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PeterPan

Narrative language in autism

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Fwiw, as the behaviorist and I were talking yesterday, she was really excited about CMC (Color My Conversation, from Northern Speech Services). She really likes what I'm doing, but she thinks it will come together and get applied nice with CMC. I don't know what someone else's dc's next step is. I'm just saying it seems like a good step for ds. The Rothstein work and chitchat I think are going to merge nicely, and CMC has some levels where you're working on chitchat. We think it would help ds be more confident and comfortable in some social settings.

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19 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Kbutton, I'm missed it, are you saying you want to use SGM with your younger or older ds? Are you looking at their expository theme to see how it leads into the skills of WWS?

Fwiw, I'm probably going to end up buying all three levels of SGM (Braidy, SGM, Expository). There's definitely plenty of value there. 

We aren't using WWS. He used it with a former tutor, but he didn't internalize anything from it. That was before all the language testing, etc.

I am planning with older DS. He will need work using connectors and using the critical thinking triangle. He has ways of talking that tend to cover up that he isn't using them even though he can speak and write some amazing sentences! 

I am starting to see that the narrative stuff feeds into the expository through things like connecting words. My son has issues with prepositions. Big time. He understands them, but he doesn't use ones like because, since, etc. Pretty much ever! Not in narrative and not in exposition. It's super laborious to have him turn statements into questions and questions into statements also, and I think it's because he has so much trouble with this. It's just messed up! 

1 hour ago, Lecka said:

It’s really hard for me to get my son to answer a question when he can’t use words that he has just heard, and use those words to give the answer.  It’s really hard, and I see a big difference between a novel utterance that is a good novel utterance, but does use some wording he has just read or heard, or a novel utterance where he has to come up with all the words.  I think it’s really hard and it’s a big part of why some questions are easier for him than others.  

I think this has helped, and I also think it’s maybe been the right thing at the right time.  

1

You stated it in two pieces, but my son has a similar issue. I think you mean that he has trouble with accessing new vocabulary and also possibly with picking up a word from a nearby context and recognizing he could use it in the answer. But your phrasing jogged something for me. My son can use words he just heard (new to him), but he is not able to pick up a word in it's context and reliably use it in a different construction to answer the question or to generate a question from a statement, etc. I guess it falls into the "flexible use of language" trouble that goes with autism. The parts about being a novel utterance with or without wording just read or heard--we see lots of shades of things he can do, can't do, or can sometimes do. But he hides it super well, lol! 

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They would like me to talk about his day with him.  That is what they would like me to do.

I don’t think it’s exactly word retrieval, it’s making the sentence.  If he can do something like just rephrase what he has just heard it’s much easier.  I see a lot that where he can rephrase with exact words, he will.  He will say things with the exact same wording a day later, too.  He does things like if I comment when I read a book to him, he may comment the next time, and use some exact phrase that I used the time before.  And then if he has to really come up with it himself it is pause, pause, mumble, pause, and sometimes he just loses steam before he has said what he wanted to say, or maybe he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to say.  

I am just starting to do more non-fiction and expository text at all..... I have been focused on fiction for the social aspect.  He has really needed that.  Also he is doing better with non-fiction!  He used to not stand it and now he likes it a lot more.  

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Kbutton, another SLP (at the PROMPT place) had done testing on ds a couple years ago when we were using her and had run an EF tool they have. I couldn't quite figure out why SLPs were running EF tools, which I think was my own mental block. Anyways, what was interesting out of that (since of course deficits were no surprise) was her connecting the rigidity of ds' sentence constructions with the rigidity of his THINKING and EF issues.

So like when you say he understands something receptively but doesn't use it, that's what it makes me think of, that rigidity. I don't know if you could find a chart like table 4.1 in the Greer book, but I think it would help you. It was lightning bolt for me, because it took all these things that I thought might be the case (that some things come first, some later, that there's foundation and order) and was like yes, that's how it is. And I think you're right that kids can leapfrog and have pieces, but that's why I decided to go back and do a really nitpicky, obsessive run-through of these early skills (FFC, grammar, etc.). I think he gets it on a conceptual level sometimes, on a receptive level, but he doesn't have it on an actively use this, let it come out and affect my language level. So I want him to do all those skills, in the developmental order, EXPRESSIVELY. 

At least that's what I'm doing. I don't know what your ds needs, but that's why I'm doing what I'm doing, because that's what I concluded needed to happen. The SLP we saw for expressive said the same thing a different way. Ds did so much scripting but he hadn't gone backward from whole to parts completely. So he couldn't error correct and realize his errors and he couldn't recombine the chunks into new, interesting sentences. So if my ds SEEMS to be using a nice sentence, he might be combining chunks he memorized off tv, rather than really having the pieces in his mind to recombine flexibly. But, like you're saying, sometimes it looks impressive! 

That's really interesting about his difficulty with statements to questions and questions to statements. If someone has lots of memorized language in their heads but doesn't really understand the parts, they would struggle to use parts and add new parts and change the structure, yes, absolutely. With ds the memorized language shows up with sentence unscrambling. If you give him the words, he really struggles to turn them into a coherent sentence that is in a natural order. He has no clue how words go together and what function each word should serve. His brain hasn't figured it out. He has chunks, phrases, but not that word level understanding.

Yes, MW has several levels of expository books that attempt to carry you from SGM over to expository writing. That's what I was saying, that I want to see it cohesive, that I want to see it flowing naturally. We don't need to teach a system and then not have it be flexible enough and have enough room to mature with our students. That's what I'm looking for, can the methodology mature to lead him into WWS. I would like to be able to get my ds through WWS1 or maybe WWS2 at the most, by the end of high school. If we got through that, I would be well-satisfied. 

I didn't realize you had had to drop WWS btw. I'm sorry. It's hard. That's why I'm thinking so hard, because I KNOW ds doesn't have the foundation to go into that stuff. I KNOW we have issues in spite of tons of language seeming to be present. Yes, ds does that gig with using a "more complex" structure to work around the one that he can't do. It's just crazy. But that's where I go back to my mantra that we're going to build a foundation. We're going to make simple sentences with active verbs (I can write with a pencil. etc.) THEN we'll do more complex tasks. I don't KNOW that I'll win on this, but it seems logical. My behaviorist and I were gabbing yesterday, and she said ABA is all about foundations, that where I'm going back to the foundation and building up I'm super, super wise. And like you're saying, we're smart enough and flexible enough to make it pizzazzy and appropriate. But that's why I'm going seemingly back back back. I'm looking for what was the smallest, earliest, most foundational piece in the process. And now that I'm back THAT FAR, he's going forward pretty quickly. But I'm totally sitting here thinking ok, when we do attributes, how does that lead me into a MW expository paragraph, how does that lead me into WWS1. I know exactly where this is going and I'm burrowing all the way back to get pieces to work right. 

To me, that's the disadvantage of SLPs. Now in a school they might collaborate with the teacher/IS, and the IS might say this is what I need and the SLP says this is what I can do. But even then, those teachers are in their grade. As homeschoolers, we're teaching ALL the grades. I know where this is going and where I want to end up, which is why I'm being so nitpicky. I know my ds' gaps are huge to be able to get from where he is now to WWS1. There are steps there that need to be made. I'm doing a lot of thinking of how can I get sentences of language, how can we combine them into paragraphs with MW, how can I build that into output tasks that are maybe do-able.

Another way to look at it. MW has a set of magnets, $30-ish, that show how the narrative and expository methods overlap. They change the bead color, etc. So I'm looking at that going ok, how do I connect that to teaching OUTLINING. They might not say that, but it's totally obvious. They have their rubber stamps. How do I use that. Kwim? That's what I meant by continuity. But think about it, to outline a REAL ARTICLE, like say a Muse magazine article on a non-fiction topic, the tool actually has to be FLEXIBLE. It actually has to be able to fit how real people write. And if the tool is flexible and can fit real writing, then it can morph into WWS, no problem. 

So even little things like the beads being fixed on the SGM instructional tool don't make sense to me. You need to be able to rearrange all the beads. What if you want to start the story at the end?? You need to be able to rearrange them. And sure, it's ok to say go simple with an instructional tool, but I'm back to my point that we're thinking long-term.

But now you're to what I'm saying, that it's not necessarily going to work to go directly to a MW product and do structure and analysis and try to get output if the language isn't there. It's blood from turnips and all that. I'm hoping for ds it doesn't have a LONG gap. I'm hoping we can move this over quickly. We'll see. I could be way wet and wrong. But that's why I'm pursuing a lot of strands all at once (like literally 7-9 different therapy books, a bit each day), because I tried to identify a number of strands that I thought could CONVERGE into the skill. I think individually they're not enough but that they can converge. So we're doing a synonyms book and at the same time working through Cusimano's Auditory Memory in Context book that builds them into retelling paragraphs and a workbook on identifying main ideas. So synonyms and paraphrasing and summarizing all merge in my mind.

