Talkability : People skills for verbal children on the Autism spectrum is a guide for parents who want to help their children learn these essential skills but don’t know how to teach them. Written by Fern Sussman, this book explains in simple language the basics of Hanen program that has helped thousands of Autistic children. If you have a young child on the spectrum, who is verbal but is clueless about people skills, this book is a gold mine! A special mention to the wonderful illustrations! They bring to life the various scenarios shared in this book where you teach your child to interact, carry on conversations, make friends and develop better social skills, all by interacting with you in everyday situations.


           The book is divided into two parts. The first part is all about understanding non verbal communication, learn to carry on a conversation, understand other person’s perspective using books, stories and make believe scenarios. In the second part, you teach your child to become a friend, first with you and then with other kids as you coach and guide him/her through various difficult situations.


           The book starts off with a chapter on understanding your child’s learning style, whether they:


  • Learn visually (see and learn)
  • Learn verbally ( listen and learn)
  • Learn by memorizing ( know lots of information about topics that fascinate them)
  • Learn in chunks ( echolalia)


                 Learning about your child’s sensory needs and most importantly about your interaction style – calm style or exciting style and matching your style to match your child’s learning style is very essential.


            I loved the chapter – Help your child understand what you say without words. Here, the author stresses the importance of non verbal or wordless communication that is a vital part of communication in the neurotypical world.She suggests various ways to help our children to understand emotions expressed in the face and body language by using the four S’s – Say less, Stress,Go Slow and Show. In the chapter, Get ready for conversation : Break the ICE, the author delves in depth into the various ways to teach your child the ways to Initiate, Continue and End a conversation.


          Each chapter is filled with wonderful tips to help a parent. This is a rare book that shows a  parent ways to help their child learn people skills using techniques they can start using right away. You don’t have to be a speech therapist to help your child, follow this book and add a dash of enthusiasm and lovingly  guide your child towards better social skills.


You can purchase this book on Amazon India