WHAT IS IT? Social Thinking® is a user-friendly term coined by Michelle Garcia Winner to describe Social Cognition. Social cognition is a learning theory that states that most people learn behaviors by watching what others do. This unintentional learning happens especially with social rules which most people learn throughout childhood, adolescence and even into early adulthood in order form varying levels of relationships and friendships. Social rules are often learned so subtly and without effort that individuals cannot identify when a rule was learned or explain how they know the rule is true.
At Gold Therapy, our staff of trained professionals blends Winner’s innovative Social Thinking program with language and other therapeutic techniques to build the core components of social communication. The afterschool and summer programs focus around the ILAUGH model (Winner 2000). The ILAUGH acronym includes:
I: Initiation ~ Initiation of conversational interactions happens both verbally and nonverbally.
L: Listening with Eyes and Brain (whole body listening) ~ It is important that individuals demonstrate active listening behaviors in order to gain social acceptance and demonstrate appropriate behavior in classrooms. Furthermore, because over 50% of communication occurs non-verbally through body language and facial expressions, it is important for the listener to take in information with their eyes.
A: Abstract Language ~ Actively participating in communication also requires an understanding that most of our language is not meant to be interpreted literally.
U: Understanding Perspective ~ “Perspective taking” refers to the ability to understand the emotions, thoughts, beliefs, experiences, motives, and intentions of one’s self as well as of others.
G: Gestalt Processing (“Getting the Big Picture”) ~ Gestalt thinking is understanding the main idea or theme. In conversation, a listener has to take in all types of information both verbally and non-verbally, then analyze and synthesize these details to form an overall idea. It is important to rely on prior knowledge for gestalt processing. Difficulty in this area may also result in a lack of ability to generalize knowledge, and apply something learned in one setting to a similar situation in another setting. The combination of these difficulties often results in students being poorly organized.
H: Humor ~ This area considers both understanding humor and using humor. It also considers whether the student can differentiate humor by audience, content, setting and timing.
In addition to program information provided on this page you may also get more information at www.socialthinking.com