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Kbutton — I think these connecting words are really hard.  That my son is using any of them is impressive to me.  Even “and” and “but” were very hard for him, when to use one or the other.  I think it’s really hard.

I think it’s really hard to understand what the actual relationship is between two phrases and which word to use to show that relationship.  

I think this looks good, I hope it will help, I hope it will work out!  

And then I hope it will generalize!!!!!!!

I am seeing my son actually using some of the “causal ties” in his independent speech, and it is just very amazing to see him do better with it.  

Edited — I didn’t read something properly.  

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I ordered the verb fish kit from Super Duper because they had a small sale (20%) going. I'm planning to use them to work on connector ties, among other things. Ds likes games, so I plan to turn them into games. I got little foam cubes from Dollar Tree, and my thinking is I can put ties on the foam dies, verb tenses (ed, ing, etc.) on cubes, etc. Then you fish two verb fish, roll your cubes, and make a snazzy sentence. You could get really crazy with it. You could use the fish and play it sort of like a storybuilding game (Dixit). You could roll the cube for a connector word and then build the other part of the sentence to go with a single fish. (The baby was crying because his mom left.) Just so many possibilities there.

But I think Lecka's right that that doesn't mean that's the right starting point for her ds. It just is what I think will fit my ds well next. So that's what I got. I like the tie kit from MW. I'm looking through their FB feed, and they had a ton of sales in December. So then you can stagger and think about what you don't need for 6 months...

Oh, I'm not going to say to him make a snazzy sentence. I'm being sort of hyperbolic there. Snazzy for me means working in a targeted, systematic way through a list of skills. But the end result is snazzy sentences. But limited field, building, really intentional, systematic, yes. I picked that up from another SLP we tried. She was using the fish and it became obvious there were SO many ways to use them once you knew what you wanted to target.

I think it's important for my ds to practice the complex grammar/expressive language skills in a simple context. He can't be thinking about what in the world craziness is happening in the funky picture AND do the grammar AND get it out. So we have to start with a super simple picture, limited field, get the concept working, then broaden it out to a wider range of pictures and then to a wider application context (life, literature, conversation, etc.). So that's why the stupid $40 set of fish, because I wanted a narrow field to work on hard concepts before branching out. He can't go out right away, not him, not where he is. Maybe someone else can, but he can't.

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31 minutes ago, Lecka said:

They would like me to talk about his day with him.  That is what they would like me to do.

I don’t think it’s exactly word retrieval, it’s making the sentence.  If he can do something like just rephrase what he has just heard it’s much easier.  I see a lot that where he can rephrase with exact words, he will.  He will say things with the exact same wording a day later, too.  He does things like if I comment when I read a book to him, he may comment the next time, and use some exact phrase that I used the time before.  And then if he has to really come up with it himself it is pause, pause, mumble, pause, and sometimes he just loses steam before he has said what he wanted to say, or maybe he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to say.  

I am just starting to do more non-fiction and expository text at all..... I have been focused on fiction for the social aspect.  He has really needed that.  Also he is doing better with non-fiction!  He used to not stand it and now he likes it a lot more.  

There are things I don't know. I'm not an SLP, and I don't know what is good for someone else's kid, kwim? Like I only know MY kid and his particular mix and where he's at. Nuts, half the time my head swirls and I don't even seem to know that, lol. But I'm totally with you that it's not homogenous. It's not that your ds' next step is the same as mine. For ds, putting huge effort into language with SLP materials gets huge bumps, HUGE. Like noticeable, very fast, tangible, exciting. You could literally see his development over the course of a week. But we have friends in the clubs we go to who are maybe a similar number for support level, who work with an SLP (probably 30-60 minutes a week) and their progress isn't so wow. And I really do think it's not just like who is better, who had more money, who did more this or that. I think there's probably just genetic variety, developmental progressions, like REALITY, kwim? 

So it's the right thing for me to put 2-3 hours a day into speech therapy work for my ds, because doing it brings noticeable improvement. But that doesn't mean it would do that for the next person. Ds is his own person and there are those profiles. That's what our ped told us this week about the genetic testing. He said hospitals look for profiles and make predictions. So I don't think it's fair for someone to feel guilty about what is just honest differences. I want to share what I'm doing with ds, because I think there are kids out there of similar pattern whom it could help. I think it will answer some people's questions. But that doesn't mean my ds' profile is the next person's profile and that what I'm doing fits them. I wish it were that simple. It's definitely not.

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

You stated it in two pieces, but my son has a similar issue. I think you mean that he has trouble with accessing new vocabulary and also possibly with picking up a word from a nearby context and recognizing he could use it in the answer. But your phrasing jogged something for me. My son can use words he just heard (new to him), but he is not able to pick up a word in it's context and reliably use it in a different construction to answer the question or to generate a question from a statement, etc. I guess it falls into the "flexible use of language" trouble that goes with autism. The parts about being a novel utterance with or without wording just read or heard--we see lots of shades of things he can do, can't do, or can sometimes do. But he hides it super well, lol! 

Or the word got filed in the wrong place or stored as a chunk or phrase instead of a word with word level meaning. So you might have to organize all the vocabulary he needs for the task by doing categorizing (ooo, FFC!) activities with him. Word retrieval and the FFC organization overlap. So like if he were discussing a book or reading for lit and had names and terms, you might do categorizing activities with them, organizing them different ways. He could build sentences with them too, so like listing all the evil characters and then using adjectives from the reading to create sentences describing (attributes, your FFC again) the characters. And then you could rearrange them by characters early in the book, in the middle of the book, later in the book. Now you're beginning to SGM your FFC, hmm. You could photocopy pictures of them and duplicate as you categorize. Then you could retell from that.

I have no clue what he needs. I'm just saying to me the things overlap and feed, one into the next. It sounds complicated probably to you, lol. You always think I overcomplicate. That's what NDT was trying to have them do. It's what I'm saying might be under-powered about SGM, because they're going to need to expand each of those steps, adding description (FFC) to each one, etc. You could tree the whole thing. You could color code in Inspiration using the SGM colors or symbols and use that to expand expository writing. Lots of potential.

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I think to a great extent we are all doing the same progression.  It’s just happening at different rates and in different areas.  

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Yes! And that's what bothered/concerned me about some of the SLPs I talked with, was that they didn't appreciate that once autism is on the table you have to go back and FFC their brains and do everything expressively as well as receptively. It's not enough, at least for my ds, to jump and want the end product. You still have to acknowledge it's autism and still have to go through and treat it like autism, even if they go through it faster or differently.

I'm able to go from a beginning point to a much more complex point pretty quickly with ds, but we're still having to do the skills. The issue I'm seeing is where the therapists want to jump, because they're using kits rather than understanding the developmental progression. They aren't trained on VBA. The SLPs don't know why they need to go back and work on these things, so even when the SLP sources are selling the materials, the SLPs don't realize to use them.

So we cross-train, think harder...

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Kbutton, have you seen the paraphrasing workbooks from the Spotlight series (Linguisystems)?

http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/display?itemid=10482

http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/display?itemid=10317

Ds is almost finished with his categories work for the week. Hopefully just one more day will do it. Next we start into attributes. I got the SPARK for Attributes book and the Spotlight on Vocab book for Attributes. We're almost done with the Spotlight on Main Ideas, hopefully with just one more week, so we'll probably go into the Spotlight on Details next.

I'm eyeing the SPARC for Basic Routines, because I think it has a lot of potential to be done multiple ways. They're super tight, super brief sequences, very relatable stuff for him. I think it might work. Maybe this book would interest Lecka? It would definitely be in the realm of talking about your everyday.

I was watching a video the author of the VBA book (I forget her name) put on her FB feed. She was talking about the pitfalls of teaching carrier phrases. I thought it was interesting, because there's definitely that potential with the work I'm doing for it to turn into carrier phrases. 

Worked on our IEP with the school today. The ps SLP is over the moon for SGM and thought it would be awesome for ds.

Categories have turned out to be pretty easy for ds, but that's nice to have an easier week. I'm thinking attributes are gonna be a bear.

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Carrier phrases are fine, just not too early.  They want kids to have a lot of mands/requests and I think a lot of two-word phrases with verb-object.  Carrier phrases come later.  

I had my meeting.  It turns out the SGM-type stuff is being done in reading group, and he’s really close to moving up to the next level reading group.  

So I am suggested to talk about his day and read and talk about books with him.  And then he will probably be in the next higher reading group when school starts next year.  

It seems good!  I’ve been having a lot of fun at the library.  

