Conversation Clinic

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Fran, May 3, 2010.

  1. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    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


    -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.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Fran, so much of that makes perfect sense and fits Billy to a tee. He has gotten so much better with it as he has worked. He uses that bridge of the nose trick a lot at work. He is very good at starting off a conversation now with Sir or Miss/Ma'am and then he can end it with the persons name if they actually buy something because they have to give a name. Evidently people love him because he has customers who will come back and only buy from Who would have thought sales would have been a good fit for an aspie?
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is a great idea for difficult child's and to remind us all that communication skills are important, even in our hectic frustrating lives. Thanks for sharing this!
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Great list Fran! Good for the kids and great for folks like me who love to talk and tend to monopolize the conversation!

  5. helpme

    helpme New Member

    What a great post! I wish we'd been able to receive such a service for
    difficult child. Thanks for the list, It will definitely help me with the youngest, too.
  6. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    Thank you!
    cut/pasted/saved ;)
    (i'm so thrilled for your difficult child that, from the sounds of this post alone, must be such a helpful and useful service!--hope he's getting a lot out it!)

    i love the nasal bridge idea too...
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    What a great list, Fran. I'm printing it out for both Hubby and Miss KT.
  8. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Glad it will be of some help.
    difficult child is doing well enough. He is hoping for a job, an apartment and a life of his own but until
    that happens he is stuck walking on our path and not his own.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is an awesome list, Fran! Thanks for sharing. This would be a good thing to put into the archives so it doesn't get lost.