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PeterPan

Narrative language in autism

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         Is That a Fact?: Teaching Nonfiction Writing, K-3       Maybe this would interest you? Can't remember if I shared it here or not. I just got it after reading an article where someone mentioned it. There's a lot out there on narrative elements and some on how to parallel that with expository writing. I was hoping this book might flesh that out.

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With thinking about it, it’s not exactly reading comprehension, but more language processing.

Reading/listening is working out wonderfully for his language processing.  He can listen much more.  He can connect things with a larger amount of things to keep track of.  I am not seeing him tune out language like he used to.  

Language processing is definitely a worthwhile high priority for him.  

So it is definitely beneficial and worthwhile, but it might not be accurate to say reading comprehension.  It’s more listening and being able to handle hearing a lot of words, and being able to organize them, and being able to have some thoughts about them.  

I think he does think with words now, but I don’t think he has been doing it for a very long time, and it is a way to slow down and let him have a chance to think.  

There’s also a part of it where if it’s hard, then he has to want to make the effort.  He will make the effort when he is sitting with me and he likes the book.  

It is more natural now for him to automatically listen and attend when there is talking.  It’s a lot better.  But it’s still a little like “maybe he will listen, maybe he will tune it out.”  

I think it does really help to build a habit of listening.  I want it to be automatic for him to listen.  It’s not yet, but it is so much better.  I think it is a key thing for how engaged he is.  

I do think ————— there is a problem for others who work for him..... if they do too much that is listening, maybe a lot of kids are tuning out the language or just not attending to it.  Maybe my son is here and there.  That is definitely not a productive way to spend time.  

I have a lot more ability to be aware and adjust to how he is attending.  

When there is an obvious response, it’s a lot easier to tell if kids are engaged in learning, or if they are just sitting there.  

 

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I am fortunate to have good coordination between the special education teacher and ABA.  

Those are the main people working with him.  That is just the way it is.  

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My big issue with FC is — they seem to think kids are always attending.  They don’t seem to think there is that attending step.  

I think they put kids into environments where they just aren’t attending very much, and assume they are attending.

I have seen too much of a lack of attending to think it is good to universally say “just assume your kid is attending.”  

Like — how is my son supposed to soak up language just by being there, if he isn’t attending to the language that is being used?  It just doesn’t make sense.

 

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And for ds, listening and attending came before actual comprehension and wasn't a guarantee of comprehension. For him it meant he was taking it all in and memorizing. Then they take those goals (ABA, SLP) and connect all those scattered, memorized bits and turn them into something explicit and organized that has meaning. 

The most beautiful part of RPM (aside from the issues) is the high amount of interaction the kids get. I think that's really strong. There's joint attention and the dc is getting interaction and feels the love, and I really think that counts for a lot. When people are enthusiastic, I think that's why, that it gave them a way to interact meaningful with someone who was really hard to connect with. I'm on a rabbit trail here, but I'm just saying that's what I see in the videos of it, a lot of love. And if the person isn't going to have original language (like say RPM is FC and it doesn't pass double-blind tests), STILL the kid is getting a lot of love. I think that part really shows and is strong, because people need to be interacted with and loved.

Our OT, the one we just started back with, had done things like having a session where they had to WRITE everything. It was really fun and pushed ds in a good way. And I'm just thinking out loud here about how we could use that.

Ds had a nice day today. He got a new kind of playing cards in his stocking, and he's getting really good at shuffling. He had been a little stressed, so he invited people to play Rummy with him for a break, which gave him a chance to show of his shuffling skills too! It was really good. That's a case where the intentional skill we taught him (playing cards) is paying off. They were really surprised how good he was, but I'm like hey he's probably played 300-500 hands with me, lol. I haven't counted, but we've played Rummy a LOT working on that skill. My dad plays penny poker, but I'm holding off on that, lol.

