The following tips are written by a professional partner of Feeloty, Rebecca Eisenberg, Speech Language Pathologist and Certified Autism Specialist.
I discovered that my clients began sharing information about themselves in a natural way that led to spontaneous conversation when using the Nice to Meet Feeloty cards. These cards are also ideal to use with individuals using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). It also opened up many opportunities to work on commenting, negation, topic maintenance and establishing a rapport during individual therapy sessions.
The cards are divided into three different colors based on difficulty. Begin with green, then blue and finally purple. The green cards are more concrete (e.g. dog/cat), blue cards are more descriptive (neat/messy) and the purple cards are more action words and more abstract (give/receive). Based on your client and their specific goals, the colors of the cards can help plan an individual session with ease.
Here are some quick tips on how to use Nice to Meet cards in individual speech and language therapy sessions:
- Begin by asking your client, “How many cards do you want to play with today?” (this helps your client to make a choice, answer questions and also use numbers appropriately). Use the colors of the cards to help guide your session and goals.
- Let the fun begin! I choose cards ahead of time that would be relatable to my client but also try to keep it spontaneous. Reading the card is important since many individuals struggle with reading comprehension. For AAC users, learning to comment and talk about themselves can be difficult. This is why modeling is so important! If your client needs a model, model language for them on your AAC system.
- Ask further questions! For one example, when one of my clients chooses the card, Inside/Outside, I would ask them “What do you like better?” They may respond “inside”. I don’t end there. I would encourage them to use an action word such as “like”, “love”, etc. and then ask follow up questions such as “What indoor places do you like?” This can help gather further information about your client and their interests.
- Take turns! This can be an excellent turn taking exercise. With only two people playing, turn taking is easy and natural. This can also lead to modeling and asking questions. For example, if I choose a card such as “beach” and “pool”. I would comment about what I like better and then ask my client “how about you?” This can be a good model for them to ask questions.
- Work on maintaining the topic of discussion. For many individuals with communication disorders, staying on topic can be difficult. This exercise lends itself to staying on a specific topic. This can help build natural conversation which can lead to improved social skills.