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PeterPan

Narrative language in autism

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Also I have seen kids make gains, and I have seen kids make gains after doing certain things.  It is real!  It is just as real as with any other type of therapy that people do! 

For open-ended questions, those are questions that could have a different answer.  They aren't questions where the answer will be the same every time.  They aren't usually questions where you can google the answer or find it written somewhere if it is a question about reading/listening.  It's something where you have to figure out what to say. 

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8 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

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?)

One definition (from Warriner's Grammar and Comp) is that "a generalization is a universal statement about a whole group of people, events, objects, places, or ideas." They also say that an incorrect generalization is a fallacy. I know people IRL (diagnosed, undiagnosed, people who grew up with a parent on the spectrum) who have trouble with this skill, and it creates a LOT of interpersonal problems. Lots. It gets people fired from jobs--focusing on the irrelevant details (under-generalizing) or applying the generlization incorrectly (not just a fallacy but over-application to "all the time" vs. "in these three circumstances only"), which I would call over-generalizing. So there are wrong generalizations (fallacies), missed applications (oops, you missed it entirely) and misapplication (whoa, I don't want you to give that freebie to ALL of our customers!). 

I would also assert that generalizations can be made verbally, non-verbally (through visual logic), and at the word, phrase, sentence, and maybe even other levels. I think it's very related to FFC. I think there are both concrete and abstract generalizations you can make for all those mediums and levels. (I have no data on this except what I see happening with my son and others.)

I would have to unpack the rest, but my sense is a resounding NO. 

I would argue as well that not all ASD people are in their own world not caring about the audience. I don't think that is true across the board. My son is certainly not like that. He deeply cares about communicating with his audience and doing, saying, and contributing the same kinds of things that NT want to (though not necessarily in writing, lol!).

Most of the intervention you are looking at and we're debating pair some kind of writing, sorting, thinking activity with questions that typically developing people ask when they read, write, talk, etc. And I would say his ability to do this is limited. Also, a paragraph still requires an intro and conclusion to be coherent--it's called a topic sentence, lol! It's just a question of scale.

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8 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

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.

Having not read Vygotsky, I would say that his paired mentoring approach has turned my son into a student who gives an "illusion of competence" while being nearly hopelessly lost. The spots where he's stuck are ripe for intervention and seem to be at least partly targeted by the very stuff we're debating, lol! 

I have no problem with you having an opinion, but in terms of "how does kbutton respons to all of this," I think your opinion is getting all tangled up in your being annoyed that the experts haven't formed a coherent whole in a way that makes you happy. I can't really speak to all of that, lol! Just in case I come across snippy or something, I thought I'd say that.

There are lots of ways to skin a cat. You might find a better one. I don't know that the "best" way is best for everyone or that everyone needs a new way to skin a cat. 

As for the patterns--some people learn patterns linearly and some non-linearly. Dierdre Lovecky says that 2e ASD kiddos need the big picture and the linear. So, you might be trying to reconcile two different things that need unfold in your child's brain as two different things in order to be effective. 

I think that reasoning skills vary from individual to individual. Non-verbal testing shows that my son's logic skills (inductive, deductive, abstract, the whole enchilada) are literally off the charts (like he maxes out the tests), but when you put that into language? Severe discrepancies and outright disabilities that are extremely difficult to categorize but come down to not having the skills we're debating. 

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31 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

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? 

 

That would be one kind of open-ended question. Others...

  • Any wh- question, particularly the more abstract you get. I asked my son the other day what he liked about a specific experience. He said it was an open-ended question, and he couldn't answer it, lol! Obviously some wh- questions have a one-word cut and dry answer, but many do not.
  • Any short or long answer prompt that isn't multiple choice, fill-in-the blank, etc. 
  • Anything introspective
  • Anything like, "Describe the grammar of this sentence." 

Basically, I take open-ended to mean not a one-word answer and being something that requires the answerer to pick and choose facts and string them together with some kind of cohesion (often one that requires a generalization).

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2 minutes ago, kbutton said:

That would be one kind of open-ended question. Others...

  • Any wh- question, particularly the more abstract you get. I asked my son the other day what he liked about a specific experience. He said it was an open-ended question, and he couldn't answer it, lol! Obviously some wh- questions have a one-word cut and dry answer, but many do not.
  • Any short or long answer prompt that isn't multiple choice, fill-in-the blank, etc. 
  • Anything introspective
  • Anything like, "Describe the grammar of this sentence." 

