Mike’s Crush

What Others Say

The Social Signals DVD and curriculum may be the missing piece for teens and young adults with difficulty in social skills. The lessons are written to be adaptable to all students with a range of abilities, ages, and knowledge. I would even argue that this material offers invaluable information to all members of society who wish to improve their skills in the area of friendships and romance. This program is a necessary piece of curriculum for all teachers and caregivers to teach these subjects effectively.

The curriculum in full comes with two video stories on DVD (one “good” day/ one “bad” day), as well as lesson plans in an accompanying binder covering appearance, relationships, body language, conversation, and some of the rules of relationships.

Mike’s Crush illustrates through grossly exaggerated examples how one can wrongly “read” a situation, as well as how to accurately read one and respond. The video demonstrates all the pieces to a social interaction puzzle, including; communication, body language, friendship, hygiene, and personal space. Its’ central themes include different kinds of relationships, and healthy and unhealthy boundaries. It aims to not only help people form healthy relationships, but to also teach about the social and legal lines that must not be crossed.

Reviewer: Stephanie Mitelman, MA, Certified Sexuality Educator
American Journal of Sexuality Education

Nancy has developed a plethora of teaching materials to address the needs of those with various disabilities. She utilizes the teaching materials that she has developed because they have proven to be more effective than any others previously published.  She has a wonderful new curriculum that she has developed and tested over many months in the classroom.   As part of the testing, she invites feedback from students and teachers in order to improve upon the materials.

The educational videos that she has developed provide engaging visual models of what is OK and NOT OK behavior in relationships.  Parents have seen the videos that she created and have wanted to buy them on the spot.

The materials that she has developed have four important goals:

  1. Sexual abuse risk reduction
  2. Reducing contact with the criminal justice system because of social mistakes (stalking, touching hair, not understanding boundaries, etc.)
  3. Reducing loneliness/isolation, and
  4. Teaching healthy relationships.

Konstance McCaffree, PhD, ACSE, CFLE
Sexuality Education Consultant
Adjunct Professor Widener University
President Elect AASECT
Past President SSSS


Nancy Nowell has added an aspect of educational programming that our students absolutely needed, but was previously overlooked at school.  Our young adults with developmental disabilities need information about dealing with their feelings regarding sexuality.  They have questions that are often uncomfortable for educators to discuss.  Nancy has taught us how to present information in a concrete, clear manner.

The students are benefiting tremendously from Nancy’s direct group services, consultation with educators, parent education, as well as her published educational materials.  Nancy has a wealth of knowledge on the topic of sexuality education and has created excellent materials that the students understand.  Nancy has a warm and caring manner with students, educators and parents.  She is a valued consultant and an asset to our educational program.

Beverly J. Smith
Director Special Education
Garnet Valley School District, Pennsylvania

A Review of “Mike’s Very Bad Day”
By Robert Taverner
Setting and Visuals

“Mike’s Very Bad Day” is stunning with its realism and can connect with anyone in America.  The actual location is never given, but this is a blessing because teens can imagine Mike living in their home town.  The creators may have been going for this, or maybe not, but this makes it all the better.  The camerawork is excellent and the editing spot-on.

★★★★★★★★★★ (10 out of 10 stars)


It is helping me to become confident.


Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to help teach us what we need to know about relationship and how to handle them appropriately.


 It’s been great spending time with you and you have {taught} me lots of valuable lessons and I thank you for that.


Thank you for teaching us about relationships.  Also meeting Mike (the actor in Mike’s Crush) was really cool.



Thank you all who were involved in the making of “Mike’s Crush”.  This is definitely an incredible teaching tool for our family.  It gave me the opportunity to actually discuss many issues with my daughter — because she could actually SEE and HEAR each situation and was able to relate to many of them.  The “Good Day” / “Bad Day” format is just perfect.

She has watched the movie many times and has written her own notes to discuss with me.  Mike’s Crush was able to relay potential serious/important issues to my daughter in a very interesting and effective way — It certainly was a lot more productive than I talking/talking/talking to her — and more enjoyable for her than hearing my voice.
Mike’s Crush gets an A+.
Again, thanks to all who were responsible for the idea and the making of Mike’s Crush — a wonderful movie!   You all deserve an award!!  Keep the movies coming!!

Carol Amaradio

Disability Professionals

Understanding relationships is a complex matter for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other conditions. The art of communication, the emotions and the behaviours need to be balanced and appropriate. Teaching the subtleties of interpersonal relationships and dating skills requires clear instructions and visual material.  In my clinical practice, I use Social Signals programs and recommend it to my colleagues in the field of psychology and education. The program provides different models and guidelines to ensure successful relationships and positive experience for students.

Isabelle Hénault, PhD  Psychologist and Sexologist
Author – Asperger’s Syndrome and Sexuality
Jessica Kingsley Publishers


Nancy has taught special education and worked directly with students and their families and she has worked with both victims and offenders.  Her materials and methods are practical and pragmatic, and I highly recommend them.

In Mike’s Crush, I have been able to use specific video segments as well as the curriculum representing various social interactions, good and bad, in my relationship development series. Mike’s Crush is a tremendous resource to me.

Lawrence R. Sutton, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Certified School Psychologist


I met Nancy Nowell ten years ago when she was refining for the Commonwealth of PA a program for intellectually disabled persons with sexual behavior problems.   Since that time she has continued to teach Intellectually Disabled  students healthy sexuality and relationships, and has developed the first of its kind video curriculum to demonstrate the dos and don’ts of courtship and related behavior for this population.  Over the years I have had the opportunity to consult with her on Intellectually Disabled individuals I have treated, and she always provides a grounded sounding board for client’s sexuality issues.

Tom Graves MS PhD

I am a teacher of high school students with Autism and Aspergers Syndrome. I have a daily social skills class during which we cover many of the obstacles that are faced by this age group. My students have the most difficulty in the area of boy/girl relationships. Ms. Nancy Nowell has worked with my students for many years and has shared, with me, her resources from her company Social Signals.

One particular DVD has been most helpful. It is entitled Mike’s Crush. This is a high quality DVD with real actors and has been a very powerful teaching tool in my class. It demonstrates the wrong way to handle yourself when one has a crush on a girl, and then it demonstrates the right way to accomplish developing a good relationship with someone. It is a drama that is done with humor and presents its many messages in a clear and understandable way. It effectively covers many issues from personal hygiene to stalking. My students have consistently enjoyed watching it and have benefitted from it in many ways. I highly recommend it to anyone who is teaching the skills needed in this area!

Kelly Ann Zurga, M.Ed.
Council Rock School District