Communication Skills

Communication can be seen as the giving and receiving of information.  Effective communication involves a number of important and intersecting skills.  Some individuals with special needs may struggle to communicate  because they experience difficulties remembering and learning from previous experiences, maintaining the topic of discussion, easily shifting and modulating reactions to peers, attending to the visual information presented during social discourse, and interpreting the nonverbal cues and body language.  

Improving Conversational Skills


Online program to help students and young adults find and keep a job. JobTIPS provides learning resources, guided exercises, graphic organizers, role-playing scenario cards, video tutorials, and visual prompts to help students with any learning style get ahead in the workplace.

Tone of voice and volume control

Activity to help individuals with communication and social issues learn to modulate their voice volume to an appropriate level.


Reciprocal conversations

Activity to help individuals with communication and social deficits to understand the back and forth nature that is the basis of a reciprocal conversation.

Responding to questions

Activity to give students with social and communication issues an understanding of why someone would ask them a question and why they should respond.

Staying on topic

Activity to help individuals with communication issues understand why they should stay on topic when having a conversation.

Sender and Receiver social skills card game

The Sender/Receiver game can be used to to practice speaking and listening in small groups up to 4 children.

Communication skills overview

This section is designed to target some of the most basic functions of communication that need individualized, direct instruction and support.


Appropriate conversation topics

Activity to help students understand the boundaries of their conversational behavior with different classifications of people.


Starting a conversation activity

Activity to give individuals with communication and social issues some concrete examples of how to start conversations with a variety of people.

Paying attention and listening to others

Activity to help individuals with communication and social skill deficits to identify four important behaviors related to listening and understand the purpose for those behaviors.

Waiting your turn to speak

Activity to help individuals that have communication issues understand the reciprocity needed to have a conversation with another person.

Ending a conversation

Activity to help individuals with communication and social issues identify appropriate and inappropriate ways to end a friendly conversation with another person.


Language in the Classroom

Classroom strategies to support language

Children with special needs often struggle with encoding and processing verbal information. 

Language games overview

During activity time, guide children to participate in games to support language skills.

Strategies to promote social discourse

Children with special needs often have difficulties understanding the subtle nuances conveyed during conversations.

Language games for ages 12 and up

Have older children (12 years old and up) work with anagrams, create acronyms and construct mysteries to have others solve. 

JobTIPS Student Version - Keeping a Job

Once you have been hired for a job, there are many social skills that you need to learn to keep that job.
Jobtips Student version can help!