Basically, I take open-ended to mean not a one-word answer and being something that requires the answerer to pick and choose facts and string them together with some kind of cohesion (often one that requires a generalization).

Lecka's answer was much better than mine.

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9 minutes ago, kbutton said:

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 received typical school instruction (structured writing, 5 point essays, blah blah) and was in mainstream or gifted classes at all times. I went to a school for the gifted for the last few years, which is probably why some of my mental funkiness went unnoticed, and I didn't need to write a lot of papers in college for my major. Essentially, whatever differences there are didn't matter. Once I read Faulker and realized other people thought like me (haha), I sort of moved on with life. 

I consider myself eminently qualified to have the personal opinion that teaching formulaic writing does not mature the thinking of the person or promote clear thinking; it only develops adherence to formulas.  I consider ADHD and ASD probably very close to each other in thinking (non-linear), so I decided to teach my dd exclusively in a non-linear fashion. We'll see how that works out with ds, but that is why I'm so adamant about not using RIGIDLY linear instruction methods. I think the tools have a place but need to be used flexibly.

14 minutes ago, kbutton said:

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. 

What that means in our case is they make narrative language goals keyed to 3rd grade even though he has the expressive language skill of a K5er. It means they don't back up and build FOUNDATION, because they have to march forward, no matter what. At our IEP meetings, when I ask about grade adjustments, they're of the you're already customized, we don't adjust, once he starts high school credits you have 4 years (which shouldn't be legal, because our state does DE for free beginning in 7th), etc. Ie. those goals are going to march on and there are limits to what they're going to try to do. There are no limits to ME, but those goals aren't necessarily going to reflect what *I* think needs to be done. So yes narrative needs to be worked on but they'll jump to keep him moving forward. They're not going to go backward indefinitely.

17 minutes ago, kbutton said:

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.

THIS is the most poignant thing you've said. 

I don't have a lot of answers yet, and I don't think any answers I do ever have will mean they're the answers for someone else. Obviously, yes, his thought process is evident. That's why he's driving you bonkers. Obviously there's a mismatch between what you want to have happen and what he's ready to make happen. With your thing about the questions, I wondered what would happen if  you pulled the text into Inspiration. I wondered what would happen if you made bubbles for the questions and built out from there. I wondered what would happen if you did it as paired writing. Not even necessarily together, but tag team, like I take it then you take it, like chess separate rooms, email. I wondered what would happen if you let him put HIS questions in and you put YOUR questions in. I wondered what would happen if you reduced the social thinking component or dropped the complexity of the task any time there was a social thinking component. I wondered what would happen if you dropped the length of the assignment. (one paragraph, one oral argument, vs. an essay). I'm HUGE fan of Inspiration. It's non-linear and flexible.

Maybe you'd get inspired if you read Freed? I don't know, I read widely. What works for me or seems ok to me doesn't have to suit you. You might look for what CAN work. Like if you work together (Vygotsky, paired, gypsy style), taking turns or working in parallel, on something that DOES work, then you'd be back to your success point and ready to move forward. I read blogs by people on the spectrum sometimes. I particularly like the technical ones, because they don't mince words and get right to the point. I enjoy conversing with highly intelligent people on the spectrum because, yes, they're sort of right there. There's none of this beating around the bush stuff and they just THINK. But yeah, call it Faulkner, call it what you want. I'm saying if people have PhDs and they still think like that, at some point it's a move on. At some point we don't care. Make sure he can get out what he REALLY NEEDS to get out. Make sure he can tell people, with supports, why he really hates xyz or wants to do xyz. That's useful. Chitchat doesn't follow the full SGM braid. Chitchat is useful. In chitchat you say something coherent, one of those 6 second things they talk about in SGM. I really, really like that. The 6 second gig and understanding a main idea and how things pull together are actually intertwined. If you are working on the 6 second thing, it MIGHT feed into that concluding paragraph you wanted. I don't know, that just occurred to me. They might have done that with their maps.