I do have my eye on SGM though, for the future.  I don’t think my son is quite to the critical -thinking triangle yet, I think he he close, but I think it is more “maybe next summer” or maybe something I look at again around Christmas.  

He has plenty to gain from talking and reading, so I think it will be nice.  

 

 

 

 

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https://mindwingconcepts.com/pages/presentations

These are the slides for a bunch of their recent ASHA talks. 

At this point, what I'm trying to sort out is how their expository writing books overlap or progress. They have:

-Talk to Write, Write to Learn--2008, 248 pages, narrative and expository maps, 5 paragraph essay, book choices and probably target ages/grades are lower than Thememaker

-The Core of the Core--2012, no TOC show in sample to tell pages, maps will be closest to what would be useful for classical/WTM style narrations, since CC, as written in the standards, parallels WTM writing, the maps look very useful, however their presentation of the CC standards is very brief and oversimplified to emphasize how their product can fit the standards rather than explaining, at least in the samples, how far you have to stretch the methodology to actually make all that happen. Not saying you can't, but it really needs effort to bolster it for WTM writing. MW seems to have this fettish with analyzing scenes, and nobody wants to narrate just a scene out of a book, mercy. We want them to get the gestalt, the big picture, recognize the most important part of the flow of a book. Now maybe they hit that in Thememaker and give some better tools? Dunno. I see a big gap between the writing the ps is trying to make happen (based on the comments in the book of schools using it) and what we might think in our mind is logical to make happen. 

-Thememaker--2008, 237+ pages, focuses on expository, starts with very complex sources for the lessons and seems to be focused on comprehension (extracting components from a larger text and discussing and boiling them down) rather than the beginner steps of small text for tight purpose (1st grade info retelling, 2nd grade info retelling, etc.). Seems to go into very complex territory (arguments, cause/effect, etc.) I think if you were only asking about CoC vs. Thememaker for someone starting in lower grades, CoC could go first, bridge from Braidy/SGM to expository, and THEN you'd come in with Thememaker. For someone starting older, the question would be whether you want them to start with larger works where they extract ideas or whether they should practice with shorter texts and stick to a more targeted goal. There's nothing babyish about CoC, and there's no reason why you can't go through a progression from brief model to larger source. I would note that even WWS isn't asking the student to do something as challenging as Thememaker, because Thememaker literally seems to assume a student can read a book and pull from it all these debates and facts and points. WWS gives the student the points and asks him to organize and retell cohesively. That would be an in-between step. I think for my student Thememaker might be high school or completely out of reach. Unless there's a way to simplify it down conceptually. My guess is the books are good but their thought process is not as tight as it could be with the models/sources. So it might be possible to use the maps but use them with more appropriate text. We also don't know how the maps differ or overlap between CoC and TM. You can buy just the map downloads btw, $15. So that is an option too, once you get one of the products and are clicking. You might just buy the maps from the other and move forward.

At this point, I think for where my ds is (rising 4th by age, much lower for narrative ability), I'm probably looking at T2W and CoC. The Thememaker Expository Text Structures poster/mini poster shows the 7 structures (descriptive, list, sequence, cause/effect, problem/solution, persuade, compare/contrast). To me, those are super similar to your WWS toolbox stuff. So then you go ok, would you be able to target a structure (descriptive), beginning with the most tight level (Braidy or pseudobraidy but age appropriate with pages off TPT) and then do it with a little more complex and so on.

I think it's notable who blithely CoC and all the materials skip that the major steps need expansion. There are no tools to mark dialogue, nothing to mark details. It's all just a super linear presentation, with the seeming assumption that narratives will fit that order (which they don't), that the student will be able to expand those bead/detail steps (maybe they have maps for this?), and that the student will be able to link them together to create an actual flow (which he might or might not). I think it has potential as a tool, but I just see these instructional weaknesses. I think the user would have to be constantly correcting, making sure they get whole narratives and don't focus on the analysis, making sure they do real retellings of real material and not searching high and low to find sources that fit a particular scheme.

I think Braidy could be an amazing starting point for students on the spectrum. I think how old would depend on the humor and flexibility of the child. It uses children's literature, tight sources, and of course simpler sources are entertaining, disarming, and clear. What better way to teach a skill than to go to the easiest point, bring it very within reach, and build forward? There's no reason why you couldn't go from descriptions in children's lit to descriptions in magazines that are age appropriate and of special interest to descriptions in lit on their reading level, kwim? You could go through a progression like that. The SLP at our ps said that she starts everyone with SGM, mainly because it's what she has, LOL, but that she has to go back and do those breakouts with TPT lessons. I'll go look for what she was using and link. I liked the look of the Braidy lessons, so I think I'd rather start there. I'm looking for the simplest, smallest piece of the skill, so I can get him confident there and move forward. The SLP at the ps just wanted to get them advanced as quickly as possible, and I want him SUCCESSFUL by building a foundation.

I stand by my comment that FFC is the foundation for all this work. This coming week we begin attributes (I'm sick today), and I'm excited to see how far we can get with attributes and how that creates a language foundation for him to be ABLE to do the descriptive tasks in MW. To me there's a total flow there. I'm trying to organize his brain to think that way and get his brain noticing it before I show him some symbol and am frustrated that very little comes out. For me, the detailed, age-appropriate, challenging FFC work is creating the foundation for MW.

-Oral Discourse Strategies---2015, 125+ pages, NOW we're finally getting somewhere! This book bills itself as the advanced material. Page 9 shows a structure for analysis that would work well with WWS. MW is not set up to do that, because MW is persistently linear. However if you want to know how to get MW to bridge to WWS, that's how it would work. You would probably have to do it with the magnet sets or, better, Inpsiration software. If you made templates in Inspiration to fit those structures or if you made laminated pages that you kept to the side to show the student, you could work through the structures, one at a time, and assemble larger essays, WTM-style. And I'm saying within say a month of focusing on an expository structure, you could go from Braidy to Theme/OD, all the way. At least in theory you could. That would be intense, like doing a brief model every day, analysis to oral narration, every day, boom boom. You definitely could get there. If the student has the LANGUAGE to get it out, he could get there. If he doesn't have the language, then we're backing up to that how do we get the language. My ds wasn't using active verbs (function), can't describe things (features), etc. So he needed language work before he could do those steps. 

There are slideshows for all these programs probably on that MW link. The OD has one, because that was how I found the rest. I'm looking at the OD sample, and look at how they included language bubbles. Those could be used for dialogue. This could go SO much farther. The analysis could be less linear and more REAL. You could unhitch the MW symbols from the highly linear, fixed SGM braided tool and do them in inspiration on a whiteboard entirely, using them to retell real material of high interest to the student. The trick there is not to use ALL the tools. The trick is to find real material and only use one or two of the magnets or pieces of analysis. I think the emphasis on a complete episode can be misleading, since writers DON'T always write that way. The more the person teaching with these tools understands writing and the tools, the more they can divorce themselves from the material and go at it a different way.

The irony is, at that point they'll be doing what WTM says to do, haha. The methodologies are totally compatible, and the OD book is your best chance maybe at seeing that.

With my dd, straight ADHD, the SWB toolbox approach was a good fit because it fit her non-linear thought process. I think a very linear approach would tend to exacerbate the rigid tendencies of ASD. What I don't know is whether the ASD student is actually developmentally ready to get there, or whether it's like nice thought, not necessary, give a briefer structure that works and move on with life, kwim? Like lots of things are good, but they aren't necessarily good NOW. It might be something that would click later, much later. I can't speak to that, only saying I think the possibility exists. In theory, if you believe what you read from the Left-Brained people and all that, then kids on the spectrum *should* be non-linear thinkers who benefit from a toolbox approach, ie. going all the way to OD. Like it might be that OD would give them the big picture and make MORE sense than starting off in the middle with SGM. They might do better with OD plus BRAIDY. Seriously. I could totally see that. I think all that matters is that it's clicking, not what the age on the book says. To give someone the big picture and then go back and work through the parts from the very beginning (OD to Braidy then back to OD), that could actually work. Says the woman who doesn't have a dc of that age.

I'll go look for the TPT stuff. I could eat crow on all this. I'm just trying to sort it out myself. I'm seeing these 4 books, all hitting expository, and I was trying to figure out how they overlap, who the targets were. The reason T2W doesn't fit the flow of the rest is it was mainly authored by the MW people's BIL. Now he's probably super awesome, but that's probably why it's this anomaly in the series. If it was written in the same year as Thememaker, maybe there was collaboration going on and they said hey go run with your vision on this? I also don't know how the maps overlap. 

That's as far as I got.

