The Conversation Train
Release Date:21 Feb 2014

The Conversation Train

A Visual Approach to Conversation for Children on the Autism Spectrum

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

This inventive colour picture book uses the metaphor of a train to teach basic conventions of conversation to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

Engines are like greetings; they get the train going. Freight wagons are like different speakers' turns; it is good to have at least a few when you are in conversation. A set of points guiding a train from one track to another is like a tactful change in the topic of conversation. When a conversation veers off-topic it is like a derailed train. As well as attractive colour photographs of trains, the book contains engaging photocopiable worksheets and colouring pages to help promote skill generalisation.

This highly visual approach to conversation is ideally suited to children with ASDs aged approximately 5-13.

RELATED TOPICS: Disability Studies, Education
Joel Shaul is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specialises in ASDs. Through his organisation, Autism Teaching Strategies, he provides workshops on social skills teaching and mental health treatment methods. He is also co-creator of Ryuu social skills products. He provides clinical and consultation services at The Watson Institute of Sewickley, PA. Joel's website can be found at
Introduction. Promote Skill Generalisation Using the Train Imagery. Using the Worksheets. Section One: The Conversation Train. Part One: Starting a Conversation. Part Two: Taking Turns in Conversation. Part Three: Staying On Track. Part Four: Changing Topics. Part Five: Ending the Conversation. Part Six: Putting it All Together. Section Two: The Conversation Train Worksheets. What Do the Different Parts of the Train Mean? Hello Words, How Are You Words, Switch Track Words and Goodbye Words. Fix the Mixed-Up Conversation. Things You Love Can Make You Go Off Track. People You Know and What They Like Talking About. People You Know and What You Both Like Talking About. The Two-Person, On-Track Worksheet. Choosing the Right Words with Different People. Keeping Track of Staying on Track. Conversation Train Colouring Pages.
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