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Conversation can be very difficult for teens and young adults with autism to learn because these learners usually need guidelines or "rules", but oftentimes the guidelines or "rules" of conversation can be very flexible. This resource came from my experience with the aspects of conversation my students struggled with the most:
1. Impulse Control - Taking turns, Not talking while your partner is talking
2. Responding Appropriately to Novel Comments - Teaching my students to answer and ask reciprocal questions was the easy part, but they needed MORE support to work on how to respond to unfamiliar comments, and how to ask a follow-up question. This led me to create a lesson where the student must first identify whether a comment is . Then they can work on remembering what would be an appropriate response to each type of comment.
3. Topic Maintenance - I found myself throwing the word "topic" around for a whole session before I realized that I had not even explained what a topic was! This led me to create introduction stories of a topic is, it's important to stay on topic, and to stay on topic.
This resource includes stories, visual supports, and activities for working on the flow of conversation. The following items are included with this product:
1. Directions for Use
2. Directions for Students
3. Saying “Hello” Introduction Story
4. Starting a Conversation Introduction Story
5. Bringing up a Topic Introduction Story
6. Staying on Topic Introduction Story
7. Responding to Negative and Positive Comments Introduction Story and Introduction to Activity
8. Ending the Conversation Introduction Story
9. Saying Goodbye Introduction Story
10. Positive vs. Negative Statement Cards
11. Positive vs. Negative Comment Visual Supports
12. Off Topic Visual Supports
13. Talking vs. Listening Visuals
14. Topic Board and Visuals
15. Asking a New Question Written Supports
16. Making a New Comment Written Supports
17. Asking a Follow-up Question Written Supports
18. Responding to Comments Written Supports
This would be a great resource to use with a social skills group for teens or young adults! Having the written stimuli on the table decreases the amount of verbal cues needed, which allows for more natural conversation flow between peers.