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4 Ideas to Help your Middle and High School Aged Students Generalize their Conversational Skills

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Do you need ideas to…

  • practice conversational skills in real-life situations?
  • generalize your students social skills?
  • generalize conversational skills into the classroom?
  • send home to parents for supplemental materials to work on in school and at home?

#1 – Using Self-Rating Forms to Practice Generalization and Carryover

Practicing generalization skills can be difficult for our students. 

Sometimes, they get to a point in therapy were they can tell you all the correct answers and even perform all the correct conversational skills in a small structured group.

However, once your student leaves your office or your practice table, they seem to forget some or all of what you’ve been working on.

Using self-rating forms can be a great way to begin to practice generalization of conversational skills into the classrooms and into the community, or to the home as well.

I often begin by using the self-rating form alongside the student across the multiple settings in which I want to work on generalization, and then, eventually, we just use the forms after the fact, when we meet at a later time or date,  as more of a reflection piece, in order to discuss how it went and what could have gone better.

During these times, it’s often the student self-reporting, since, as the therapist, I most likely wasn’t present during this conversational interaction.


#2 – Start by Practicing Generalization Skills with People the Student is Familiar With

When I first begin to practice generalization skills, I often begin with people that the student is familiar with across multiple settings.

This allows the student to work on transitioning their skill across multiple settings, the classroom, cafeteria, library, etc., while still feeling comfortable with the person they are talking to.


#3 – Progress by Having Students Work on Generalization with People the Student is Unfamiliar With

Last, I work with the student on generalizing their conversational skills with people they are unfamiliar with.

The student might be familiar with the setting such as their classroom. Maybe they are at their favorite grocery store and need to ask an employee for help, etc.

This is often the last stage of generalize.


#4 – Differentiate the Self-Rating Forms to Work on Generalization Skills at Your Students Level

Last but not least, differentiating my self-rating forms has allowed me to work on generalization of skills across multiple levels of generalization. 

Not all students will be at the same level of generalization.

Some will still need more prompts and guides, while others will just need a check-in or self rating.


See the photo below of the same generalization skill of practicing ending a conversation (not just walking away or saying that’s nice) with 3 differentiated levels.


Wish You Could Find Materials Like These Already Made For YOU?

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I just wish you would do it all for me!


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In Conclusion if you Need Ideas to…

help your students generalize their conversational skills across multiple settings here are a few ideas to try.

  • #1 – Use Self-Rating Forms
  • #2 – Practice Generalizing with Familiar People First
  • #3 – Practice Generalizing with Unfamiliar People Next
  • #4 – Differentiate the Self-Rating Forms

Which idea is your favorite?



Need More Speech Therapy Ideas and Materials

Be sure to check out the following topics for more ideas!