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Connect Through Conversation Featuring Nathan Markley's Story

Communication is a social necessity for creating and building connections. Conversation is an exchange, a back-and-forth of ideas. Growing communication skills is the bridge to conversing with others. Whether at work, school, with friends, or with peers, knowing how to communicate and in what form (assistive technology, American Sign Language, oral and written, etc.) is important for human interaction.

Conversation Starters

Starting a conversation might feel like entering unknown territory, but it's nothing to fret about. Lots of people enjoy a good chat, even with someone they've just met. Just think about what you want to talk about and take a step! 

Check out the YouTube channel "Charisma on Command," where they've posted a video demonstrating three natural and relaxed ways to kick off a conversation.

Watch the video here:

Starter Topics

Social interactions may come naturally to some, while public speaking can be daunting for others. Here's a helpful tip: focus on topics that genuinely interest you and that you feel comfortable sharing. Start by sharing your thoughts with a small audience, such as friends or family. As you gain confidence, gradually expand your reach to more people. For instance, if you're passionate about human rights, consider using platforms like social media or participating in grassroots campaigns to share your ideas and develop your social skills.

Kendra Cherry, an author and educator at Verywell Mind, wrote an excellent article on techniques for calming the mind and identifying suitable conversation topics when engaging with someone new for the first time.

Read more here:

100 Icebreakers

"Icebreakers," a more informal term for conversation starters, are topics crafted to smoothly initiate a conversation with someone, whether they're an old friend, a family member, or a new acquaintance.

"100 Icebreaker Questions to Get the Conversation Started" by Mural. co is an article featuring over 100 of these icebreakers, categorized for those seeking thought-provoking or humorous conversations, or those interested in specific themes such as travel, music, or upcoming holidays.

Read more here:

Want to kick off a conversation? Do you have any icebreakers you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments!


Nathan Markley's Story

Jeremy Hayer, Youth Coordinator, SPAN, interviewed Nathan D. Markley, a talented and dedicated Information Technology Specialist at RIPIN, Rhode Island Parent Information Network. His passion for leveraging technology to drive success is complemented by his unique perspective as an individual with Autism. 

Alongside his IT role, Nathan actively contributes as a supporting facilitator for RIPIN’s Youth Advisory Panel and co-chairs the RIPIN SWAG Team (Staff Wellness and Appreciation Group) 

Watch it here: 

SPAN Youth Chats: Now Monthly!

Join us on the SPAN Youth Chat (For Ages 14-26) monthly on May 29th, from 4:15 - 5:00 p.m.The SPAN Youth Chat for Ages 14-26


Link to SPAN's website:
Link to SPAN's Youth in the Know Resource Page: 
Youth in the Know
We're here for you! Call SPAN if you need assistance: 1-800-654-7726.


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