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  • Autism SA Info Line
    1300 AUTISM
    (1300 288 476)
    1300 288 476

In Focus Workshops for Families

In Focus Family Workshops are unique workshops presented to very small groups of participants, allowing for specific questions and scenarios to be discussed with the experienced presenter from Autism SA. Sessions focus on a specific topic and develop participants knowledge, understanding and provide participants with specific strategies that they can use in a range of environments. 

NDIS funding may be used to access these workshops. Please complete the questions relating to your participants NDIS Plan when registering. 

In order to use NDIS funding to access these workshops you must have 'Improved Daily Living Skills' OR 'CB Daily Living' listed as a support item within your, or your child's NDIS plan, have a budget allocated to this line, and the plan must be valid until after the workshop.


NETLEY- 1/262 Marion Road, Netley, Adelaide, South Australia

ELIZABETH- 57 Elizabeth Way, Elizabeth, Adelaide, South Australia 

(unless stated otherwise)

For assistance in registering please contact Emma Bennett, Training, Consultancy and Research Officer on 8462 0658 or 

For further information regarding the content of the sessions please contact Kate Exner, the Training and Development Consultant on 0421 326 710 or 

For Terms of Trade, please click here. 

Workshop Title and Information 






Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - An introduction for adults on the spectrum and parents/carers Netley Register here Tuesday, 12th March 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm $114.64
Using A and B choices at home Elizabeth Register here Thursday, 21st March 2019 9:30am - 12:30pm $171.96
Tips and strategies to help with everyday Netley Register here Wednesday, 1st May 2019 9:30am - 12:30pm $171.96
Anxiety: how to support a person when they are escalating, and how to help develop self-identification strategies Netley Register here Monday, 13th May 2019 5:30pm - 7:30pm $114.64
Enhancing social understanding: social cognition and practical strategies to support Netley Register here Wednesday, 29th May 2019 9:30am - 12:30pm $171.96
Positive Behaviour Support Planning: understanding behaviour and practical strategies to support Netley Register here Wednesday, 12th June 2019 9:30am - 11:30am $114.64
Video modelling: the use of video footage to teach new skills Elizabeth Register here Thursday, 20th June 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm $114.64
Picky eaters Elizabeth Register here Thursday, 27th June 2019 9:30am - 12:30pm $171.96

Please see below for a brief description of the workshops. Please note that many are currently un scheduled. 

2019 Autumn Conference Series: Using the Social Thinking Methodology to support Social Learning


Michelle Garcia Winner, the founder of Socially Thinking®, will teach those that support people with social emotional learning challenges to develop skills in how they interpret and respond to social information to better connect with others. Michelle will present practical strategies to improve social competencies that can be used immediately in the classroom, clinic, home and community.

The conference is set to be an engaging, interactive day where participants will be guided through a range of innovative socially based problem solving strategies that can be used with individuals with solid expressive and receptive language skills, in a range of settings.

Frameworks and strategies presented and demonstrated include;

  • How to encourage the development of social competencies;
  • 10 core Social Thinking Vocabulary Concepts such as ‘expected’ and ‘unexpected’ behaviours;
  • Social Behaviour Maps and ME maps for self-protective, resistant learners; and
  • The Double Interview and Thinking With Your Eyes.

Outcomes for participants and individuals include learning how they can support the development of four core factors in social learning: social attention, interpretation, problem solving tothen figure out social responses. Participants will develop skills to help people learn to process and respond to social information; which then promotes social self-regulation.

“Observing the social interactions of others is very helpful to me as I formulate how to interact myself. I’ve learned not everyone walks with their head down avoiding eye contact all of the time. I’ve learned when and how to smile. I’ve studied what makes a stranger seem approachable. In short, you have to know the rules of the game in order to play the game’. A quote from a 43-year-old engineer and student of Social Thinking’s Methodology 

‘Your program has given me the much needed tools to communicate in a meaningful way with my 9 year old son. Thank you. The stress level in our house has decreased along with the meltdowns. He is able to come out of the meltdowns much more readily. Thanks.’- Conference Attendee, Parent

Who should attend?

Educators, clinicians, professionals, parents, family members, individuals and anyone who supports a person on the spectrum will benefit from attending this conference. All participants will develop an appreciation that social capabilities are integral to a person’s success in life - socially, academically, and professionally.


Michelle Garcia Winner is an internationally recognised speech pathologist from the United States and is the founder and CEO of Social Thinking®. Social Thinking is a company dedicated to helping individuals from across their lifespan to develop their social competencies to meet their personal social goals. Michelle is recognised as ‘...the leading expert in the field of social skills’ with more than 30 years’ experience working with individuals, families and professionals in the autism sector. Michelle is a prolific writer and has written and/or co-authored more than 40 books and over 100 research articles about the Social Thinking Methodology including; ‘Social Behaviour Mapping’; ‘Thinking about you, Thinking about Me?’; ‘You are a Social Detective’; and ‘Superflex: A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum”.

