Do you have a teen who just doesn’t know how to have a conversation with someone? Don’t you wonder how they got this far without SOMEONE teaching them something simple like basic social skills with peers??? I wonder that each and every time I discover a student who is in middle school or high school, but doesn’t have a clue how to have a conversation about something as simple as what they did last week-end.
I have written countless scripts for students because they just DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY. They either stand there in silence or say something awkward or even off topic. I worked with a high school student a couple years ago who has a mild cognitive delay. He desperately wanted to have some social conversations with the cute girls in the hallway during passing periods. Unfortunately what came out of his mouth was the following: “Hey do you have a boyfriend? Do you have a boyfriend? I wanna be your boyfriend. Can I be your boyfriend?”
I sat down with him and did some cartooning. I drew pictures of him asking those questions to two girls and then I drew the girls (stick figures of course!) with bubble thoughts above their heads. Then I asked him what he thought they were thinking when he said those things to them. He didn’t know, so I wrote in the girls’ bubble thoughts this:
“Oh wow this guy is creepy. He’s weird and I don’t want to talk to him.”
“Yea, he is weird. I don’t want to hang out with him.”
What my young friend said next made me chuckle and I’ll never forget it.
He said, “Oh I gotta stop doing that!”
Yes he did!!!! I told him we’d write a script together that he could practice the next time he was in the hall with his peers. This is the script we wrote:
Sam: Hey what’s up?
Girl: Hey, not much.
Sam: How did cheerleading practice go last night?
Girl: It was good.
Sam: Awesome. Are you cheering at Friday night’s game?
Girl: I sure am
Sam: Great! I’m going to the game. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Girl: Ok see ya Sam!
“Sam” and I practiced the script a couple of times by just reading it together and then we practiced it without the written script in front of us. He LOVED it and then he made a second statement to me that touches my heart every time I think about it.
He said, “You know, I was trying to figure that out”
Bless his heart….he was trying to figure that out. He didn’t know what to say, but with the help of a script, he does know what to say now!
The app you’ll see today doesn’t take the place of the kind of custom script that I wrote for my student, BUT it’s great because your student will get practice choosing what to say in several different common social situations!
Take a look at this video!
I use this app every week with a student I see privately and he is getting better and better at making good choices in a conversation. I particularly like the feedback he gets if he makes the wrong choice.
I hope this works for you! I like it, so I’m sharing.
Take care and I’ll see you next time!