Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have trouble interpreting social situations and understanding speech as quickly as most social interactions require. A comic strip conversation is a conversation between two or more people using simple illustrations in a comic strip format. They show children how to behave in a socially acceptable manner and conform to social standards. The effectiveness can be enhanced by incorporating a child's favorite cartoon character into the illustration.
The more involved the child is in creating his or her own comic strip conversation, the more helpful it will be in future situations. Make a book of comic strip frames, and after leading the child through several examples, have them create the conversations and solutions on their own. Keep the conversations and use them as a guide and reinforcement if the same, or similar, social situation occurs again.
Jimmy reacts inappropriately when people in his environment use a loud voice. He created this comic strip conversation using characters from his favorite TV show to provide him with the appropriate response of "Ouch, that hurts my ears. Don't talk so loud, okay?" instead of Jimmy hitting the loud person in his environment.
Gray, C. (1994) Comic Strip Conversations. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons.
Glaeser, B.C., Pierson, M.R., & Fritschmann, N. (2003). Comic strip conversations: A positive behavioral support strategy. Teaching Exceptional Children, 36(2), 14-19.
Rogers, M.F. & Myles, B.S. (2001). Using social stories and comic strip conversations to interpret social situations for an adolescent with Asperger Syndrome. Intervention in School and Clinic, 36(5), 310-313.