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Just for fun, if someone buys OD based on what I wrote there and hates it, doesn't find it useful, send it to me and I'll buy it off you. :) 

Also, it looks like they ran some pretty crazy 1/2 price deals last December. You never know what they'll do, but they might do that again. Might let people stagger if they don't need everything at once. 

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Btw, it's a total peeve of mine that the author is constantly citing her (highly verbal, clearly precocious) granddaughter in videos and in the texts. These materials are being used both in classrooms and for intervention services and therapy, but it seems like most of the examples given in the texts are of mainstream classroom use, which really doesn't tell us how it goes with kids with disabilities, even though we assume that's the market. They're presenting at ASHA and saying it's their market, but they're citing mainstream classrooms and precocious kids for their success stories rather than talking about kids with autism.

So then flip that and consider the NDT (Narrative and Discourse Builder Tool) from Northern Speech Services. The developer of that has a video course I purchased but haven't watched yet. She actually says she's trying to build narratives in kids with autism, and her tool is more flexible (important with autism to lead away from rigid expectations) and has some extras like matching bubbles to pull down for each main detail where the student can expand with dialogue, etc. I agree MW has pushed the concepts farther, with their maps, sure, but the simple analysis of the NDT and it's ability to hold information in a more flexible, expandable format is possibly more practical. I've got the NDT, and I'm not sure I'm going to return it. I'm not totally convinced that a linear braid is really the best way to teach structure to my ds. I want something flexible and rearrangeable. I think the MW magnets could possibly work well within NDT. I'm not sure I want to go all the way to Inspiration and a more complex approach right now. Oral narratives are supposed to flow naturally. You shouldn't need Inspiration to do them, kwim? When I actually think about how my ds will get out a narrative, I think it's MUCH more likely that NDT will be useful to him than the SGM brain. I like Braidy, and I like OD. I'm just not super sold on their middle stage.

But again, I'm just brain dumping my thought process. We had a poster some time ago saying she was putting a lot of emphasis on narration with her ASD kids, and now a bunch of us are like ok this is a really important step. But there's a gap from knowing you need to do it to figuring out how to do it. And the point of SGM seems to be that if they understood the structure they would get it out. I'm not sure that's the case. i think it can more just result in cryptic, non-natural narratives that are hyper-condensed and don't flow. I'm not saying it HAS to, but it clearly would happen with my ds if you just plunked him in with an SLP trying to race to the end. They don't have 4 hours a week for a school year to work on this, and that's the kind of devotion it would take with my ds, seems to me, to do Braidy, to develop that foundation in a natural, full, rounded, engaging, communicative way. There's seemingly little discussion of the actual LANGUAGE of the narratives, what defines genres, tone, style. With a student like mine, I'd like to develop some tone and style within a simple narrative or expository structure before expanding to longer structures. What would that look like to tell a simple retelling as a fable vs. an epic vs. ... There's no discussion of changing time or place or adding details. All of our stuff we know needs to happen from our progymnasta is just not being mentioned in MW. The SLPs are not writing experts. They don't know progymnasta. In reality, CC (Common Core) isn't so far off from progym. But there's a lot more that could happen with MW that would be EASY to make happen with modification.

So that, to me, is where I see something like Braidy in 4th grade, OD with WWS in high school, and in-between steps where you expand Braidy/SGM and fit it to a progym sequence of medium length sources (CAP's series, Writing Tales, whatever). For my ds to do those from 5th-8th would be pretty astonishing. 

Again, just more thinking out loud. But that's why I've been thinking so hard about how they merge, whether the methodology is rigid or can be made more flexible to fit a more typical WTM/SWB + progym progression. If I can get there, that's where I'd like to be. If I can't, I can't. I think it could be fun. I've always had this faint impression that ds is actually language GIFTED under his language ability. I don't know why I've believed that, but it underlies everything I'm doing. I think he's been glitched up, and someday it will come out.

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This is interesting. It's very wordy compared to something like The Way To A, but it works. Makes you wonder what a behaviorist would be thinking in that situation. I got distracted by the idea of the child being implied to that he was bad, etc., but still it's interesting.

 

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Found what the ps SLP was liking from TPT. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Learning-and-Identifying-Story-Grammar-Parts-in-Narratives-3451176  This SLP reviews MW/SGM on her blog, so you may have already seen that. Looks like she also has a middle school language kit too. 

Here's a blog post from that TPT vendor, and what's interesting is I'm not sure she's actively using the MW visuals, hmm. I thought I had read SGM reviews on her site, but she's showing different visuals in a Nov 2017 blog post. Maybe these are the visuals in her TPT kit??

Yup, that first link, peach with the owl, is the stuff that is pictured and explained fully on her blog post here. http://speechymusings.com/2017/11/25/teaching-story-grammar-parts-narratives/

It's interesting. It's much more in line with the stuff I buy from other SLP sources. It could be more flexible/rearrangeable, because you could print her tokens on magnets and rearrange them on a board or laminate and put magnets on the back to rearrange.

MW clearly goes much, much farther. Their story maps, where they show how to expand the concept of setting into a descriptive paragraph, how to use the pieces to build a more sophisticated essay, etc. are terrific. But really, the SLP at our ps is saying she uses this simple $10 kit with SGM. I'm guessing she uses SGM for the maps? That would be kind of confusing to go back and forth with the symbols. I don't know. I'm going to explore some more and see what this blog is saying.

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Ok, look at something like this from blog. http://speechymusings.com/2013/02/13/comprehending-and-paraphrasing-expository-texts/  I LIKE that she's turning narrative work into a game. That would be HUGE with my ds. Love, love. It seems like this could be a *step* in the process. Definitely good to turn it into games. Just could see this going a lot further. Since the post was made in 2013, maybe she matured her thinking or developed more steps?

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The audio on this video improves at 8 minutes in. She explains how you go from SGM narrative to expository. Kinda long, but should be good. Interestingly, she says that when she developed SGM in 1991 she was working in a school for dyslexia. She wanted the markers to help the students ask questions to develop their narratives. It WASN'T a tool developed for autism by someone working with autism, which might explain the holes and the assumptions. There's this assumption that if they have those points they can create a narrative, that the parts will lead to the whole. They also seem to start with larger sources, where WTM still has young children narrating (strictly retelling) brief sources, even for expository/informational writing. 

The video is a little tedious, but it will probably be useful. I'm 20 minutes in on the 1:40, tick tock.

 

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I think it does work!  

I think my son might be doing more of a thing like in the speech therapy blog where she showed some materials she used, I’m not sure exactly specifically what they use.

But I think it does work.

I think it just takes a lot of time and practice, and they adjust to kids.  

I think my son is Stage 4ish right now with how SGM does stages.  He has done their order, and spent a year or so probably on each level.  He has had corresponding IEP goals since Kindergarten when he did have a goal to identify character and setting.  

Anyway as he has worked on it I have seen things like “first, next” become used in his speech, and other of the linking words.  He is more clear in how he communicates.

This morning he was watching a YouTube video before school and he said something like: this is the video game I was telling you about yesterday, it’s this type of game, it’s called such-and-such.  It was very clear.  It is much clearer than he has been in the past and it’s just the kind of thing they work on.

It has been exciting to see him use it in his everyday speech.  He does communicate better and it is good for him.

I think though it takes a long time, for kids who aren’t just naturally and easy picking this up.  It’s a lot to go from doing it with a lot of support to using it independently and then getting to where it’s easy to use and not such a struggle.  

I think if there are goals then a lot of things are options to work on goals.  But if a goal is to be able to say certain kinds of things in a clear way, then I think some clear ways to practice it with support are going to be how kids learn, for the most part.   

I think if some things they show are with regular classrooms, that’s fine, a lot of people can watch that and know how they would adapt to their different groups.  

And I do think their autism materials look excellent.  

Keep in mind therapists will add goals as they get to know a child. It can take some time.  I hope you can find someone you really like.  

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I'm not necessarily going to hire another SLP for language in July when my higher funding starts. I have other things to use that money for, and I'm enjoying doing this work with him. 

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I just asked the behavior therapist today, and for her she had my son do a pretty easy (but not for him lol) story retell (summary), and now she has goals for him to talk about what he did for personal recall (personal narrative).  She said she has a sequence and it will go on to more story stuff later on.  

I have been looking back at the mindwings autism program, I am thinking about it.  It looks like it could be a really good fit here.  

It is hard to implement language goals for me.  I think because it is my son’s hardest area basically, it makes it very hard for me to teach, and then it’s also hard for me to know a good sequence and mastery criteria.  

We have been waiting years and years for him to really be able to tell us about his day, so I am pretty big on all of this right now!  

I am passing on some other things feeling like “eh, he has two siblings within 3 years of his age.”  I think he gets enough at home for quite a few things, and then for that to be the case I can’t overschedule everyone.  

