Social thinking is a term that refers to how we understand and think about other people. To be a human is to be social! Social thinking is developmental and is language-based, meaning it is for students who are using language to communicate. It also involves cognitive skills, and the ability to think about thinking and talk about thinking. Students need to learn how the social world works and how to regulate themselves to participate successfully within it. We can develop our social thinking abilities when we are thinking about others in–person, in a book, or in a video, and we can continue to improve our skills all the way into adulthood.
Much of what we know about social thinking is thanks to Michelle Garcia Winner and her team at socialthinking.com; we encourage you to check out their website for more information and to access a number of free resources. Below, we’ve provided links to summary documents developed by Burnaby Speech-Language Pathology Services outlining the social thinking skills from the We Thinkers Social Curriculum, as well as other resources to help you support the development of social thinking for your child or students.