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Conversation Starters For Children With Autism

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Children with autism might benefit from conversation starters that can help them communicate with others. This lesson offers some conversation starters you can use with your students.

Using Conversation Starters

If you work with children who have autism, then you know that they may find social situations extremely stressful and difficult. Some students might experience sensory overload, or they might feel confused about what is expected of them. Other students may simply have trouble accessing the language they'll need to communicate with another person.

One way to help children with autism through these struggles is to provide them with conversation starters. Conversation starters are prompts that provide topics kids can talk about. A conversation starter usually includes a few different questions that a child might ask someone else, or answer in order to keep the conversation going.

The conversation starters in this lesson will be helpful to many children with autism.

Examples of Conversation Starters

Each conversation starter offered here adheres to the same format and is followed by a series of questions that will help keep the conversation moving.

Talk with Me about School

  • What are your favorite things to do in school?
  • What do you find easy about school?
  • What do you find hard about school?
  • What does your classroom look like?
  • What funny things happened at school today?
  • What did you learn about in school today?

Talk with Me about Playing

  • What toy do you play with almost every day?
  • Who are some of the people you really like to play with?
  • Where are your favorite places to play?
  • What kinds of games or sports do you play really well?
  • Who do you like to pretend to be when you're playing by yourself?

Talk with Me about Movies

  • What is the funniest movie you've ever seen? What was funny about that movie?
  • What is the scariest movie you've ever seen? What was scary about that movie?
  • Where do you like to watch movies?
  • Who do you like to watch movies with?
  • What movie do you really want to see? Why?
  • What movie character do you think is really special?

Talk with Me about Delicious Foods

  • What is your favorite food to eat at breakfast time?
  • What is your favorite food to eat at lunchtime?
  • What is your favorite food to eat at dinnertime?
  • What is your favorite dessert food?
  • What is one food that you used to dislike, but now like?
  • What does it feel like when you try a new food?

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