FROM BECKY: When helping your child with conversational skills in The Son-Rise Program playroom, one thing that will help both you and your child be successful is what I call…comment versus question.

No-one wants the Spanish Inquisition! When we are with our children (whether Neuro-Typical or special) we tend ask a lot of questions (e.g. “Are you coloring?”, “How many dots does the ladybug have?”, “What color is the dog?”, etc).

When we are talking to our friends however, we don’t simply bombard them with questions. We vary the conversation with a mixture of both questions and comments.

For example:

Me: Hey, I had the best time today
Friend: Really, what did you do?

Me: I went in the playroom with this beautiful child, it was so cool, I joined him for an hour.
Friend: I love that, once I joined a child drawing dots for 2 hours straight.

Me: Oh, I love drawing isms. What have you been up to today?
Friend: Oh I had a great day, I went hiking to Bash Bish Falls.

Me: Bash Bish Falls are so gorgeous.
Friend: I know, I even went for a swim.

Experiment with making as many comments as you can when you are with your child. Allow yourself to ask the odd question, however if you emphasize the comments, you will not only inspire your child to make more comments too by modelling how it’s done for them but you will also leave room for spontaneous language.

This will help your child share more of themselves, what their thoughts and ideas are, which will really help them be socially successful.

Here is another example:

Child: It’s Dora the Explorer!
Facilitator: Ooh, I love Dora, I also love her friend boots because he is a cute little monkey and I love animals.

Child: I love Diego.
Facilitator: me too, I like that he explores different places, what do you love about him?

Child: His hair.
Facilitator: Thanks for sharing that with me…..you know who else I love?

Child: Who?
Facilitator: Shrek!

If you noticed, I specifically made the child’s speech shorter than the Facilitators in this example. That’s because it’s a process and will take time for your child to get the hang of sharing and being spontaneous in your conversations.

In the next conversation you have, whether it’s with your special child or not, practice making more comments and asking less questions….you can do it!