And that ties back to LA, because there's a thing I have in the back of my mind but haven't thought about a lot, that I think we will want to focus our skills on what gets him somewhere. Like probably writing research papers ISN'T gonna be a high priority for us. But there are narrative and expository writing skills that are applicable to life or that reflect conversation skills we want him to have. It goes back to your point that we're not going to get it ALL. That's what I'm thinking about. Like if we're working on narrative structures, we're improving his ability to tell an entertaining tale about where he went or what he did, which enriches his life. So there's a lot of real life application there and enrichment value in doing some of the tasks. Some of it is safety, but there's also quality of life.

I also have this side thought that ds could get into military history, haha. That would be a STRETCH, but you never know! He inhales Teaching Company (Great Courses) lectures on history and has a lot of opinions about them, lol. Maybe I could milk that more, hmm.

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On 12/25/2018 at 9:39 AM, Lecka said:

It’s more listening and being able to handle hearing a lot of words, and being able to organize them, and being able to have some thoughts about them.  

I think he does think with words now, but I don’t think he has been doing it for a very long time, and it is a way to slow down and let him have a chance to think.  

There’s also a part of it where if it’s hard, then he has to want to make the effort.  He will make the effort when he is sitting with me and he likes the book.  

It is more natural now for him to automatically listen and attend when there is talking.  It’s a lot better.  But it’s still a little like “maybe he will listen, maybe he will tune it out.”  

I think it does really help to build a habit of listening.  I want it to be automatic for him to listen.  It’s not yet, but it is so much better.  I think it is a key thing for how engaged he is.  

I do think ————— there is a problem for others who work for him..... if they do too much that is listening, maybe a lot of kids are tuning out the language or just not attending to it.  Maybe my son is here and there.  That is definitely not a productive way to spend time.  

I have a lot more ability to be aware and adjust to how he is attending.  

When there is an obvious response, it’s a lot easier to tell if kids are engaged in learning, or if they are just sitting there.  

Have you had updated auditory processing testing with him? Or do you remember which areas of auditory processing were difficult for him? This is very much like my kid with CAPD in many ways. If someone speaks at about 75% of the normal rate of speech, he processes just fine.

OTOH, my kiddo with ASD doesn't organize language enough, but he had no issues taking it in. He can hear a lot of words as long as he's not multi-tasking. 

Both of my kids have issues with working memory, which can affect this too--it's several standard deviations below their other cognitive scores. But the "too many words" and needing time specifically to process is really very CAPD-like.

I think that if your son is doing well with the language work he's done, but it's still hard to attend when it's "too much," it could be the CAPD piece creeping up. Maybe your various therapists would have some ideas for how to help that out. At the very least, when he's doing his most challenging work, you might ask them to reduce their speaking rate to see if that helps. That's a very common accommodation for CAPD.

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I have scores for TAPS-3 (test of auditory processing skills).  But I’m looking at it and I’m pretty sure it’s not possible to tell from it what is processing or what is comprehension.  It makes it hard to know.  

At this point he is able to repeat something that was said, in a way that shows he is listening and can remember what was said, without being able to respond in a way that shows he understands.  That makes it seem more like comprehension to me.

He does have fatigue at times, though this is much, much less than it used to be.  But I don’t know exactly why he is fatigued, if it’s too much mental strain or too many words.  I think this is not really an issue right now as far as what is expected of him.  Aka — he can listen to the children’s lesson in church fine, but not a 4th-grade-level social studies lesson.   But he’s not in 4th-grade-level social studies lessons, so that isn’t expected of him.  But by age — he is behind that way.  But I think it’s already accounted for.  He seems to be doing great with verbal directions in gymnastics too, this year, better than last year... but he is in a quieter class this year and other children are better-behaved, and both of those make a difference for him.  So it is still hard to know if that would go down again if the kids changed.  

 

 

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I agree that when you dig in some of the tests are testing overlapping areas. 

The comprehension and language demands in SS and social studies are not the same. 

