Dr. James MacDonald 332 Mimring Columbus, Ohio 43202 Phone/Fax 614 447-0768 macdonaldj86@gmail.com

Communicating Partners

Dr. James D. MacDonald's Website

Helping Parents Help Children. Programs for Parents, Therapists & Educators

A Guide to Conversation

What kind of conversation partner do you want?

Consider the kind of conversation partner you want in your relationships. Below are features many people seek. These are also crucial goals for your child if he is to develop lasting relationships. Use the list as a guide, first, for what you can do with your child, and second as a way to identify your child's strengths and needs in becoming a conversational partner.

  1. Partners who take turns with you.
  2. They wait silently in anticipation for your turn.
  3. They listen and respond meaningfully to what you meant.
  4. They keep you with them if the conversation falters.
  5. They respond meaningfully to both your words and your feelings.
  6. They stay on the topics that you start for a few exchanges.
  7. They encourage you to stay on topic they start.
  8. They're seldom focus on getting something from you.
  9. They communicate mainly for the pleasure of your company.
  10. They do not compete with you for a "right" answer.
  11. They clearly show that they enjoy conversations with you.
  12. They feel they learn from you without being taught.
  13. They seldom direct or controls the conversation.
  14. They do not allow you to direct or control the conversation.
  15. They do not dominate with continuous questions.
  16. They make you want to return for more conversations.
  17. They disagree without aggression.

Consider this list a rough guide to see what kind of conversation partners you and your child are. You will be able to identify the strengths and we encourage you to first work on them. Build your conversations with your child by building more and more of the good conversations you have. Do not focus on fixing the major problems you have. Some of them may not be fixable now and some will diminish when you make an effort to have more and more positive conversations.

Note: I'd appreciate any reactions since this will be a part of the book I am writing on autism and related communication conditions.

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Dr. James MacDonald 332 Mimring Columbus, Ohio 43202 Phone/Fax (614)447-0768 macdonaldj86@gmail.com