Thursday, January 6, 2011

Guest Post on Social Thinking®!

At the ASHA Convention this past November, I was very excited to have had time to
accost, I mean, converse with Michelle Garcia Winner, creator of the Social Thinking® Methodology for teaching students with Asperger's, High-Functioning Autism, and various quirky characteristics. We chatted for a few minutes at her booth in the exhibit hall about all the great web tools that are available to help students visualize and apply some of the concepts and vocabulary in her programs and books.

As a result of that and further conversations, I now have a guest post on the Social Thinking® Blog (with a link to an instructional handout) regarding xtranormal, a great "text-to-movie" site that allows you to create simple dialogues between characters, often with hilarious results (you may have seen some on Facebook). It is applicable to all kinds of language instruction in terms of teaching about characters, dialogue, and social exchanges. The wonderful thing about it is that you can actually have kids create movies that illustrate the fleeting and abstract aspects of social exchanges you are teaching about, e.g. nonresponsiveness, interruption, etc. The timing of my post, written in November, was really pretty unfortunate, because on December 27 xtranormal announced changes to their site resulting in free features becoming unfree. However, a few points:
-I do think xtranormal is worth paying for in order to make a core group of movies you can use and reuse with students-- the same way you might buy a DVD that you would use with groups, but much more customizable!
-You can create dialogues with students and run them in preview mode without cost.
-I have made a diigo list for xtranormal videos people have created about social interactions, so please email me if you made one you'd like to share.

Please click on over and see the post- I am really excited to have contributed something to the work going on at Social Thinking®--they have helped my work immeasurably!


  1. Thank you for the great post again! What a great idea to use this for social skills training.

  2. I actually ran across your post while looking up MGW conferences today! Congrats, it was a great post and I look forward to using with my prags group!

  3. Thank you!! I did get a response from xtranormal about my teacher account request- they gave me a pretty generous amount of xtranormal points!