FROM BECKY: When working on conversational skills with children and adults at The Autism Treatment Center of America, something that I have seen to be incredibly helpful in inspiring our children to want to converse with us is to use explanations.
Many of our children are motivated to have friends. I have specifically seen this with children who are at stage 3 and 4 of The Son-Rise Program Developmental Model (available for download on our website).
They see their siblings playing with their friends or are curious about their cousins or children they have seen in the neighborhood, park, etc and often play beside them, showing an interest yet without fully jumping in to the interaction with them.
In the one to one environment of the playroom, this is the place for your child to practice being friends. Tell your child that when they talk to you, show an interest in you and tell you about themselves, it makes them a really great friend.
Celebrate your child for any attempt they make in their conversations with you in a specific way so they are aware of developing friendship skills (e.g. “I love that you asked where I was going later? You are a such a good friend”, “Sometimes friends like to tell each other about themselves”, etc.)
In doing this, you are sewing that seed for them so that they know they are heading in the right direction to being socially successful.
Try it, and let me know how it goes.
Lots of Love.