I wonder if Thememaker can be used as a starting point, skipping SGM entirely? That would be interesting.  I think it would be possible to go directly to Thememaker and ODS. That would be expository writing. MW does have a close reading book. I wonder if something you're attempting needs those strategies? I don't know. Obviously it does no good suggest strategies for basic tasks if you're needing strategies for more complex tasks.

I think what may happen with my ds is that we improve our narratives but that he remains behind his peers. That's my guess. I don't think failing the test means NOTHING we were doing was working or that we weren't moving forward. I'm not sure the goal or reality is being caught up with peers if he is, realistic, 2-3 years behind developmentally. That wouldn't be a reasonable expectation. 

You might read blogs written by a variety of people on the spectrum and see what bugs you about them. I enjoy technical blogs by people on the spectrum but seldom read (and basically can't stomach) their personal narratives. You might notice traits or patterns that you would then see in your ds. You might go ok this is the genre of writing where I want to put our effort. I'm not sure it accomplishes much to be constantly behind on writing weakness areas and not develop an area of strength. For high IQ kids, it stands to reason, at least to me, that they ought to have an area of strength that could be nurtured.

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35 minutes ago, Lecka said:

 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. 

Yup, my goal is only to go FORWARD, not to hit the school's goals. If we happen to hit them, fine. However we're going to do what I think is important and what I think is the next step and what I think pulls together his developmental readiness and his next language steps. 

And yes, the flip side of that is I think he's likely to continue to be behind on the TNL. The real thing in my mind is whether I should make effort to teach to the TNL areas, or whether I should go more broad. Think about that. I taught to the test by using the GPP before the CELF, and then they used that to deny me. So there's a sense in which I can let the test categories and content inform me, but I really need to be teaching across a wide range of contexts and modalities, naturalistically. Otherwise, I'd just put those areas on a spread sheet and nail 'em, bam. Then we'd be lamenting that he could narrate with picture prompts but not LIFE. It has to go wider.

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I think it does go wider.  I have seen gains in everyday language from this kind of thing, for sure.  Definitely.  The good kinds of gains, the ones that make him happier. 

I don't really care if they are going to lessen his core symptoms or not, that is a pretty nit-picky thing to look at.  If you just looked at, can he communicate more and more easily, then that is an easy yes.  

I think too, if you want to work on a sentence level, then maybe a narrative program doesn't have everything you want because you want some sentence stuff.  I do think that is the kind of thing a language therapist could be helpful with. 

 

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33 minutes ago, kbutton said:

One definition (from Warriner's Grammar and Comp) is that "a generalization is a universal statement about a whole group of people, events, objects, places, or ideas." They also say that an incorrect generalization is a fallacy...

I would also assert that generalizations can be made verbally, non-verbally (through visual logic), and at the word, phrase, sentence, and maybe even other levels. I think it's very related to FFC. I think there are both concrete and abstract generalizations you can make for all those mediums and levels. (I have no data on this except what I see happening with my son and others.)

I would have to unpack the rest, but my sense is a resounding NO. 

EXACTLY. This is why I'm doing FFC work with him, because I'm trying to help ds think more clearly and be able to express those discriminations with oral language. The workbooks then combine types, go into exclusions, hit synonyms and antonyms, etc. It seems like all that is logically, cognitively, developing the ability to analysis of field of bits and express how they go together or don't.

37 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I would argue as well that not all ASD people are in their own world not caring about the audience. I don't think that is true across the board. My son is certainly not like that. He deeply cares about communicating with his audience and doing, saying, and contributing the same kinds of things that NT want to (though not necessarily in writing, lol!).

That's funny, because you were just saying he wasn't anticipating the questions of the reader... Maybe I'm being overly precise here, but not taking someone's perspective does not mean you're not socially motivated or not a nice person. He can be socially motivated and a wonderful person (which he is!) and still have social thinking deficits, skill deficits. 

I don't know, keep working on it. Me, when I'm stumped and not getting the answers I need, I go back and challenge my assumptions. 

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44 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Most of the intervention you are looking at and we're debating pair some kind of writing, sorting, thinking activity with questions that typically developing people ask when they read, write, talk, etc. And I would say his ability to do this is limited. Also, a paragraph still requires an intro and conclusion to be coherent--it's called a topic sentence, lol! It's just a question of scale.