The repeating is interesting, because there's data correlating ability to repeat sentences and the person's language. So it's not only the working memory (which I realized) but also their language holding back their ability to repeat a phrase/sentence/verse. 

There's data on bilingual populations showing more difficulty processing the *2nd* less family language in noise than the 1st/more familiar.

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11 hours ago, PeterPan said:

There's data on bilingual populations showing more difficulty processing the *2nd* less family language in noise than the 1st/more familiar.

I have heard similar, but I heard it in regard to rate of speech--that they do best with hearing speech at about 75% the rate of normal speech. That might be for fairly fluent learners vs. bilingual speakers though. I have no link for it--it was part of a conversation.

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It's a new study on bilingual speaker comprehension in noise in L1 vs. L2. They were talking about it on one of the SLP lists. Found the link 07_1846_Borsetto.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2Hb8X6OZ

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And just for your pleasure, another study looking at whether non-speech recognition in noise tests line up with results from speech in noise tests. It looks like it goes back to the point some of the SLPs are making, that it's a language disability, because they can't get the same results using non-speech. And I'm not saying nothing is happening or that's easy to figure out, because difficulty/fatigue with speech in noise is why dd is wearing her ABLEKids filter. I'm just saying we're being sold a line on what is happening. If it's only happening with language, not non-speech, then it's a language processing issue, not an auditory processing issue. In dd's case, she knows she has reflexes not integrated, and that's her problem to deal with. We also know that kids get language jumps when they get their reflexes integrated. Dd was struggling even to tolerate the exercises to do them because her system is so sensitive.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021992417301466?dgcid=author

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23 hours ago, PeterPan said:

And just for your pleasure, another study looking at whether non-speech recognition in noise tests line up with results from speech in noise tests. It looks like it goes back to the point some of the SLPs are making, that it's a language disability, because they can't get the same results using non-speech. And I'm not saying nothing is happening or that's easy to figure out, because difficulty/fatigue with speech in noise is why dd is wearing her ABLEKids filter. I'm just saying we're being sold a line on what is happening. If it's only happening with language, not non-speech, then it's a language processing issue, not an auditory processing issue. In dd's case, she knows she has reflexes not integrated, and that's her problem to deal with. We also know that kids get language jumps when they get their reflexes integrated. Dd was struggling even to tolerate the exercises to do them because her system is so sensitive.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021992417301466?dgcid=author

That's interesting. My son's speech in noise is MUCH better after VT, but I doubt we'll ever have complete reflex integration. He's a hot mess, and no one really cares to look much deeper than they have. I think the before and after VT with speech in noise change would show up on the SCAN 3 though. It was shocking how much it changed in terms of real-life impact. I don't think it's wishful thinking for us--we weren't expecting VT to do anything for his ability to hear speech in noise, so it's not like we were looking for that as a result. We just noticed it, quite dramatically. 

The article does mention that time compressed sentences do show a modest correlation, and that is what he has the most trouble with. The SCAN 3 results we have from my son's first set of testing does indicate that the screening is consistent with language issues--it doesn't say, "This means he has CAPD." It's a screening that means, "Dig here." (And my CAPD kiddo did finally get a dyslexia diagnosis in his last round of psych testing.) Lots of people think that auditory processing and dyslexia are two sides of the same coin. Dyslexia is an SLD...really it goes in circles, and I think there should be more cooperation in solving the problem at this point. I think if an FM system helps a child, even if the hearing test doesn't show a "need," perhaps they need to investigate why, lol! I feel like the experts are more interested in being right or precise than in helping the people who have issues. It shouldn't be an either/or. It should be a both/and. 

I would be interested in seeing if the CANS lesion information is relevant to language learning. The study seems to indicate that certain SCAN 3 deficits are directly related to lesions of the CANS. Are those CANS lesions directly related to language issues (broadly defined)?

I guess I like the idea that they are looking for answers, but in the meantime, how about some clarity on supporting learners while they are sorting this stuff out, lol! 

 

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