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Take Talk to the Next Level: 6 Conversation Skills for Highly Verbal Teens and Adults

It's easy to assume that hyperverbal teens and adults on the spectrum don't have problems communicating. BUT there are many subtle skills that are often missed that can lead to misunderstanding, hurt feelings and isolation. The following strategies can help make communicating more enjoyable and productive for everyone.

Conversation Tips

  1. When asked to do something, instead of agreeing or saying "yes" say "I need some time to think about it. I will get back to you in two days". This gives you time to process the request and make an informed decision.

  2. Sometimes we think about something or rehearse it in our heads so much that we forget that we didn't tell the person who needed to hear the message. Make a conscious effort to state important information in writing or out loud to the person who needs to hear it.

  3. Instead of saying "it", "he" or "she", "they" - specify the object or the person's name that you are referring to. This helps the other person know who or what you are talking about.

  4. Preface conversations about your special interest with, "please let me know if we need to change the subject". This gives a person permission to exit the conversation when they need to and can increase their likelihood of having future conversations with you.

  5. Give the other person a chance to end the conversation by saying "Let me know when you need to go". People often avoid conversations with someone who talks "too much". If you give them permission to tell you when the conversation needs to stop they are more likely to want to talk to you in the future.

  6. Ask for clarification. When you don't understand something say "Do you mean______?" or Can you clarify? I am having trouble understanding."

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