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Add-a-Thought: Teach an Essential Conversation Skill

Social Thinking Add-a-Thought

Updated: August, 2022
© 2022 Think Social Publishing, Inc.


Michelle Garcia Winner, the Founder of Social Thinking, is shown in the documentary Life, Animated working with Owen Suskind, a young man with autism. Life, Animated was nominated for a 2017 Academy Award® in the category of Best Documentary Feature. In this short video, Michelle shows how to use the visual teaching activity from the movie.


Add-a-Thought is a strategy to practice conversational language by making comments about our own lives that connect to other participants’ life experiences and vice versa. This can be taught in a game type format; the goal is to keep each person’s communication connected to what someone else shared, which leads to the growth of the Conversation Tree. Strong Add-a-Thought comments require that players incorporate a host of related skills such as perspective taking, sharing an imagination, conversational timing, the amount of information shared at one time, etc.


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