The Conversation Train: A Visual Approach to Conversation for Children on the Autism Spectrum


SKU: 9781849059862 Categories: , , , ,

This inventive picture book uses the metaphor of a train to teach basic conventions of conversation to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Locomotives are like greetings; they get the train going. Train cars are like conversation turns; it is good to have at least a few when you are in conversation. A switch track 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 fill-in-the-blank worksheets and colouring pages to help promote skill generalization. This highly visual approach to conversation is ideally suited to children with ASDs aged approximately 5-13.


  • Introduction.
  • Promote Skill Generalization 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.
  • Subject Index
  • About the Author

Author Bio:

Joel Shaul is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in ASDs. Through his organization, 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.