TALKABOUT was first developed in the 90s and is now a whole scheme of work to help you assess, teach and measure your social skills work easily. It uses a hierarchical method of teaching social skills which means that having assessed the child using the TALKABOUT assessment,you choose the appropriate level or book to start work at.
The hierarchical approach to teaching social skills is based on the clinical work Alex did in the early 90s. She found that people with intellectual disabilities progressed more in social skills work if they developed foundation skills and nonverbal skills before the more complex ones such as verbal skills and assertiveness. These findings were then tested on different client groups around the UK and the resulting programme was published as ‘TALKABOUT: A Social communication skills package’ (Kelly, 1996).
The hierarchy means that you may start by developing a child’s self-awareness and self-esteem before progressing onto body language. You will then move onto conversation skills and then onto friendship skills and assertiveness.
Yes. If you have received training from Alex, she will have given you some excel spreadsheets so that you can use your pre and post assessments to evidence your progress. And she knows from experience that managers and schools love this evidenced way of working.
The books are written with different client groups in mind so that you don’t have to adapt the activities too much to suit your situation.
Primary Schools… You need the TALKABOUT for Children series – 3 books to work through self-awareness and self-esteem; social skills; and friendship skills.
Secondary mainstream Schools… You need the TALKABOUT for Teenagers book – a book aimed at mainstream students that works through self-awareness and self-esteem, social skills, friendship skills and assertiveness.
Special schools… You will probably need the TALKABOUT for Children series – 3 books to work through self-awareness and self-esteem; social skills; and friendship skills. However, if some of your older students would prefer a more mainstream approach, then you may also need to look at the TALKABOUT for teenagers book.
Adults with intellectual disabilities… You need the original TALKABOUT book (which is actually being rewritten at the moment so I would wait until next year to buy it) and the TALKABOUT ACTIVITIES book and the TALKABOUT RELATIONSHIPS book.
Adults with high functioning ASD… You could use the TALKABOUT for teenagers books or the original TALKABOUT book (which is actually being rewritten at the moment so I would wait until next year to buy it) and the TALKABOUT ACTIVITIES book and the TALKABOUT RELATIONSHIPS book.
TALKABOUT assessment tool (CD rom) – this is an easy tool to assess the person using a rating scale and you end up with a visual representation of their strengths and needs in the shape of a wheel. It is simple to use and easy to analyse and people generally love the visual nature of the assessment and summary wheel.
TALKABOUT Board Game – this is an excellent additional activity to play with your group. I often use it at the end of term to recap on some of the things we have learned. It can be played at the 5 different levels of Talkabout so for example easy challenges are on their self awarenessand harder ones are on conversational skills or assertiveness.
TALKABOUT Cards – these are good for ideas for quick group cohesion activities – there are 2 box sets – one for general group cohesion games and one where the games are also to develop self awareness.
The TALKABOUT cards – group cohesion and self-awareness – these give you loads of ideas for group cohesion games and pictures to make the activities more appealing and accessible for some.
- Alex’s Talkabout Tips… No5 – The importance of body language and how to read it…
- Alex’s Talkabout Tips… No 4 – The development of social skills
- Alex’s Talkabout Tips… No 3 – Social skills and sex…
- Alex’s Talkabout Tips… No 2 – Why are social skills important?
- Alex’s Talkabout Tips… No 1 – Making sense of social skills…
- Social Skills Training in 2021