Middle school aged children can be especially attached to video games, and electronic devices these days. Parents of middle school children and especially children on the Autism Spectrum are often looking for ways to engage with their children after school. Here are some ideas that help put down the devices and get communicating!
- Have your child practice initiating conversation and asking parent’s questions in a low stake environment (e.g., at dinner table)
- Create “conversation starters” Write down conversation starters on popsicle sticks (e.g. “What did you have for lunch today?” “What did you do this morning?”) Have your child pick a popsicle stick out of a jar and practice asking his family questions
- Use these discussions as opportunities to provide recasts to model appropriate grammatical and sentence structures
- Child: I go to the movies yesterday
- Parent: You went to the movies yesterday! Awesome! What did you see?
- Play board and card games that facilitate opportunities for asking and answering questions in a social context
- “Hedbanz” Have your child ask questions to help him/her identify a hidden picture. Provide written examples of sample questions (e.g., does it have legs? Does it fly? Is it a vegetable?) Take turns with roles, and have your child answer questions as well
- “Go Fish” Have your child ask other players for cards in their deck (e.g., Do you have any 5’s?) Take turns with roles, having your child respond, “yes!” or “Go Fish”