including the parent’s point of view
  6. Three levels of teaching increasingly complex social ideas and related lessons
  7. Use of the Social Thinking–Social Learning Tree to explore how the social mind is embedded in academic learning
  8. Measurement of progress using rubrics
  9. The use of motivational developmental tools to highlight lessons within different age groups
  10. Group lesson ideas for students of different developmental ages
  11. Writing social emotional learning goals

Who Should Attend

The Social Thinking Methodology is used by a wide variety of professionals; including speech-language pathologists, special and general education teachers, social workers, counselors, clinical and school psychologists, occupational therapists, behavior specialists, and school administrators to name a few. It’s also used by family members and caregivers across settings.

About this Series

A two-part series

In this two-part series, we focus on developing rule-based social learning activities that connect to educational standards and support social learners with significant social attention and social interpretation challenges. We will concentrate specifically on understanding and supporting Challenged Social Communicators (CSC) in part 1 and Emerging Social Communicators (ESC) in part 2. These social learners are described as having relative strengths in concrete learning with a tendency to interpret both social and written information in a very literal manner. Parents often report struggles with organization, sarcasm, literalness with reading comprehension and writing, as well as a more awkward manner when socially engaging with peers. Both parts of this series will explore the power of social attention using video clips to provide explicit and practical examples for teaching basic social concepts to encourage the development of theory of mind (perspective taking), sharing social attention, and awareness of trickery.

We will also address assumptions about social attention, learning in groups, and reliance on test scores to guide intervention planning. We will examine how socially based critical thinking and executive functioning make it difficult to truly understand the social learner’s real-time learning abilities.

Learning Objectives and Agenda


Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe two or more core characteristics of Emerging Social Communicators and explain the impact on social and academic learning.
  2. Explain the connection between academic standards, social learning, and the challenges of literal learners using the Social Thinking–Social Learning Tree.
  3. Describe at least two practical lessons to teach: "I know I have my own thoughts/feelings" and "I know others can have thoughts/feelings different from mine."


5-minutes Dr. Pamela Crooke, PhD, CCC-SLP, co-developer of the Social Thinking® Methodology and Social Thinking Chief Curriculum Officer: welcome and introduction to Ryan Hendrix

1 hour and 15 minutes Social versus science learning competencies, social characteristics and the social-academic connection, the Social Thinking-Social Learning Tree

10 minute Break

1 hour Understanding the development of social emotional goals and lessons, measurement and lesson examples

40 minutes Previously Recorded Q & A

Continuing Education Credit

3 hours toward CE credit, if applicable

Click here to see if you can receive CE credit by Profession and by State


We are proud to provide access to continuing education credit for:

  • Speech-Language Pathologists (livestream and On Demand)
  • Educators (livestream and On Demand)
  • Counselors (only for watching livestream)
  • NY State Social Workers (only for watching livestream)
  • ...and others!

Livestream Events Accessing Certificates of Attendance and/or CE certificate(s)

Immediately following the livestream course, an email will be sent with a link to verify your attendance. After receiving your response, we will email an access link to the certificate of attendance and other CE documents if applicable. An online form will be available to SLPs at that time to submit their ASHA info to claim ASHA CEUs.

See Detailed CE Info

Technical requirements to participate in online training

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