Teaching conversation Skills to Children with Autism.
Wow today we are ecstatic parents of a child with Autism!
For quite a number of years I have been working on Isybees conversation skills. She has a great grasp on vocabulary and spelling however to get her to have an unprompted conversation has been a real challenge.
The strategy I have used has been to tell her stories at night when she goes to bed, but with a twist. It starts with Isy saying Dad tell me a story about” – she has to tell me what she wants the story to be about and who she want in it. I make up the stories on the fly using the criteria she has set, and I must admit sometimes they are crazy and imaginative, but she always enjoys them.
It started about 10 years ago where I would tell her stories about her favorite characters from books and tv shows such as Spot, Telly Tubbies, Fireman Sam – etc. It was a sort of interactive story telling where Isy would tell us what she wanted the characters to do. It grew from there. (How to teach an autistic child conversation skills)
For a while now I have been trying to turn the table around by getting her to make up and tell me a story. However it would never get very far and Isy would quickly turn the table back. I could see that she really wanted to tell a story but she seemed to have difficulty in imagining and then putting it into words, the same difficulty she seemed to have with starting or carrying on a conversation.
Isy, tell me a story about –
But today – a breakthrough! For a few years now because dad works away for a few weeks at a time sometimes the stories are over the phone, pretty much the same deal but on the phone and before Isy goes to bed. Today on the phone she seemed quite chatty so I gave it a go and asked her to tell dad a story after I told mine.
It took a bit of persuasion and Isy was keen and giggling and then she did it! She started to tell a story with the same characters she had asked dad to tell her a story about, but with a different scenario. She kept going and going thinking of the plot and telling the story. It was AWESOME!
It lasted quite a few minutes but I hung on every word and it could have easily been a few hours – it was the best story I’d ever heard!