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I think you're right that not everything happens just because you work on it.  I meet lots of kids at our social skills therapy place who get an hour of speech for expressive language a week, and they still don't have tons coming out. And I think they do assess and go diminishing returns, more hours wouldn't get us more. With ds, right now, more hours is getting us more. He's literally sucking up 2-3 hours a day of this, and the more we do, the more he smiles and seems connected and enthused. It's good interaction, but I think it's kind of a just right challenge. We'll probably continue at this pace until we hit walls and it becomes evident we're not gaining like we were. I think he had a backlog of untapped capabilities, things he was ready to do that needed to be unleashed. When a dc has been getting therapy all along, they wouldn't have that.

We'll see if this lung mess goes to pneumonia. I've been in bed two days now, sigh, just up for breaks and variety. I don't know if I'm going to pull it out or not. Will probably be obvious tomorrow morning. I got exposed to a virus at the IEP meeting 3 weeks ago, and I think I was so stressed my body just held onto it and didn't fight. I keep having headaches and fatigue for 3 weeks but not getting sick. Now I'm out and out sick, with fevers, etc. sigh. Dh worked with ds a bit today, which was funny, haha. They were doing fine on the category work, because that was little games (play tic tac toe by listing things in the category on the square, etc.). 

My next move will be to watch the NDT tool videos, because those are specific to ASD. I'm really interested to hear what she says about developing narratives in autism. She may have a progression, like you say, dunno.

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Oh, there is a progression.

I think it doesn’t matter so much for kids where they are doing enough or close enough that they can fit into say Writing With Ease, they are naturally doing some amount and it is easy to see “here’s the problem” and “here’s where they are.”  

Things like that (in general) made for parents will have things like placement tests and things saying “here’s an idea for how to make an adjustment” and “here’s what you need to know to move on.”  

But a lot of speech therapy materials or blog posts assume that you have learned all about the options for progression and how to make goals and how to adjust different materials to students. 

They expect you to see the materials and just know “here’s how I’ll fit it into my goals I’ve made for different kids according to the progression, and here’s how I’ll adjust it to focus on the things I want to focus on.”

I don’t know this progression, I count on other people to tell it to me.  But with say my daughter, she picks up so much on her own and she just is developmentally on target and has picked things up at expected ages all along, so she can fit into things easily in a way my son does not.  

There are a lot of times something seems stuck with him and I have no idea what to do, and somebody who knows more about it can suggest something.  

In the Mindwings autism series samples, they are one of the only things I’ve ever seen that has a checklist saying things like “don’t move on until your child can do these things.”  That is what I feel like the therapists just know, and I don’t know unless it is spelled out for me.  

And when I go to meetings now it is clear that here and there there are slight difference in order or priority, but very slight, but that overall they are all on the same page and agree about priorities, order, what to look for before moving on, what to make sure is really automatic, and what to not worry so much about.  

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https://mindwingconcepts.com/pages/autism-spectrum-disorder

Like here under “cumulative narrative chunking” it says there is a “research-based narrative development sequence” and then that it assists them to place students and decide a sequence of steps within the student’s Zone of Proximal Development.

So what I think is that this research has been done and various people know about it and have read it, and have found various ways to go from the research to teaching, and then this program is one way, but it has included spelling some things out for the benefit of parents that a lot of therapists would not need spelled out for them.  

I am saying that based on just seeing samples, but it is my impression.  

But then this is just one thing.  This is just one area.  There might be other goals my son has not directly related to this, but that a therapist can see he needs to work on, so it’s not like I even think that just doing one program is going to do everything.  

 

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I've just been reading a research paper that you might find interesting?  "Memory integration in the autobiographical narratives of individuals with autism."

Which specifically looks at 'Semantic and Episodic Autobiographical Memory (AM)'.  With Episodic Autobiographical Memory, being the major area effected with ASD. 

Though I think that it could be helpful, to clearly understand the difference between them?   PeterPan, I particularly noted where DS said: 'this is the video game that I was telling you about yesterday'. As this is using Episodic AM, with reference to event yesterday, involving both him and you.  Which is very different from Semantic AM.

But I wonder if it could be useful, to work directly on Episodic AM ?  

Here's a link to the Article, which can be downloaded for free:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00076/full

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Thanks, that is interesting!  It was my son not Peter Pan’s, btw.  

I did not realize there was a difference, but it makes a lot of sense.  

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Lecka, cumulative narrative chunking is the same thing Moreau puts in all the other materials.

Well this is my 3rd day of fevers and I'm very grouchy. I don't know if it's turning to pneumonia or not, sigh, so I'm watching it. 

 
Progression in narrative ability: A case study comparing successive ...

This article is interesting. Mentions intonation, performance, memorization. Just gets the mind thinking about the things that are missing from SGM. 

 

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1 hour ago, geodob said:

I've just been reading a research paper that you might find interesting?  "Memory integration in the autobiographical narratives of individuals with autism."

Which specifically looks at 'Semantic and Episodic Autobiographical Memory (AM)'.  With Episodic Autobiographical Memory, being the major area effected with ASD. 

Though I think that it could be helpful, to clearly understand the difference between them?   PeterPan, I particularly noted where DS said: 'this is the video game that I was telling you about yesterday'. As this is using Episodic AM, with reference to event yesterday, involving both him and you.  Which is very different from Semantic AM.

But I wonder if it could be useful, to work directly on Episodic AM ?  

Here's a link to the Article, which can be downloaded for free:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00076/full

This article looks really good! I'm going to have to pour over it. I might have to reread it when I feel better. Yes, this has been my theory, that cause of the deficits in episodic memory are also affecting the dc's ability to retell narratives. Take, for instance, my complete and utter disdain and lack of interest in history. History is either semantic bits (how my ds approaches it, this tank's name was such and such, it could shoot this far, etc.) OR engaging episodic memory of social narratives, people who had feelings and interrelated for reasons. So to me, yes, nurturing episodic memory OUGHT to make the steps of narratives seem more logical, meaningful and connected and lead to a cohesive gestalt.

The RDI interviewer said my ds has *some* basic episodic memory. I think this could be developed more, and I think along with language work it would lead to cohesive, logical narratives that are brief and then expanded. THAT to me makes sense. 

Think about the irony too, that SGM focuses on fictional narratives at the lower level, later adding their non-fiction expansion (which I really like btw, REALLY like), totally neglecting the possibility that ASD students will be very strong in non-fiction narratives and weaker in fictional. Ie. the worker could use the materials and get non-fiction narratives going and then work backward to fiction.

I don't know, I just keep thinking. The whole bandwagon thing, where they just say here's a tool and they neglect to ask whether it reflects any actual experience with autism, any research into autism, really bugs me. I have time here, with my ds, with thoughtfulness, to get somewhere good. 

I definitely need to go watch the NDT videos. That lady at least was working a lot with autism. I think it's striking that someone working with autism a lot more didn't make her tool linear and fill it with abstract symbols. She made the tool flexible, rearrangeable, visualizable (something they could mentally manipulate and rearrange) and grouped logically with color, location, and shape. To me, NDT as a tool feels natural and fits more how I THINK. If you actually care about how the student thinks, if the student is a non-traditional thinker and not going to find any old tool or methodology natural, then that ought to matter. To me there are parts of NDT that are brilliant, like the way she brings in extra bubbles, of the same color, to pair with and develop the main bubble and the ability to write on the bubbles. It's that expansion gig I was talking about, with ability to add dialogue, etc. SGM never seems to care about this, because it wouldn't be a challenge for dyslexic students.

 

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Reading through geodob's article here. They're talking about specificity affecting episodic memory. Maybe that is why it's SO popular to do V/V (verbalizing and visualizing) with these kids? V/V would slow them down and help them build specificity in an episode. Gander Publishing is releasing a history text sequence trying to do precisely that.

And yes, my understanding of history is disturbingly vague, lol. It was on the top of the page, that guy who did such and such won, etc. Nuts, I even give directions like that. (You take the big road out till you hit the exit and go north...) No names, nothing. So I think they're onto something there.

If the mPFC is affected, we ought to be able to target it, to get more development there.

The article explores the *content* of ASD narratives vs. TD. So maybe using books/stories with animals would be a better starting point? And leave out the social thinking? And do more with semantic content (ie. the non-fiction narratives I was talking about)...

Oh my, NOW we're having lightbulb moments... One, it's talking about theory of mind and suggesting working on that could improve AM (autobiographical memory). So fine, let's do that. I got the Practical Games for Theory of Mind from Linguisystems and it looks like the most thorough thing I've seen, very excited. Just too busy to start right now. Maybe soon. I really think it could be lightbulb though and something that could carry over to narratives, sure. 

