A set of social skills learning materials to help teach what conversation topics tend to score “likes” with peers
Children with autism spectrum disorders can find it very difficult to know what to say to their peers. Children with ASD tend to fall back on their own preferred topics.
Here are some activities to increase awareness of various things that other people find interesting to talk about. The activities employ the thumbs-up “like” symbol, which is very familiar to most children as an indicator of what pleases another person.
CLICK ON THIS BRIGHT RED LINK TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF OF THE KIT:
This kit includes:
This is a list of ninety different conversation topics. You read them out loud to children so they can rate how interesting they are.
Children move a chip between 0 and 4 based on how interesting they think a particular conversation topic might be for another person.
3. How Interesting Is It? picture worksheets [examples shown below]
This set of five worksheets is to help children who need more practice.
Some suggested language to use when introducing these activities:
“Who has ever seen the ‘like’ icon on Facebook or other places online? What does it mean? It means someone likes something that they see or hear online. Some things online get lots of ‘likes’. Some get few, or none.
When you are talking to other people, you might also be scoring ‘likes’ - in their minds. Or you might not be scoring ‘likes’ at all. When you are ‘interesting,’ it is something like scoring ‘likes’. When you are not interesting, or boring, you are not scoring ‘likes’.
You can get much better at scoring ‘likes’ in conversation by paying close attention to what you are saying and what the other person might find to be interesting. Your own words might seem really interesting to your own ears. Maybe the other person will like your words too. But, depending on the topic and what the other person finds interesting, your words might not score any ‘likes’ at all.
Here are some activities to help you get better at scoring ‘likes’ when you talk.
Note to teacher/therapist: These activities work best when you add role play practice. Select a number of topics that would rate a 3 or 4 with most children. You play the role of the other child in the conversation. Then, assign the children to converse with you on these selected topics.
I hope you find these materials enjoyable and useful.
Joel Shaul, LCSW