Children on the autism spectrum usually don’t easily grasp the many functions of conversation. Here is a good activity to help them. The various functions of two-way conversation are clearly explained and word examples are provided. It is loosely based on concepts outlined in Relationship Development Intervention (RDI). ( This activity requires some reading ability. Please see links below to conversation learning activities that rely less on reading.)
How to create the Conversation Box activity:
Follow the directions for PDF download below.
Put the cards in a box. It’s nice to decorate it.
How to do the Conversation Box activity with kids on the autism spectrum:
Use words something like this:
“We are going to play the Conversation Box activity. It’s a fun activity to help us to practice all the good ways to talk back and forth with other people. Inside the box are cards showing all the good ways that people talk back and forth with each other.”
Now, show them the cards, as well as the eight prompts providing word examples for each card category.
“We will take turns reaching inside the box to randomly draw a card. When you pick a card, you have to have a back-and-forth conversation with another person here. You can look at these signs [show them the eight word prompts] to help you know what to say.”
I hope you enjoy this social skills activity.
Joel Shaul, LCSW
CLICK HERE: Conversation Box, & directions
This activity is also available in a PowerPoint version (in case you wish to show / project it instead of printing it):