To download Green Zone Common Ground Conversation Worksheets, and a good illustrated social story to accompany them, click on both red links below:
Children with Autism and Common Ground in Conversation
It is very often the case that children on the autism spectrum learn much better when clear, meaningful visuals are provided for them. To teach the concept of common ground in conversation, I have found no visual more useful than the Venn Diagram. I designed an entire curriculum around it, with dozens of conversation practice activities based on this simple visual.
The “Green Zone” is a visual representation of common ground between one person (blue) and the other person (yellow) to create a “green zone” that represents the pair’s shared zone of interests. All children seem to “get” this idea. It works with young children, and older children and teens are not put off by its simplicity.
Suggested language to use when introducing the Green Zone to students:
“When you are talking to someone, it seems easy to talk about just what YOU want But it’s not fair for you to make other people hear something just because you want to say it. It is much better to talk in The Green Zone. This means you are talking about things that you and the other person both like. You are mixing your interests together. People like it much better when you do this.”
I will soon be posting a lot of free material based on The Green Zone. I hope you will try it out.
Joel Shaul, LCSW