Michelle is known for her enthusiastic presentation style and ability to provide participants with real strategies that can make a difference in the school, home and community setting.

" of my favorite authors in the field of teaching emotional intelligence. Michelle Garcia Winner has pioneered some very helpful ways of conceptualising and helping educators understand the social challenges that students on the autism spectrum face." - Stephan Borgman, 2010, Psychology Today, ‘Spectrum Solutions’ 


8.30-9.25am – Registration

9.30-9.45am- Conference opening

9.45-10.30am- Social Think’s Social Competency Model

10.30-10.50am- Morning Tea

10.50am-12.30pm- Exploring two different types of informal dynamic assessment tasks

12.30-1.10pm- Lunch

1.10-2.30pm- Exploring 10 core Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts

2.30-2.50pm- Afternoon Tea

2.50-3.45pm- A Core Social Thinking Treatment Framework: Social Behavior Mapping and Me Maps

3.45-4.00pm- Conference Closing

4.15-4.30pm- Book Signing

Positive behaviour support planning: understanding behaviour and practical strategies to support

In this session, presented by an experienced Behaviour Consultant from the Autism SA Psychology and Behaviour Support team, participants will develop a greater understanding of behaviours of concern in the context
of autism. During the session, the presenter will guide participants through a range of relevant, realistic and evidence based strategies that can be utilised in a range of settings, that can also be individualised for the
person in their day-to-day lives. This session is highly recommended for families who are accessing, or looking at accessing, Psychology or Behaviour Support from Autism SA, or who are just wanting a deeper understanding with practical
strategies to support an individual in the home or community environment.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - An introduction for adults on the spectrum and parents/carers

Can we ever be truly happy? Will our lives always be this hard? What can we realistically do about it? This workshop aims to give you an overview of what ACT is and how it can support.

An experienced ACT therapists with many years experience working with people on the spectrum will cover and provide opportunity to explore:

• Mindfulness exercises;
• Discuss new concepts;
• Experienceents and sharing;
• New strategies; and
• Listening to each other.

This session is for adults who are on the spectrum, parents or carers of children or adults on the spectrum and is aimed at people who are interested in attending the ACT

therapeutic group, or who would just like more information about ACT in general.

Using A and B choices at home

In this workshop, parents and carers learn how to use the highly visual, concrete program The Way to A© in the home environment. The program provides visual information to assist a person to clearly identify ‘A’ and ‘B’ choices, and to provide motivation to make ‘A’ choices.

Tips and strategies to help with everyday

This session will explore a broad range of effective strategies that can be implemented in the home to support with everyday occurrences such as: getting ready for school and bed; doing chores; playing with siblings; and riding in the car.
At the end of the session participants will have a range of tools and resources that will support everyone in the family to manage the everyday more effectively.

Anxiety: How to support a person when they are escalating, and how to help develop self-identification strategies

This workshop, presented to a small group of participants, acknowledges that many individuals on the autism spectrum may experience high anxiety levels. The presenter will discuss the importance of identifying observable signs of anxiety at five

different levels, and how a person can respond when an individual is at each of these levels. The workshop will also discuss how to support an individual to self-identify their anxiety levels, and use effective strategies to
reduce anxiety when it is impacting their day.

Topics include:

• What to do at each level when anxiety escalates;
• How to develop emotional regulation skills;
• The importance of non-aversive behaviour management;
• How to teach an individual strategies to calm; and
• Developing a 5-Point Plan to support an individual in different environments.

Enhancing social understanding: social cognition and practical strategies to support

“My father once said to me ‘make friends Wenn’. I knew how to make rice pudding, I even knew how to make my dog sit, but I had no idea how to make friends”- Wenn Lawson.
This workshop will provide participants with a greater understanding of social development and practical, autism specific strategies that can be used to enhance your child’s understanding
of the hidden social curriculum across the ages, and in different environments.

Video modelling: the use of video footage to teach new skills

Video modelling has a strong evidence base that shows repeated viewing of a carefully created and edited video, which demonstrates the individual doing the target skill, can support development of the skill.
The iModelling App developed by Autism SA can be used to develop these videos, and participants will be shown how to effectively and easily use Video Modelling in a range of settings.

This session will include: 

• An outline of Video Modelling as an effective intervention method;
• The benefits of video modelling;
• A guide for participants on how to use the app - allowing time to try the app; and
• Information on the iMsocial social skill development program.

Throughout the workshop the presenter will use discussion, activities, videos and the iModelling app to deliver information on video modelling, that will enhance the knowledge of attendees, of video
modelling, and enable them to provide effective support, inclusion and outcomes.

Picky eaters

Meal times can often be a challenge, as can getting your child to eat enough food or a variety of foods. This session will help parents and carers work out the potential reasons for picky eating and strategies
to improve eating and meal time behaviours.