And then thing two, even BIGGER, the article talks about FUTURE thought and building mental events. On a level, that's so easy to do and so obvious, and yet it's also, in effect, building the narrative. You would pre-mentalize the narrative, live the narrative, then retell the narrative. And that's probably something Lecka's ds is already getting through his ABA, through school. We would call it making hooks. At a more sophisticated level, it's putting a narrative sequence or a moral onto something, like when the teacher says what is the cycle of apostasy with the people of Israel and then you read the story and retell the story onto that backdrop. That wouldn't be an appropriate beginning narrative and would have been inappropriate for a young child, but for LATER, for a student who is ready to ANALYZE, that's appropriate. That's our WTM stages (grammar, dialectic, rhetoric). We don't ask them to analyze when they can't even do the basic skills. Or we do. Some people think you should do all the skill levels at once, lol. But at least we can say those aren't THE SAME.

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The article says language affects AM but that AM issues go beyond language. IE. I can't just work on language and assume the narratives will come. 

Talks about sense of self in oddities of AM. Not sure what in the world you would do about that. Like who cares, differences, are fine, whatever. I don't know, at some point I'm about functional. Maybe I'm not? I just think that sense of self thing is a pit you could wallow in forever. I'm not sure you're going to build that self-awareness a ton, since it seems to be a core deficit. Like saying you wished salmon would swim in dish soap...

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Okay...... I think that how we process events has some effect on how we form memories. 

If as an event occurs, we are attending to certain things and noticing certain things, and putting certain things together, then that is going to be part of what we remember. 

On the other hand, if we aren't attending to certain details and putting things together in a certain way, then that's going to be reflected in what we remember.

So I think the narrative development is teaching this, and then that is reflected in how people remember. 

I think SGM and NDT look extremely similar.  I think they both look great.  I'm not able to see as much with samples for the NDT.  I think they both look excellent. 

Then separately, maybe this is just how my mind works, but to me, a fiction story in which some things happen in a child's life, is going to have more tie-in with personal narratives than non-fiction.  I mean, it could be a non-fiction account of what a child does one day.  There could be a fiction or non-fiction story and both basically be about common childhood events.  But I think that for personal narratives and being able to communicate with other people about things that are important to a child, I see a lot of connection there with reading fiction and working on understanding fiction.  I don't know that it has to be done this way, but I think it's good, and it is more likely to go into the details like: what is the child feeling, what is the child's point of view, that I think are really pertinent. 

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On building self-awareness, I think kids do make improvement, enough improvement to make it be worth the effort. 

Do I think it's going to be amazing?  Probably not.  But enough improvement to be worth the effort -- yes. 

It's totally different but when my older son went from below the tenth percentile into the teens in his motor integration scores, it was huge functional difference for him, it is a huge difference in his everyday life, totally worth it.  But is scoring in the teens still low?  Yes. 

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Sure would be handy if there was a way to target the medial prefrontal cortex with metronome work. I have no clue what I'm talking about, just saying. It ought to work. If we can bump interoception (temporarily) by targeting that part of the brain (mindfulness ,etc.), then we ought to be able to target the mPFC and get more development there. 

I don't know what impact V/V would have. I'm not too hot at it myself. Now that's never stopped me from doing things with my kids that THEY learn how to do, lol. I'm just saying I really don't have a gut sense there of yeah V/V techniques, when more natural to the student, would improve his engagement in episodes. It stands to reason, but I don't know. Again though, if that is a piece that is missing, it's something we could develop BEFORE we go working on oral narratives. It would be a more foundational skill. Well that and I have a person who can actually do it. Since it's not a hot area for me (and the worker isn't very expensive), it's something where I could use the scholarship and get that piece done. It's something I've been tossing around, and I wasn't sure why. I don't know if it would actually help or not.

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6 minutes ago, Lecka said:

...If as an event occurs, we are attending to certain things and noticing certain things, and putting certain things together, then that is going to be part of what we remember. 

On the other hand, if we aren't attending to certain details and putting things together in a certain way, then that's going to be reflected in what we remember.

So I think the narrative development is teaching this, and then that is reflected in how people remember... 

This. Definitely. And nicely, elegantly put. It's just obvious when you say it that way. 

7 minutes ago, Lecka said:

On building self-awareness, I think kids do make improvement, enough improvement to make it be worth the effort. 

Do I think it's going to be amazing?  Probably not.  But enough improvement to be worth the effort -- yes. 

It's totally different but when my older son went from below the tenth percentile into the teens in his motor integration scores, it was huge functional difference for him, it is a huge difference in his everyday life, totally worth it.  But is scoring in the teens still low?  Yes. 

Good point.

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12 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Then separately, maybe this is just how my mind works, but to me, a fiction story in which some things happen in a child's life, is going to have more tie-in with personal narratives than non-fiction.  I mean, it could be a non-fiction account of what a child does one day.  There could be a fiction or non-fiction story and both basically be about common childhood events.  But I think that for personal narratives and being able to communicate with other people about things that are important to a child, I see a lot of connection there with reading fiction and working on understanding fiction.  I don't know that it has to be done this way, but I think it's good, and it is more likely to go into the details like: what is the child feeling, what is the child's point of view, that I think are really pertinent. 

I didn't mean to jump this. I think you're right, but this is the harder win. What I'd like to see is a natural convergence of social thinking and improvement in narrative.

Just extrapolating here, but you could actually have a progression where you merged the Practical Theory of Mind Games and development of narrative. You could do the game for the lesson, build the concept, then generalize it to a narrative. It could work.

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http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/display?itemid=10876

 Here's the link for that book. I haven't started it yet, because it's just not practical to do it on top of the language work we're doing. (FFC, synonyms, main idea/details, etc.) I've got the PTOMG printed out, so I can look through it and see. It uses lots of pictures and fictional stories, so it's a logical thing to extend it to narratives. I don't know. Ds already has the ability to do a chop chop retelling of a book. Like last night, he ran through the plot of a Mercy Watson book while explaining to dh why he shouldn't have to read the print copy. (He had done the audiobook already.) So that was interesting to me, because it told me there are certain components that are there in his narrative ability. Like when it's slower, when the model is repeated many times, when he's engaged, he's at least able to pick out the main points of the plot. He used to do more elaborate narratives, but they were usually scripted (repeating chunks from sources) and with a funky voice. So there's also a lot of gap with what's not happening, but some of the pieces are there. Just to say did you notice there were characters and a setting and plot points and blah blah, I think ds is already there. We've done that stuff.

Well I'll keep thinking. I don't know if that would somehow converge, to merge the PTOMG and narrative or even just lit sources. It could be really charming. Maybe the tm includes book lists and I hadn't noticed them.

That, to me, is the thing. I don't necessarily need more tools. Sometimes I need to do more with what I've already got. After all, narration itself is very simple in some ways and costs nothing. 

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I think to some extent it is better to look at fiction and non-fiction as two separate areas.

Especially for a student who has a strength in non-fiction and a weakness in fiction.

I think honestly to some extent they are just going to be separate areas, and gains in non-fiction aren't going to translate over to gains in fiction too much.

Because of the social content, mainly, but also they have a lot of differences and some of the differences are really hitting autism weaknesses. 

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There is a huge, huge difference between being able to name some things from the story, and being able to talk about them in a coherent way.  I think that is the whole challenge, to some extent. 

I mean, because if he was doing it in a coherent way then he would be doing narratives and story retells/summaries and you wouldn't be looking at this stuff!  It can just take a lot to develop, depending on the kid. 

It sounds like he is already in a really good place in a lot of ways, it doesn't sound to me like ------ go focus on non-fiction and hope it carries over.  Which I'm not sure if that is what you are saying, but it comes across a little that way. 

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As far as blending the narrative development and social thinking..... it is very natural.  I think any of your options would work well that way. 

Just as an example:  https://cdn.flipsnack.com/iframehtml5/embed_https.html?hash=ftiydqw2j&fullscreen=1&startIndex=0&previous_page=true&startPage=1&t=14573740331439481466&bwd=1&pbs=1&v=4.78

This has a forward from the woman from social thinking and saying it ties in.  

But I think there are a lot of ways to tie it in.  

I think it’s definitely good.  To me that is something where I think there is that tie-in more when it is fiction.

But if you went with another method then I think you could still have that tie-in.  This is just an example.  

Edit: the other thing is it ties in with answering open-ended questions, which is huge!  

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The data we have is from the TNL, and I'm not sure what I've gotten from that. It's probably been in the report. I knew we had more foundational stuff to work on. He was 1.5 SD discrepant overall on the TNL, highly discrepant in one half and actually pretty decent on the other. I can dig in on those scores. The ps SLP had said there was "rich data" blah blah. It hits a variety of types. So there was part of the process that was basically within the realm of reasonable for him and part that was horrifically low. The result was enough discrepancy finally to qualify him under language, which is what our state requires. But it wasn't even.

