Superflex Curriculum

The Superflex Curriculum offers lesson plans to help professionals and parents create a personalized Superflex Superhero Training Academy for their students. The students learn that everyone has superflexible capabilities and that they can transform into their own personal Superflex. The curriculum is paired with a 21-page comic book: Superflex Takes on Rock Brain and the Team of Unthinkables. This comic tells the story of how Aiden gained his superflexible thinking powers to become Superflex! Students learn about the cast of Unthinkables who are trying to overtake and rid the town of Superflex forever. Superflex and his sidekick dog, Bark, go on their first mission to save the citizens of Social Town. Depicting behaviors as comic book characters helps to remove blocks to the student's awareness of the behaviors, while the superhero Superflex helps build the thinking required to regulate those behaviors.

IMPORTANT: The first book in the Superflex series is You are a Social Detective!, which builds social awareness—the foundation of self-regulation. Please spend time teaching You are a Social Detective! before using the Superflex Curriculum with kids.


Superflex Research Outcomes Project is Currently Closed

Please check back or email us a request to be notified about upcoming research projects.


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Research Resources

Evidence-Based Concepts for Superflex:   

CBT; Social Skills; Self-Awareness; Self-Regulation; Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS); Social Problem Solving; Perspective Taking; Social Emotional Learning; ASD; Response to Intervention (RTI); Social-Academic connections 

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Bauminger, N. (2007b). Brief report: Individual social-multi-modal intervention for HFASD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1593-1604.


Beaumont, R., & Sofronoff, K. (2008). A multi-component social skills intervention for children with Asperger syndrome: The Junior Detective Training Program. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49, 743–753.


Begeer, S., Koot, H. M., Rieffe, C., Terwogt, M., & Stegge, H. (2008). Emotional competence in children with autism: Diagnostic criteria and empirical evidence. Developmental Review, 28, 342–369.


Channon, S., Charman, T., Heap, J., Crawford, S., & Rios, P. (2001). Real-life problem-solving in Asperger’s syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 461–469.


Constantino, J. N., & Gruber, C. P. (2005). Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.


DeRosier, M. E., Swick, D. C., Ornstein-Davis, N., Sturtz-McMillen, J., & Matthews, R. (2011). The efficacy of a social skills group intervention for improving social behaviors in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 1033–1043.


Dowd, T., & Tierney, J. (1992). Teaching social skills to youth: A curriculum for child- care providers. Boys Town, NB: Boys Town Press.


Feng, H., Lo, Y., Tsai, S., & Cartledge, G. (2008). The effects of theory of mind and social skill training on the social competence of a sixth grade student with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 10, 228–242.


Happé, F. G. E. (1994). An advanced test of theory of mind: Understanding of story characters’ thoughts and feelings by able autistic, mentally handicapped, and normal children and adults. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24, 129–154.


Happe, F., & Frith, U. (2006). The weak coherence account: Detail-focused cognitive style in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(1), 5-25.


Kasari, C., Chamberlain, B., & Bauminger, N. (2001). Social emotions and social relationships in autism: Can children with autism compensate? In J. Burack, T. Charman, N. Yirmiya, & P. Zelazo (Eds.), Perspectives on development in autism (pp. 309–323). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Kasari, C., Locke, J., Gulsrud, A., & Rotheram-Fuller, E. (2011). Social networks and friendships at school: Comparing children with and without ASD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 533-544.


Lewis, M. (1993). The emergence of human emotions. In M. Lewis & J. M. Haviland (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (pp. 223–235). New York: Guilford Press.


Lochman, J. E., & Lampron, L. B. (1986). Situational social problem solving skills and self-esteem of aggressive and nonaggressive boys. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 14, 605–661.


Locke, J., Ishijima, E. H., Kasari, C., & London, N. (2010). Loneliness, friendship quality and the social networks of adolescents with high-functioning autism in an inclusive school setting. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 10, 74–81.


Lopata, C., Thomeer, M. L., Volker, M. A., Toomey, J. A., Nida, R. E., Lee, G. K., et al. (2010). RCT of a manualized social treatment for high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 1297–1310.