SWB says not to teach paragraphs that way. See, right back to my thing of how far can we get if we challenge assumptions. What if you don't teach paragraphs that way? There ARE more ways to teach paragraphing and more ways mature writers form paragraphs. 

So yeah, if his ability to do that with a brief thing (a question, a debate prompt, a limited source) is hampered, then you're not looking to move on to multi-source writing or longer works. Now I think you could build them, sure. You could take a model and build paragraphs out of it, tackle it a bit at a time, sure. I wouldn't, but you can.

Has he done anything for chit-chat? How is his chit-chat? I really think SGM is onto something with their 6 second sentences for conversation repair. Think about that ability to use multiple phrases to encapsulate the MAIN POINT of an idea. One sentence like that, built with proficiency, could change his life! I'm really excited about how the oral language and conversation programs can merge. I see us ping-ponging, because conversation is the natural way to build skills that you then formalize into writing.

 

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40 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Having not read Vygotsky, I would say that his paired mentoring approach has turned my son into a student who gives an "illusion of competence" while being nearly hopelessly lost. The spots where he's stuck are ripe for intervention and seem to be at least partly targeted by the very stuff we're debating, lol! 

... I think your opinion is getting all tangled up in your being annoyed that the experts haven't formed a coherent whole in a way that makes you happy.

...I don't know that the "best" way is best for everyone or that everyone needs a new way to skin a cat. 

As for the patterns--some people learn patterns linearly and some non-linearly. Dierdre Lovecky says that 2e ASD kiddos need the big picture and the linear. So, you might be trying to reconcile two different things that need unfold in your child's brain as two different things in order to be effective. 

I think that reasoning skills vary from individual to individual. Non-verbal testing shows that my son's logic skills (inductive, deductive, abstract, the whole enchilada) are literally off the charts (like he maxes out the tests), but when you put that into language? Severe discrepancies and outright disabilities that are extremely difficult to categorize but come down to not having the skills we're debating. 

Yup, that's it pretty much. I'm annoyed with them selling programs without making sure they grappled with all the details. Oh well, as you say, they've evolved and materials are evolving.

At this point, I'd probably take any method that actually left me with a nice, stuffed, functional, pettable cat that I actually want to be around. If it leaves me with some scraggly, Chinese crested cat, I'm not gonna be happy no matter WHO has endorsed him. 

And you do realize YOU are the reason I keep thinking about this stuff so hard, right? You're the only person talking 2E ASD around here most of the time, and I see this pitfalls. I just haven't got a clue how to avoid them. So like when you say ok, he can't summarize his points for a useful conclusion, that really is significant to me. And figuring out whether that's a summarizing problem or a what problem really matters.

Haha, Lovecky strikes again! So we'll see. Both NDT and SGM are basically linear, and obviously I was content for years with linear. Who knows, no clue. We'll just see. I think I more want flexibility, that the tool can be rearranged and adapt to more complex presentations. 

My dd had this funny moment, years ago, when outlining Muse magazine articles where she goes "Mom, it's like they just restated everything when they got here to the end!" For her, outlining, analysis inductively got her there. Doing it aloud could help develop words for that. I have NO CLUE if that could work. 

On the paired work, isn't the challenge there that at some point it has to become independent? Like I wonder if they had benchmarks and were able to measure progress relative to himself? And were supports being faded so the task was independent as new tasks were added? That would be a really odd teaching method if they only worked in pairs and never moved anything to independent. That 100 Days of Writing workbook I linked would have things that were done independently and traded to critique. It's actually in the instructions.

Mercifully, I only have to solve my OWN child's problems, lol. Once I do, I will graduate him and move on to a quiet life of crochet and charity I hope. Never would I want to do this for someone else, because it's mind-boggling enough with one.

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45 minutes ago, kbutton said:

That would be one kind of open-ended question. Others...

  • Any wh- question, particularly the more abstract you get. I asked my son the other day what he liked about a specific experience. He said it was an open-ended question, and he couldn't answer it, lol! Obviously some wh- questions have a one-word cut and dry answer, but many do not.
  • Any short or long answer prompt that isn't multiple choice, fill-in-the blank, etc. 
  • Anything introspective
  • Anything like, "Describe the grammar of this sentence." 

Basically, I take open-ended to mean not a one-word answer and being something that requires the answerer to pick and choose facts and string them together with some kind of cohesion (often one that requires a generalization).

