Talk with Me
A Step-by-Step Conversation Framework for Teaching Conversational Balance and Fluency for High-Functioning Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Research shows that knowing how to converse with others is related to having a job, having friends, and being independent.
Conversation is everywhere – at the lunch table, at after-school activities, in the line for the water fountain, at overnight camp during downtime, at work with a coworker, and at a Thanksgiving gathering. Regardless of the setting, this critical skill – human conversation – is challenging for many individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) – children and adults alike. For these reasons, it is essential to equip individuals with ASD with effective conversational skills.
The Conversation Framework is a unique strategy that provides an approach to assessing and teaching conversation skills in a group setting that is effective for most students who have difficulty engaging in conversations, including students with HF-ASD. The Conversation Framework presented in Talk With Me breaks down the elements of a conversation which must be mastered in order to be proficient at carrying out conversations. The framework was developed and refined across many years based on a review of the relevant research along with close observation of how people talk to each other – what conversations really sound like. Many find it difficult to teach conversation skills, but the Conversation Framework provides a simple and easy-to-implement process for teaching effective conversational habits. If you’re looking for a comprehensive model with assessments, data collection, visual supports, drills, and prompt examples – this is your book!
MEET THE AUTHORS
Kerry Mataya is the Executive Director of Bridgeway Services providing individualized and group intervention-based services in the areas of social development, problem-solving, perspective-taking, academics, self-awareness, behavior regulation, and executive function. She received a Master’s in Education with emphasis in Autism and Asperger Syndrome from the University of Kansas. Mataya holds many contracts with school systems for individualized teaching, social skills programming, executive functioning skill development, behavior support, and academic support. Most recently, Mataya co-authored Successful Problem-Solving for High-Functioning Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and is currently working on additional projects that systemize learning for students with ASD. Mataya has presented at numerous conferences and workshops internationally. She is also involved with Asperger Connection, a small non-profit organization that provides funding to improve the quality of life for high-functioning individuals with ASD.
Ruth Aspy, PhD, is a licensed psychologist in private practice with the Ziggurat Group. Dr. Aspy specializes in assessment and intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. She is co-creator of a comprehensive model of intervention. Along with Dr. Barry Grossman, Dr. Aspy has written The Ziggurat Model, winner of the 2008 ASA award for outstanding book of the year. Dr. Aspy speaks internationally. She has experience in both the clinic and school settings.
Hollis Shaffer is a sophomore at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). As a college student, Hollis is pursuing a major in psychology and a career assisting students with HF-ASD. Hollis was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome during his 8th grade year when he was 14 years old after being misdiagnosed with ADHD for many years. He currently works with Bridgeway Services as an assistant and small group leader during our after-school social groups assisting students with HF-ASD in areas such as conversation, team-building activities, group behavior, and sports. He began working for Bridgeway as an Overnight Camp Counselor during May 2013, but his position has continued to grow. He is currently working on several writing projects, and has spoken at numerous conferences around the United States. In addition to working for Bridgeway Services, Hollis enjoys rock climbing, playing chess, Church of the Highlands, reading, and hanging out with family and friends.