It's All Okay

Just a mom blogging about life with an autistic child.

Location: Canada

I'm a stay at home mom with two boys. Patrick is my youngest and has ASD.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

various ramblings

I've noticed that Patrick sometimes uses extra words when he puts a sentence together himself. For example he'll say "can I have go play to outside". Am I trying to put too many words in his mouth prematurely? I'm afraid by trying to teach him complex sentences at this point that I might be confusing him. I'm going to ask the speech therapist next week. In the past few months he has learned to use simple phrases mostly for requesting or describing but sometimes they are expressive. So I thought the next step would be sentences but perhaps I'm incorrect?

His echolalia hasn't decreased. His total amount of speaking has increased because he's creating more independant speech but he's still repeating A LOT! Especially movies even though he only gets one a day if we're home and none if we're out. Should I be trying to stop him from doing this and how would I do that? Or at this point is it ok he's repeating stuff? It doesn't bother me personally. When he goes on and on repeating a large section of a movie I'll try and gently interrupt, tell him we're done talking about the movie, and try and engage him in conversation about something else...usually trains because he love them so much. Any thoughts?

Oh and we're getting away for a wedding OVERNIGHT this weekend! I can hardly believe it.


Blogger MOM-NOS said...

I am definitely NOT an expert on language development, but Bud is very similar to Patrick in this way, and this is what I've read/learned:

Our kids are acquiring language in a "gestalt" way, which means that they learn it in chunks. In typical language development kids learn one word at a time, and they recognize each individual word as a discrete unit that has its own individual meaning. But a child with echolalia may see a full string of words that he's memorized as a single discrete unit. So, if your son has memorized the phrase "I think I'd rather not try that just now" from a video, he may say "I think I'd rather not try that just now" instead of saying "No." But to him "I'd rather not try that just now" is not a 7-word sentence, it is one language "chunk" or "unit" that means "No."

As echolalia progresses, kids start to learn to break down the longer strings of words into smaller chunks, but not necessarily into single words. My HUNCH is that Patrick's sentence "Can I have go play to outside" is not a 7-word sentence in his mind, but a 3-unit one: "Can I have" plus "go play" plus "to outside." That is, "can I have" is the unit he has learned to use to request something, "go play" is the thing he would like to do, and "to x" is how he identifies the place he'd like to go.

Bud's language has followed the same progression. I find that when I listen for content and ignore the grammar it builds his confidence to keep taking risks with language, and the more he practices stringing language units together, the more natural his language sounds (and the smaller those units get).

Does that make any sense at all?

Wed Jul 26, 01:15:00 PM 2006  
Blogger mumkeepingsane said...

Yes, that makes a lot of sense and jives with what I've heard from Patrick lately. Your observations have helped me figure out where to go next. Thank you.

Thu Jul 27, 06:31:00 AM 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home