Just thinking out loud here. I wonder how much of this is addressed in the CMC conversation kit? Some of that is chit chat. Some is harder (anything with academics, explaining your answer).

But you notice what we're saying here, that his actual needs start at the 1-2 sentence level, not the paragraph level...

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32 minutes ago, Lecka said:

I think it does go wider.  I have seen gains in everyday language from this kind of thing, for sure.  Definitely.  The good kinds of gains, the ones that make him happier. 

I don't really care if they are going to lessen his core symptoms or not, that is a pretty nit-picky thing to look at.  If you just looked at, can he communicate more and more easily, then that is an easy yes.  

I think too, if you want to work on a sentence level, then maybe a narrative program doesn't have everything you want because you want some sentence stuff.  I do think that is the kind of thing a language therapist could be helpful with. 

 

Oh see for a minute here I thought maybe Kbutton was saying this about her writing program and writing tutor! Like wouldn't that be the natural outflow? 

Yes, I am much more focused on building strong sentence level expression that he can use in conversation and letting that build, over time, into narratives. I think it's a natural flow. I don't know. It still haunts me that narratives are step 21 in the VBA list, not early at all. They are the outflow of everything else.

Kbutton, if you missed this, I really appreciate that you fingered my annoyance. I think I just hadn't figured out what I was feeling. I am annoyed, but I'm ready to move on from that and accept some imperfection, lol. I can be cool with that.

We'll see. I have to drive significantly to get to any therapy, and I'm not going to keep him in the car for long distances and ruin his summer for things that I can do efficiently and pleasantly at home. If it's going well, and if what I'm attempting is getting done and making progress, then we have no issue. To spend 2 hours a day on the road during summer the best months for outdoor play and swimming, makes NO SENSE if I can do this work with him myself. We already spend almost 5 hours on the road in one long day, and we're committed to some other long trips. Like you, I need to create balance, a plan that gives him a good LIFE. I'm really enjoying doing this sentence level and grammar work myself. It's a total strength for me. I took tons of linguistics classes and TESOL classes in college, so this is just natural and intuitive for me.

Besides, using my current approach, I'm able to push him through material, from beginning stages to generalization, that would take significant time, possibly 6 months or more, using traditional once a week therapy. We're having fun and we're banging it out and making progress. There is no issue. Our progress shows that he had *capabilities* that were yet untapped. That's a VBA/Greer term. He was ready and we just swooped in and said let's get there. I can't decide what he's ready for, but I can give him all he's ready for. He would actually be held back to wait for a traditional, once a week SLP to do it.

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E, if his IEP goals aren’t accurate then I think that is a problem.  Everyone you show his IEP to is going to go off of his IEP.

I’m not surprised if the speech therapist doesn’t work with him, that she doesn’t have a clear idea.

But it could be a reason to have someone on your team who can write and submit appropriate goals.  

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I wonder if the reason I'm so persistently drawn to Braidy (vs. SGM) is that my brain figured out it would be conducive to shorter narrative discourse? In the lesson scope and sequence, it looks like they tackle one element at a time using a variety of books and methods. So if they're spending multiple days on say setting or description, then I can see where that would be very good for my student. It would allow for briefer bits of speech and have more repetition built in. 

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6 minutes ago, Lecka said:

E, if his IEP goals aren’t accurate then I think that is a problem.  Everyone you show his IEP to is going to go off of his IEP.

I’m not surprised if the speech therapist doesn’t work with him, that she doesn’t have a clear idea.

But it could be a reason to have someone on your team who can write and submit appropriate goals.  

Nah, it's a mix. For academics we talked them through. I could have paid an IS to write goals and I didn't want to spend the cash. The SLP goals were written by the ps SLP, even though the private SLP who worked with him several sessions gave her own goals. The ps SLP is a very nice person but she's forced to be jack of all trades, trying to deal with SO many situations. Her goals are vague/general because that's what they would be in their school. The private provider then amends the goals, puts her own, and that's how she reports to the state. So it all works out, but that's why it seems odd. 

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

And you do realize YOU are the reason I keep thinking about this stuff so hard, right? You're the only person talking 2E ASD around here most of the time, and I see this pitfalls. I just haven't got a clue how to avoid them. So like when you say ok, he can't summarize his points for a useful conclusion, that really is significant to me. And figuring out whether that's a summarizing problem or a what problem really matters.