Ok, I pulled it out. TNL hits script-like, personal-like, and fiction story narratives. First round, they are given narratives and answer questions to show comprehension. The test is hitting more than narration. It's also hitting inferences, etc. Remember, by age 9, a TD dc would have all those pieces coming together, where ds might be at different levels for each piece. So for instructional purposes, we're going to separate them and work on components separately. The SLP points out repeatedly that ds' grammatical errors (ie. his inability to handle cognitive load AND form correct sentences) was impacting stories. This is something I'm specifically targeting with my FFC work. 

So for the production half of the test, with the script-like narrative he was given a single reading and expected to narrate. I agree any TD dc his age should have been able to do this admirably, without a ton of issues. What I said was that given repeated readings, he has SOME of the pieces. Ironically, SGM focuses on written sources, where I'm using Listening Comprehension materials from Linguisystems with him right now, which would seem more to target his inability to LISTEN to the source and extract key points (main idea, etc.) without picture supports. 

For the 2nd retelling he was given picture prompts with an oral telling. The results there mirror what I was suggesting with his Mercy Watson summary, that he got the basic plot points but nothing else.

Third telling was creating a fictional story from a picture about aliens. The elements the tester is trying to elicit vary with the tasks (1-3), so in the first task they were looking for basic storyline (characters, actions, details) and dialogue. 2nd task wanted them to highlight consequences and conclusions. 3rd task was the hardest, but he actually succeeded in getting out setting, characters, one factor that motivated an action, one reaction, and one consequence. That's actually pretty good! For him, that's pretty good. But with all the grammar errors and the inability to expand and make it more complex, he was far from age-appropriate. On this tool, that put his narrative production at the 1st percentile, scaled score 3, age equivalent 5-5, while his comprehension of narratives was scaled score 9, percentile 37, age equivalent 8-1.

So when I suggest that ds is just about ready to begin doing WTM-style narrations at the K5 to beginning 1st grade level, that would seem to fit the data. We could make the assumption or leap that working on narratives of oral sources, narratives of books (mixed with pictures and text), and narratives from picture sources would be wise. We can see that he needs significant work on grammar (he failed another test for this), error recognition in speech, and inferences. We could (correctly) take the results to mean he would benefit from more work on working memory to expand his ability to hold his thoughts and process complex things. We could say that he probably already understands basic structures, since he's using them, and that the amount that he's behind (2-3 years) fits what we see of him overall in his development.

The most glaring thing that bugs SLPs is the ties, which I think it's just fixating on something they can quantify rather than digging in on harder stuff. Sure they're useful, but I think there are natural ways to analyze and build this. He's capable of natural-sounding narratives if we do this right. We can analyze for ties within models. We could make color schemes for highlighting text structures. It's not even a problem to do this WITH SGM, but I think it shows where SGM is incomplete, because there's so much more that needs to happen. 

So there, when my gut was saying we were close to being ready to doing WTM-style narratives at a beginning level, I was right. I might not need SGM. I don't know. I'm going to keep thinking. What I'm probably going to do is look at different sources and see what models/approaches will be most flexible to fit the material. SGM has this habit of trying to find material to fit their models. Ds is really cool with highlighters, markers, circling, underlining. These are things he could work with. If I copied a model onto a page and helped him analyze, he might be really good with that. I looked at the symbol stamps for SGM, but I think a highlighter approach might make more sense, since you'd actually be capturing your justifications. It's something you could do on an ipad, though I think the kinesthetic can give good input. It's age-appropriate methodology that we can simplify down. We can analyze text with markers and then take it over to a tool to write, paraphrasing and summarizing as we go. Writing Tales 1, which is too advanced for him right now, and even WT2, has them write complete sentences initially for story outlines and then fade to phrases and then words. IEW begins with words. NDT, you'll notice, has them writing any amount they want, where SGM doesn't provide any language support at all. I think the larger SGM magnets, which include expository btw, would be really good for that kind of work, because we could put the magnets and write complete sentences beside them. If the magnets have a dominant color, that color could be used in the text study/highlighting. 

Once you start doing that kind of study, the weaknesses in SGM become apparent. It's normal to step students through using parts of speech in their writing, adding dialogue to their writing, expanding or even modifying the setting, etc. SGM is pretty stiff. When I'm having to go back and add elements and build it up, that will really bug me to have paid a lot. If I buy just their maps for $15 and make my own story braid, maybe buy their magnets, then I might feel like I got my money's worth.

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Think about the irony too, that SGM focuses on fictional narratives at the lower level, later adding their non-fiction expansion (which I really like btw, REALLY like), totally neglecting the possibility that ASD students will be very strong in non-fiction narratives and weaker in fictional. Ie. the worker could use the materials and get non-fiction narratives going and then work backward to fiction.

 

Without the narrative ability, I think you have to find another way to get non-fiction narratives that are coherent and interesting to someone else, and that's a steep, steep hill to climb. Additionally, non-fiction requires the ability to make generalizations that tie the information TOGETHER, and that is not an autism strength. Generalizing at all can be difficult, and then also generalizing correctly, not just focusing on the wrong bits to generalize is a huge, huge potential problem. Even if you get ties from one fact or even on paragraph to another, the intro and conclusion really form the overarching theme that makes the writing interesting. The intro and conclusion are generalization of information on a grand scale--it means anticipating wh- questions the reader has and answering them without being asked. It means predicting--what is the significance of this information to the reader? It means figuring out what to state directly and how to have the facts build up to it or support it after you've said it. These are all kinds of generalizations that require the writer to have bits and pieces of skills that naturally occur in a narrative. The writer has to pair those skills up with making a generalization. Otherwise, the writing is basically a written version of a monolog on whatever strikes the author's fancy.

Making anything coherent requires tying information together somewhere. For most people, I think the narrative comes first, so it's natural to use that a place to add in the non-fiction stuff. 

Trust me when I say a child can have fairly good skills at presenting relevant facts and saying them well and literally say NOTHING in the paragraph, essay, paper, or conversation as a whole. Like, the audience is just going, "Okay? So what?" I mean, even making bullet points, a table, or a brochure wouldn't take care of this--like, you could make a graphic vs. using words, but the graphic still has to have a coherent organizational point that involves making generalizations about things that naturally appear in narrative (motives, needs, problems, solutions, events, questions, inferences, etc.).  

I think that's maybe where the SGM critical thinking triangle thing comes into play, but I haven't looked at this (or had time to look at this) as extensively as you all have.

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I really hadn't taken the time to read every single line of the samples online for the different manuals, so I'm doing that right now for book 1 of the SGM ASD trio. Observations.

-Prizant says narrative requires cognitive, linguistic, and social to come together. Therefore I don't think it's crazy for me to point out that it's easy to jump to the point the SLPs like to do (social) and gloss the linguistic.

-The Westby quote on narrative is kind of striking in view of Geodob's contribution that differences in episodic memory and brain function make it highly unlikely that's what it's going to do for the ASD individual. Think about it, do mature individuals with ASD, people who've had these interventions, whatever, use narrative this way? Or is the system pursuing something for the sake of saying they pursued something without considering what a natural, complete state for that person is really going to look like? Are we making them crap weak at what they won't ever do well or helping them become better at what they WILL do well? How do more accomplished people with ASD think through their narratives? Is it OK TO THINK DIFFERENTLY? Some people say I use a stream of consciousness and that I go around in circles and spiral until I get to a point. Does it matter? Would forcing me to think a non-natural way improve that? Would I revert right back to the way my brain is meant to think? So what if NT people process their feelings and episodic memory with narratives. Here you have evidence (in geodob's article) that ASD individuals are going to process in another way. I also don't see allowances for gender differences in the SGM materials, even though educators widely comment on them, not as hard and fast lines but just observations. Why not say differences are valid?

**Total backtrack to the chunking. She cites Vygotsky, but actually his ideas would fight AGAINST her chunking approach, because the idea there is to push them BEYOND what they can do and bring it in gypsy-style, paired with a mentor who is modeling, taking turns, doing it with them, taking them farther than they could get to on their own. Also, the chunks seem to go against MGW's own assertion that any 5 yo should be able to do a complete narrative from pictures as part of the dynamic assessment she teaches. In fact, she's SO emphatic about this that she won't standardize the tool, even though many schools want data to qualify students. So if MGW is right and any 5 yo can do all the steps, then when are these SGM chunks occurring developmentally? Now it's got to be in there with some expansion or something, I don't know. They've probably got a qualifier. But I'm just saying, it really makes you think. I like MGW and have gone to multiple of her 3-day workshops, but I'm still allowed to ask questions and think for myself. 

