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charadesPressman Best of Charades 4 Kids (Ages 5 and up)
Playing charades is a great way to encourage a child to use non-verbal communication. This particular version is engaging and can provide a measure of success for players with AS. The goal is to have the child identify the essential features of an object and then communicate it non-verbally. Charades can be very challenging for children with ASD due to difficulties using nonverbal communication and anticipating what cues to give in order to create a vision in the mind of another player. Often, some coaching is required. Available at:

conversation cards
Table Topics Conversation Cards
(All ages)
These card sets are designed to stimulate discussion for different groups. The sets that have been most useful to me are the Teen Edition (Orange) and the Family Edition (Green). Each set comes in a sturdy clear plastic cube and provides 138 cards to stimulate discussion. Table Topics cards have been especially useful in our adolescent social language groups. Everyone agrees to participate and is encouraged to discuss topics that might not be explored under other circumstances. The cards make it easier to get each group member away from his areas of special interest with less prompting from facilitators. Available at:

walkie talkieWalkie Talkies (Ages 5 and up)
For some of the children I see in my practice, it is too overwhelming to work on communication skills face-to-face. These are kids who have been told one time too many times to smile, make eye contact, etc. For those kids, I may start out by communicating with walkie talkies. Most of the sets specifically designed for children don’t work very well, so I recommend a more durable and reliable set built for outdoor use. I like the Motorola SX600R 2-Way FRS/GMRS Radio Pair. They are lightweight and can fit in a child’s pocket. This model also features iVOX, which acts like a speakerphone and permits hands-free use. If you’re concerned about privacy, these walkie talkies have a full 22-channel capacity, each with 121 privacy codes, giving you 2,662 combinations to choose from. Available at:


For children:

Butterflies in My Stomach and Other School Hazards. Serge Bloch. Sterling, 2008. Ages 4–8. Available at:

Communication. Aliki. Harper Trophy, 1999. Paperback, Ages 4–8. Available at:

In a Pickle: And Other Funny Idioms. Marvin Terban and Giulio Maestro. Clarion Books, 1983. Ages 9–12. Available at:

Super Silly Sayings That Are over Your Head: A Children's Illustrated Book of Idioms. Catherine S. Snodgrass. Starfish Specialty Press, 2004. Hardcover. Ages 9–12. Available at:

For parents:

The New Language of Toys: Teaching Communication Skills to Children With Special Needs: A Guide for Parents and Teachers. Sue Schwartz, Ph.D. Woodbine House, 2004. Paperback. Available at:

The Parents Guide to Speech and Language Problems. Debbie Feit. McGraw-Hill, 2007. Paperback. Available at:

Visual Strategies
 For Improving Communication
 Practical Supports for School and Home. Linda Hodgdon, M.Ed., CCC-SLP. QuirkRoberts Publishing, 2001. Available at:


Learning from bees. Some children with ASD do not recognize a need to improve their social skills. How to explain what’s in it for them. Learn more.

What stimulates sensory systems, muscles and is calming to lie on top of? Stability balls. Learn more.

Losing track of time. Help your child with time management by making it visual. Learn more.

Addressing anxiety, depression, anger and low self-esteem. A game which can be used to help modify emotions. Learn more.