Karen Kabaki-Sisto: Teaching Conversation Skills

Karen Kabaki-Sisto: Teaching Conversation Skills

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we have parents who write in to us on a daily basis Karen saying my child knows how to label things they can sit and you can show them flashcards and we’ve got they are speaking and we can understand what they’re saying and they will sometimes you know they manned they request things but we cannot get to the conversation piece why is this so difficult do you think well you mentioned the word manned and also an applied behavior analysis instructor for over 20 years as well so that’s familiar to me yes being an ABA instructor helped me understand the foundations for language which of course the building blocks like vocabulary scripts simple sentences or phrases that we would put together to manned or request like I want juice I have to go to the bathroom but beyond that beyond the basic foundation of language you know language is the most powerful tool we have and it’s the most complex tool we have so in order to use vocabulary when where why and how and you know understanding body language use facial expression using tone of voice all of that involved in a conversation is not as simple as identifying objects or labeling objects or manding requesting these are much higher level skills yeah and you have done something really amazing and unique is that because I think a lot of parents we get overwhelmed it you know for most of us because we picked up the idea of conversation just through osmosis we just picked it up along the way we’re not always good at it because there’s there might be something that we missed along the way but for our kids on the spectrum sometimes they’re missing a lot of skills on the conversation realm but you’ve created an app to fill in those gaps to teach them all these different elements and teach it in a fun way talk to us a little bit about the app which is I can have conversations with correct yes and what does tell us about what the app teaches well as you had mentioned before you know parents always are puzzled my child can speak he can understand but having conversations is something that’s overwhelming and sometimes challenging for people with autism so through the years I to realize this and was confused myself and I saw how the parents struggled to understand their own children’s minds so being the curious person that I am I started researching journal articles to find out more about autism and what is behind their strengths and weaknesses with language as well as social interaction and I could see that there was a disconnect between their ability to use words use language in a social atmosphere in a social setting because of all the complexities behind it like we said understanding body language facial expressions emotion understanding what the conversational partner knows and doesn’t know what that partner wants doesn’t want so I developed my own method and I organized it into a nap appropriately named I can have conversations with you and it’s amazing you know and we’re going to show our viewers a sort of walk through so that they can see what the app looks like but first before we do that I want to talk about they want more information they can go to your website which is I can see an4 fo r autism I can for autism calm and you can find out all kinds of information about Karen and about the app I can have conversations with you you..

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