Autism Strategies

Talking Cards

What it is: Speech starters to encourage complete sentences

Who it’s for: Teachers or parents of children who have difficulty answering direct questions or speaking in complete sentences

What You’ll Need: You can write phrases on 3×5 cards by hand or you can print them out. I laminated and hole punched and grouped them together with a paper clip.

talking cards

For many students with Autism, it is difficult to answer direct questions. Repeating the question rather than answering it is very common. If your students are able to answer direct questions without repeating, answering in a complete sentence may be difficult as well. A strategy that helps with this is creating talking cards that include whatever the student is having a difficult time saying.

For example: I have been showing color/shape flash cards to my students and asking them, “What is this?” with the desired answer of, “This is a red circle” or “This is a yellow triangle.” Before using talking cards, my Autistic students would only give the abbreviated answer of “red circle” or “yellow triangle” without being able to repeat the complete sentence. But when they see the first part of the sentence written out, they are able to begin correctly and then place the variable information at the end.

I’ve found that even students who are not reading yet benefit from seeing the number of words that are required from them. Point to each word as you read it to demonstrate how the complete sentence sounds and then ask them to do the same, pointing to the words while they speak as well.

I hope this helps you!

-Miss S.

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