difficult child goes to a group that works on adults and social conversation. I thought this list of behaviors that will be used to evaluate the students at the "exam" was something we could use with our kids. (Heck, I know a lot of n/t adults who could use this)LOL Behaviors -Use the person's name during the greeting or closing of conversation -Use the person's name to gain their attention when you want to talk with them -Spend more time asking questions of others instead of sharing information about yourself, your interests, etc. -Wait for pausing in conversation before "jumping in" to make a statement or ask a question -STAY ON TOPIC so that the conversation has a flow to it....remember the visual of the "path of the conversation"....everyone on the same path until you all run out of things to say about the topic or agree to switch topics -Don't get "STUCK" talking about one of your keen or special interests. Although that may be an interesting part of who you are, it should not be the sole topic of discussion -Another Rule of 3s: Make 3 comments about a topic and then pass the conversation off to the other person -Remember that the human brain will only stay focused on listening to another human voice for 4-6 minutes before it begins to "wander" EVEN if it is interested in the topic! -Don't "hog" the conversation as that usually appears rude or self absorbed to others. -Watch your voice volume and voice quality - Talking too loudly sounds like yelling to others and talking too softly may keep others from even recognizing that you were trying to talk with them -Look at the person you are speaking with from time to time - glancing at bridge of their nose from time to time appears as if you are making eye contact which is a socially acceptable behavior that others look for during conversation. If you are not looking at someone while they are talking, it gives the impression that you are not very interested in what they have to say. -Use your body posture, orientation and other non-verbal behavior to help suggest the idea that you are engaged in the conversation with others. Slouching in a chair, turning sideways or away from others, looking at things while someone is talking and PLAYING with items especially cell phones, Ipods, and other devices is all considered very rude in our culture and can greatly affect how successful you are socially. Other people will not want to have conversation with you if you come off as aloof, disinterested or bored. -Choose your words and tone of voice carefullly. Sometimes it is not what you say that offends others, it is how you say it. In our culture, people often focus on the tone of voice of others to help them figure out how that person is feeling about a given topic. Sometimes, people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and ADD can appear too rude, blunt or uncaring based on the words they use or the way they say something. -Show enthusiasim! Sometimes you have to fake it, to make it! Even if you are not overjoyed with the conversation or with the person you are talking to, it is good conversational practice to try to be interested and engaged in the conversation. Remember, that although reading non-verbal cues for you can be one of your biggest struggles, it tends to come very naturally for most of us. And....we will use our ability to read your non-verbal behavior as a way to make assumptions about how you are feeling or what you are thinking. For many people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), their body language and non-verbal cues do not always match how they are feeling about a situation which can lead to alot of miscommunication on both sides. -Not talking is just as inappropriate as talking too much. Make an effort to ask questions or make comments to help keep the conversation going. I know that it may be uncomfortable but please remember that that feeling will slowly ease up the longer you stay engaged and the more often you challenge yourself. Social skills and conversational skill development is like learning a foreign language; if you don't use your skills, you will lose your skills! I hope that some of these ideas have jogged your memory a bit and helped you to know about the most important conversational behaviors and rules that I will be looking for during our lunch.