Jump to content


Can this be a symptom of DS's MERLD or am I being a pushover?


Recommended Posts

YDS was recently diagnosed with MERLD. He is 9, his scores were receptive language 1% and expressive language <1%. Right now they are working on stretching his vocabulary, understanding passive sentences (knowing who is doing what to whom in sentences like "The boy was pushed by the girl", he thinks the boy pushed the girl..), auxiliary verbs and pronoun usage (changing is to are if you change he to we, etc..). He's only done 4 sessions of therapy, we go twice a week and I try to replicate what they worked on at home because they don't send him home with anything usually.


Anyway, twice this weekend he's gotten in trouble for acting like he was ignoring what I told him to do. Both times I would tell him to do something and he'd say something like "I'm going to _______" (if I told him to come upstairs and let his sister watch a tv show alone, he'd say he was going downstairs to play the iPad) or "First I'm gonna _______" (brush his teeth might be met with find his toy first). I finally got very upset with him constantly putting off or seeming to outright ignore my instructions. I tried to talk to him about doing what I said and he acted very confused and said "But I said okay." Well, no he didn't, but I'm wondering if he's confusing okay as in "Yes, I'll do that" ("Brush your teeth." "Okay. I will brush my teeth.") with okay as in "It's okay" ("Come upstairs and stop bothering your sister." "It's okay, I'm going to do something else that won't bother her.")


Is that a stretch? I'm really confused by MERLD. He can carry on a conversation, but he talks with a limited amount of words, and will often state the same thing several times or ask the same question repeatedly throughout the conversation as if he's forgotten what you told him. He also doesn't seem to grasp "tone". Saying "We'll do it right now!" excitedly and "We'll do it right now!" (meaning stop goofing off and telling me we'll do it later, come do what I say) seem to mean the same thing to him. I also don't understand why a simple instruction like "Put your shoes on the rack" get through more often than saying "Your shoes are dirty. Pick them up and put them on the rack so they don't make a mess." Is it just that he only comprehends some of the words in the longer statement and the ones he can't make sense of confuse him to the point he can't follow the instruction? I'm guilty of being overly verbose, and I'm a talker outer/reasoner which our NP said wouldn't work with him. I'm trying to figure out how to handle this situation appropriately.


ETA: When I say pushover in the title, I mean for considering that this might be related to MERLD? Am I making excuses? I don't want to expect too much of him, but I don't want to expect too little, either. I'm really conflicted with that, right now.


Edited: I had the scores backwards. He actually understands marginally more than he puts out.

Edited by Ghee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No experience with MERLD, but I'll just say that with my ds, when we started speech I actually had to learn a new way of talking with him. It seems very natural now, but for a long time we tailored our speech with him in ways that you wouldn't another child, because we were trying to work on specific skills. So if they've suggested speech therapy to you or other modifications, I would just roll with it. For us it involved horrible things like incorrect grammar, leaving out articles (which have sounds he can't say) in what you guide him to say, etc. etc. With some kids you just have to change how you talk to get them to where they need to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Elizabeth. It isn't speech therapy for articulation, but for how he process language, in general.


I spoke to the therapist after his appt today. She told me this could very well be a symptom of his MERLD, and made a note to work with him on it. She said it is "pragmatics", and we also discussed how he doesn't seem to be able to tell, just from tone, the difference in two statements with the same words. She said she will also work with him on that, but gave me a few ideas to try at home. One excercise was having him turn his head away and say something that could be either a positive or negative, based on tone, then ask him how I was feeling when I said that. Such a simple game, but it never occured to me to do this. It just seems like understanding that would be instinctual, you know? I keep having to move the "line in the sand" for what I think absolutely HAS to be something he should pick up on his own.


Thanks for listening! :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...