It’s important to explain to children (and to remind ourselves) that we listen with our bodies as well as with our eyes. In other words, we face the person who is speaking to us with our whole body. We need to quiet our hands and feet.
3. Don’t interrupt. Do not talk while others are talking.
This point is very important. A lot of kids (and adults) on the autism spectrum may ask “Why” this is so important. It’s because if we only talk about what’s interesting to us, the person talking will feel upset and angry. Being quiet and listening to what the other person is saying shows that you care about him/her. Otherwise, you will be considered rude. And, if you’re in class, you might even get in trouble.
4. If you are in class and you want to say something, raise your hand and wait to be called on.
Here are some suggested activities for practicing the listening position.
a) As a parent or teacher, model the correct way and the wrong way to listen.
Don’t tell the student which is right and which is wrong. Ask the student to tell you what you did right or wrong.
Here are some suggested role-play activities:
Listening to a story time or lesson in class
Listening to a parent give instructions
Listening to another student during ‘show and tell’
Raising your hand to ask a question about a lesson or to ask permission to go to the bathroom during class time
b) Now reverse roles:
have the child role play listening position in the above scenarios. (Or, you can make up some other scenarios).
Give the child feedback on correct or incorrect listening positions.
c) Design some fun rewards for appropriate listening position going forward.
Give generous praise whenever you notice your child or student demonstrating the appropriate listening position.
Create a listening jar. Give your child/student a penny every time s/he demonstrates appropriate listening position. Once the jar is full, you can give the child a special reward (e.g., snack, stickers, and privileges to play a special game or watch a special show.
Encourage Your Child To Practice In Other Situations
At the beginning of the day, ask your child:
Who will you try this listening position with?
When will you practice your listening position today?
At the end of the day, ask your child:
How did you do?
I hope you found this brief social skills training exercise helpful for your Aspergers child or student. Please share it with a friend!
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