-pg 13--Moreau quote. Ok, this kind of stuff kills me because it has the slow grandmother thing going. Really, we can't think of ANY more ways to approach this or explanations?? ONLY this one modality (narrative analysis with integrated social thinking) is the way to solve a person with autism "not getting life." I wonder what the RDI people think of the development of episodic memory? Think about that. RDI is incredibly tuned into it, and we just haven't had follow-up sessions to find out WHY. Does RDI, ie. working on NON-VERBALS, have a way to build episodic memory, which the research is showing is a key deficit for AM (autobiographical memory)? I mean, that would explain why I'm saying something feels non-natural about it if in fact verbal mediation is NOT the only way to build episodic memory and development of narrative, hmm. RDI would definitely be a powerful tool for helping people slow down and engage with their senses in an environment. That makes sense to me.

I have to go get horizontal. I think it's only bronchitis, not pneumonia, but I'm tired. Remember, I'm just tossing out questions, things I'm thinking about. I've actually got funding to have all these people on my team now, so it's totally reasonable that I want to think about how they fit together. 

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6 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Without the narrative ability, I think you have to find another way to get non-fiction narratives that are coherent and interesting to someone else, and that's a steep, steep hill to climb. Additionally, non-fiction requires the ability to make generalizations that tie the information TOGETHER, and that is not an autism strength. Generalizing at all can be difficult, and then also generalizing correctly, not just focusing on the wrong bits to generalize is a huge, huge potential problem. Even if you get ties from one fact or even on paragraph to another, the intro and conclusion really form the overarching theme that makes the writing interesting. The intro and conclusion are generalization of information on a grand scale--it means anticipating wh- questions the reader has and answering them without being asked. It means predicting--what is the significance of this information to the reader? It means figuring out what to state directly and how to have the facts build up to it or support it after you've said it. These are all kinds of generalizations that require the writer to have bits and pieces of skills that naturally occur in a narrative. The writer has to pair those skills up with making a generalization. Otherwise, the writing is basically a written version of a monolog on whatever strikes the author's fancy.

Making anything coherent requires tying information together somewhere. For most people, I think the narrative comes first, so it's natural to use that a place to add in the non-fiction stuff. 

Trust me when I say a child can have fairly good skills at presenting relevant facts and saying them well and literally say NOTHING in the paragraph, essay, paper, or conversation as a whole. Like, the audience is just going, "Okay? So what?" I mean, even making bullet points, a table, or a brochure wouldn't take care of this--like, you could make a graphic vs. using words, but the graphic still has to have a coherent organizational point that involves making generalizations about things that naturally appear in narrative (motives, needs, problems, solutions, events, questions, inferences, etc.).  

I think that's maybe where the SGM critical thinking triangle thing comes into play, but I haven't looked at this (or had time to look at this) as extensively as you all have.

Is generalization the precise technical word for explaining how bits of information relate? I don't know. I'm just asking. I'm rereading what you wrote. You're saying he can't write a concluding paragraph in an essay? I think what you're saying about lists of text points with no cohesion was what bloggers were commenting about too.

Imagine that, a writer on the spectrum who is in their own world, answering their own questions, not thinking about audience or even caring about what the audience thinks, lol.

If he actually has his OWN questions that he's answering coherently (with logic, with flow), then you could do paired writing activities where you supply the questions the TD person would be thinking as they read. Can he answer your TD question if you give it to him? Can he write a coherent paragraph or brief narrative to answer a question without the intro and concluding paragraphs? (ie. can he argue a simple point like a debate prompt?)

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2 hours ago, Lecka said:

Edit: the other thing is it ties in with answering open-ended questions, which is huge!  

I'm having a blank on what an open-ended question even is. That would be something where you list reasons, like a debate prompt? I was thinking to myself recently that ds is developmentally ready to start arguing and having an opinion. It's a CC3rd grade standard, to give an opinion and your reasons, and I think he's ready to do that. I think it would be possible to address a lot of these analysis issues (social thinking, tie words, etc.) within the context of answering debate prompts or giving opinions. He's definitely ready to be opinionated, lol. Might be about stupidity, but he's ready. 

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22 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Think about it, do mature individuals with ASD, people who've had these interventions, whatever, use narrative this way? Or is the system pursuing something for the sake of saying they pursued something without considering what a natural, complete state for that person is really going to look like? Are we making them crap weak at what they won't ever do well or helping them become better at what they WILL do well? How do more accomplished people with ASD think through their narratives? Is it OK TO THINK DIFFERENTLY? Some people say I use a stream of consciousness and that I go around in circles and spiral until I get to a point. Does it matter? Would forcing me to think a non-natural way improve that? Would I revert right back to the way my brain is meant to think? So what if NT people process their feelings and episodic memory with narratives. Here you have evidence (in geodob's article) that ASD individuals are going to process in another way. I also don't see allowances for gender differences in the SGM materials, even though educators widely comment on them, not as hard and fast lines but just observations. Why not say differences are valid?

1

This is all that I can comment on right now...

I think that how you think now is not necessarily how you would think had you experienced structured intervention as a kid. We don't know how that would play out. For instance, I can't recreate my experience learning math as a kid and project that I would be a mathematician because I learned what was "missing" in my math education as an adult. I can reasonably project that I would have experienced more math success and felt more confident if I'd been taught more effectively.

I think that "the system" is that SLPs and other don't work in a vacuum. They work within funding models and what CC is driving at and do their best to also then construct research, etc. They are often in the middle of a triangle of needs. If they see that narrative language is a vehicle for typical development of other kinds of writing and thinking, they are going to use that development as much as possible because any other approach would be swimming upstream. 

There are a lot of ways in which my natural thinking needs (or needed) to be honed in order to be useful. It's the same with ASD thinking--it's just already more different than my natural thinking. I guess part of the question is whether or not the natural thinking process of people with ASD are entirely evident at this point, and if so, are they something fairly NT people can harness as therapists and teachers more readily (or equally, or less readily) than using the process that is expecting during normal development.

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 I think my comparison would be dyslexia.  They can still find evidence of weak areas with remediated dyslexics.  And yet -- there they are, reading fluently instead of being unable to read. 

I am sure my older son still has the same lower areas that he had when he was 9, on testing, and I think there is stuff to learn from that, as far as researchers.

But yet he also tested in level Z last year and is reading a fat book right now. 

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I want to say this again, that it's not reasonable for them to cite Vygotsky and then not actually use his methodology. He wanted paired mentoring that stretched the dc to do things they couldn't do independently? Where is that in SGM? I doubt it's in there, lol. Now it's in Jeffrey Freed's Right Brain Children in a Left-Brained World sure. But in SGM? Really? I haven't ready everything about V, but I've read just enough to make me think SGM could be stretched in how it's applied. In theory you could get all the way through WWS analysis with SGM materials, yes. In theory. And they would best be implemented with that paired writing, paired narrative work, yes. 

I had a friend who used this book extensively doing paired writing with a student on the spectrum. Paired writing, where either you write together (turn taking) or in parallel (both writing and then trading and editing/critiquing) work well with autism. Think about how many of the SGM skills you could do with paired writing, without ever putting the student on the spot, maybe without ever sliding beads on yarn, lol.

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-100-Days-Student-Centered-Composition/dp/0964904209/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1526407133&sr=8-2&keywords=100+days+of+writing

Moreau's critical thinking triangle is growing on me. I DESPISE it as a visual tool. It means utterly nothing, worthless crap to me. Like seriously, as an opinionated person who can have an opinion, it just communicates nothing to me. BUT I really like how you pull the extra piece out with the separated strand of yarn on the braid. It's stupid and hokey, but that really works for me. But saying the triangle thing out to make sense and help someone think out problems, it doesn't for me. I understand as little after as before. But the motion of the pulling out I liked. I think there's potential there.

And think about what that really means. Moreau just didn't work with a large population of spectrum kids. She has no database of experience to say this is how they'll view it. I can have my opinion, and I say some of it is too linear and doesn't make sense. That's why I like Braidy, btw over the braids, because Braidy puts the development side by side, rather than in linear order. I guess you could say in my brain they're all that muddled. And maybe that would be a good inductive exercise, for the older student to CONCLUDE for themselves there tends to be this order, kwim? But to FOIST it on their brains is really artificial. It's not proven in my mind. I need to see it work in the context of retelling real, legit sources. But ooo, induction, another method not mentioned? Or maybe it is? Maybe not. Sure would be age-appropriate. Sure would be something on my mind, like how do I help the student start to see the patterns to organize their patternless brain... Real patterns in real writing aren't going to look like those braids.

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