FROM BECKY: Have you ever watched a stand up comedian telling a hilarious story? You are captivated by their energy and you want to know more, you also feel connected to them. That’s how we want to be for our special children.

We are promoting relationships and inspiring our children to want to be with us when we use The Son-Rise program. Therefore, when we are working on conversation skills, we want to be interesting, animated and captivating for our children.

What to do?

1) Use energy excitement and enthusiasm! Get up and act out your parts of the conversation. Many of our children are very visually oriented. That’s why they love cartoon characters and movies so much. I have spent many hours at The Autism Treatment Center of America telling children crazy stories as I act out exactly what happened (e.g. “The funniest thing happened to me when I was a waitress” (gets up), “I was serving a customer an ice cream sundae” (walks across the room with a pretend bowl), “and I tripped……. (pauses and gasps) “and the sundae fell in a splat on his lap” (pretends to trip forward and make a splatting sound effect). Yes, that actually happened, before you ask!

2) Be an animated listener. When your child participates in the conversation, drop everything and focus on intently listening to them. Making them center stage and being present with them will help model to them how to be when another person shares something with them.

3) Celebrate your child for sharing, even if they have the smallest part in the conversation, it matters that they are deciding to participate and that they feel successful. If they attempt to share something and it doesn’t quite pan out, celebrate them for trying. They could have just ignored you and they chose to try.

What to think?

1) It is the connection and how much fun I have that matters the most and not the amount of loops my child can do, how many questions they answer, etc.

2) By modelling to them how to share in a conversation and not needing them to take part in the same way, I am still helping them.

Have the best time, I’d love to know how it goes.