Helping neurodivergent kids connect through conversationsFeb 12, 2024
Have you ever thought about how much your ability to communicate shapes your life?
This has been on my mind a lot recently. From moving to a place where I don't know anyone to traveling to countries where English isn't the native language, I've become very aware of how my ability to both communicate information and to have social conversations is vitally important to my safety, my relationships, and my emotional wellbeing.
This week's podcast/YouTube episode is all about the third module in the program here at Starfish Social Club. It's called 'Connection', and it's the module I teach live from January to March. This module teaches our students how to do all the things related to conversations: initiating, joining, maintaining, changing the topic, leaving, even how to use our social filter and practice the social fake.
Here's a clip from the episode:
Week one is where we work on joining a group conversation. This is a conversation that other people started, and we decide we want to join. This is pretty difficult for a lot of our kids, number one because they don't know what to say. Number two, sometimes our kids have been given strategies and suggestions for joining a conversation that are actually counterproductive. Like being told, "Just go introduce yourself." Like being told, "Well, go ask them what they're talking about." Please do not teach your child either one of those strategies. Those both actually make things more awkward. So joining a conversation, the other thing that, that I recognize is that when kids think about joining a conversation, they often are focused on who is in that group, as opposed to what they're talking about. So that's one of the big things I teach in this week is: focus on what the group is talking about, regardless of who's in the group.