From Kate Wilde: The other day a friend of mine celebrated me for being a good conversationalist, which would make sense as I have spent the last 17 years here at The Autism Treatment Center of America helping lots of children and adults on the autism spectrum understand how to have conversations. We are always analysing conversations and discussing how we can make this process easier for our Autistic children.

Highly verbal children on the Autism Spectrum , may be able to easily ask for what they want using complex sentences, answer questions and ask questions, but what they are not efficient in is the art of social conversations, which can result in their peers not wanting to hang out with them.

As adults we may start a conversation with a question, and ask some during our conversation, but a lot of other things happen to make it an interesting conversation. We share our stories from our past, our hopes for the future. we comment on another persons story, we share a related story. we share our opinion about what another person has just said. When we only ask questions we are not fully having a conversation, we are just information gathering, conversation is a little more.

Things you can do right now to help your children become better at social conversations would be to:

1. Decrease the amount of questions you ask your child.
2. Increase sharing your own experiences and stories of things that have happened to you during your day and your life time with your child.
3. Leave pauses during your stories for your child to ask for more information, and share their own opinion of what you are sharing with them.
4.Share your own opinion about things, what are your favorite things, which movies do your like, where do you want to travel to and why. Then pause again and see if your child responds to your sharing.

Have fun being a conversationalist with your child!

Much Love to you all
Kate