I replied, in my previous comment thread, to a comment, and then realized that I had more - I know this will come as a surprise to you all - to say.
One of the hallmarks of an ASD child and his general speech is that ASD children can talk non-stop for hours
about the topics which interest them. Or obsess them. From an outsider's perspective, it's often hard to separate the two.
They frequently cannot
talk about anything else
. When my oldest was in elementary school, I could ask him about his school day, but by the time he crossed the threshold and entered the house, the last
thing he wanted to talk about was school. At all. I therefore got a blank stare, when he was younger, or "it was fine" when he was older. That was the extent of the information I was given. For this reason, among others, I was in steady contact with his teachers in the early years.
My oldest was that variety of Aspergers which is precociously verbal. He taught himself to read in order to play The Incredible Machine
. He couldn't stand to wait for us to read things to him, in the first case (all of the level goals were of course in words), or wait for me to tell him what items the monsters had dropped, in the second.
He could talk about Diablo or the incredible machine for days
. So I played the Incredible Machine and Diablo. We played Diablo together on the home network. I played video games before he was born, and after, so we had an interest in common.
The interest in common was very helpful in turning the exposition or monologue into a dialogue, because he wanted to talk
about the things that interested him
To a lesser extent, all children are like this. They want
to be heard. ASD, non-ASD, they want to be heard. ASD children are developmentally much younger than normative children, and their social skills are therefore several years behind the curve. When other children are engaging in conversation, the ASD child will be engaging in monologue, because he is arrested at the 'want to be heard' level for far longer than the other children.
I was asked, by the parent of a five year old ASD boy, what I'd done to cause my nine year old son to converse
. The prevailing thought is that it is neither healthy nor normal to allow an ASD child to monologue, and if the child is doing this, he must be stopped.
I'm afraid I disagree with this. ( I'm afraid I disagree with this. )