Machintosh, K., & Dissnanyake, C. (2006). A comparative study of the spontaneous social interactions of children with high-functioning autism and children with Asperger’s disorder. Autism, 10, 199–220.


Mackay, T., Knott, F., & Dunlop, A. (2007). Developing social interaction and understanding in individuals with autism spectrum disorder: A groupwork intervention. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 32, 279–290.


McConaughy, S. H., Volpe, R. J., Antshel, K. M., Gordon, M., & Eiraldi, R. B. (2001). Academic and social impairments of elementary school children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. School Psychology Review, 40(2), 200-225. Mesibov, G., & Shea, V. (2011). Evidence-based practices and autism. Autism, 15, 114–133. 

Ozonoff, S., & Miller, J. N. (1995). Teaching theory of mind: A new approach to social skills training for individuals with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 25, 415–433. 


Pexman, P. M., Rostad, K. R., McMorris, C. A., Climie, E. A., Stowkowy, J., & Glenwright, M. (2011). Processing of ironic language in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 1097–1112.


Rao, S. M., & Gagie, B. (2006). Learning through seeing and doing: Visual supports for children with autism. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 38(6), 26-33. 


Reaven, J., & Hepburn, S. (2003). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of obsessive- compulsive disorder in a child with Asperger syndrome. Autism, 7(2), 145-164. 12.

Seidner, L. B., Stipek, D. J., & Feshbach, N. D. (1988). A developmental analysis of elementary school-aged children’s concepts of pride and embarrassment. Child Development, 59, 367-377. 


Sibley, M. H., Evans, S. W., & Serpell, N. Z. (2009). Social cognition and interpersonal impairment in young adolescents with ADHD. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 32(2), 193-202. doi: 10.1007/s10862-009-9152-2


Sofronoff, K., Attwood, T., & Hinton, S. (2005). A randomised controlled trial of a CBT intervention for anxiety in children with Asperger syndrome. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46, 1152-1160. 13.


Sofronoff, K., Attwood, T., Hinton, S., & Levin, I. (2007). A randomised controlled trial of a cognitive behavioral intervention for anger management in children diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1203-1214.


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Winner, M. G. (2007). Thinking about you thinking about me: Teaching perspective taking and social thinking to persons with social cognitive learning challenges (2nd ed.). San Jose, CA: Think Social Publishing.


Winner, M. G. & Crooke, P. (2011). Social communication strategies for adolescents with autism.  ASHA Leader, 16(1), 8-11.


Yadlosky, K. (2012). Effects of Superflex Curriculum on the social cognition of primary students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders. Dissertations

Important Note About Superflex

The purpose of the Superflex curriculum is to teach self-awareness, self-monitoring, self-control and social problem solving. But, it is critical that students have some understanding of basic Social Thinking Vocabulary BEFORE launching into the Superflex curriculum. While concepts and story are motivating to many students, we have found that due to its charm, some educators and parents skip the foundational lessons and jump immediately into Superflex and the Unthinkables.


This prompted us to write the You are a Social Detective! comic book to focus on what type of information students should have to be more successful with Superflex. The Social Detective focuses on Social Thinking Vocabulary (also found in Think Social!), which is essential to carry across the school and home day. Social Detective is designed to be introduced to ages 5-10+ (and older) students. Superflex is designed for ages 7-10+. These are our suggested guidelines, but some children, on a neurotypical developmental pathway, are able to benefit from the strategies and lessons at an earlier age (ages 7-8).


We always begin, regardless of a person's age, by teaching how to view/observe the expectations of the greater world through the use of a social thinking toolbox (eyes, ears, feelings, brain). We teach how to understand the connection between expected and unexpected behaviors and the relationship to others' thinking and feelings. An individual must first develop an understanding that he or she has expectations for others in the social world AND that others have expectations too. Only then should Superflex be introduced.


It is VERY important that we don’t rush to teach our students self-control before they have a solid grasp on self-awareness. If you find that your child/student doesn't have a clear understanding between what's real/pretend, is anxious about thinking about the Unthinkables, becomes obsessed with the Unthinkables, or just doesn't enjoy the concepts, then please discontinue using the curriculum and change to focusing on other lessons or the Thinkables.

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