Social Skills: Tone of Voice
Often, when people think of non-verbal communication, they think of facial expressions and body language but don’t think of tone of voice. We use tone of voice to express and to interpret emotions and intentions. How you say something can be as important as the words you use. Of course, this is a major reason why the intended message in texts and emails can be misinterpreted. If you want to see a perfect (and hysterical) example of this, check out the YouTube video “Key & Peele: Text Message Confusion”. If you’d like to share it with your students, you might want to choose the censored version! When individuals on the autism spectrum struggle with interpreting or effectively using tone of voice it can, unfortunately, be a difficult skill to teach. I’ve designed an activity that targets both interpretation and use of tone of voice. At the very least, Tone of Voice can serve as an evaluation tool. At my school we’ve had students who came across as rude or whiny, but when we discovered that their tone of voice did not match their intentions we better understood how to respond.