Haha, Lovecky strikes again! So we'll see. Both NDT and SGM are basically linear, and obviously I was content for years with linear. Who knows, no clue. We'll just see. I think I more want flexibility, that the tool can be rearranged and adapt to more complex presentations. 

My dd had this funny moment, years ago, when outlining Muse magazine articles where she goes "Mom, it's like they just restated everything when they got here to the end!" For her, outlining, analysis inductively got her there. Doing it aloud could help develop words for that. I have NO CLUE if that could work. 

On the paired work, isn't the challenge there that at some point it has to become independent? Like I wonder if they had benchmarks and were able to measure progress relative to himself? And were supports being faded so the task was independent as new tasks were added? That would be a really odd teaching method if they only worked in pairs and never moved anything to independent. That 100 Days of Writing workbook I linked would have things that were done independently and traded to critique. It's actually in the instructions.

Mercifully, I only have to solve my OWN child's problems, lol. Once I do, I will graduate him and move on to a quiet life of crochet and charity I hope. Never would I want to do this for someone else, because it's mind-boggling enough with one.

2

Lol, don't blame it on me!!! I take no responsibility! :-) Seriously, I feel like Lecka helps me see where even though there are 2e elements to this, there is WHOLE BUNCH of strait up autism messing with things. Tons. 

I don't think that the summarizing points for a conclusion is just one thing. I think generalization is at the heart of it, and summarizing builds on generalizing. But, he's good with words, sentences, and paragraphs, just not at making a POINT with all of it. I mean, he can talk all around it, but it's like playing a game of hot and cold, and while a more typical child would know when they are hot or cold, he just doesn't. And he doesn't know that because he needs more help with the whole thing--what's in a plot, how do the wh- questions fit it, what about making inferences, etc. I mean, he'll even express a problem or question as a list of loosely connected ideas and leave us to guess what the central problem is. When we see it, he's relieved, but he can't just say, "This is the problem." He has to say all the things it is not and give a bunch of tangential clues. 

I think that something can be linear and flexible, but that I am not good at making linear things flexible. Therapists are. It's just that linear means that the steps depend on one another and build. A non-linear thinker still needs all those same pieces, they can just handle getting them out of order if they are given the big picture first. A more linear thinker needs to see all the pieces to realize there is a whole. Both kinds of learners need to understand that the whole is more than just the sum of the parts, and I think my kiddo is missing that crucial piece because he needs smaller pieces (whereas my other 2e kid who doesn't have ASD needs extra pieces for certain things that are specific difficulties, but overall does not need so much broken down). I think that 2e kids on the spectrum see the big picture by going back and forth between the pieces and the big picture and asking, "Is this still true?" I think they have to make a ton of 1:1 correspondences. Then they have to take each item and pair them up with all of the other items and see if it all still works. That can happen in various ways, but if we don't realize it's needed, we skip over it. My son seemed like he got stuff, but then the wheels fell off. I think we don't realize these kids need MORE PIECES, and therefore, more matching up of ideas. We naturally make a generalization and follow it from word to sentence to thought to paragraph (or whatever), but they have to see if it's still true when they add more words, more context, etc. Like, if they make a word-level generalization (like a label for a category), they need to see if it's still true when they tweak it. And then they need to make it into phrases, thoughts, sentences, etc. They need to see that the whole is MORE than the sum of the parts. It's how the parts relate, and does the relationship stay constant.

The independence, at least for my son, comes because he hasn't internalized some kind of reliable matching process, and he hasn't quite seen all the relationships because they weren't broken down when he needed them. So all of his connections are tenuous. It's like having more than one possible problem for a specific glitch--one thing could be wrong or multiple things can be wrong, but you have to follow some kind of problem-solving process to figure out what's broken. A linear process (with those extra steps) gives my son that stability. A less linear process might get there, but it can lead to a lot of wrong conclusions on the way that have to be ruled out. 

The independence has not been a failure of not designing a good way to remove supports. It was more about getting false positives. It's like my son has learned some good skills but he's unsure which ones are good. So, he never knows if his success is repeatable. Since he also doesn't have a brain wide "search and replace" mechanism for unhelpful strategies, he has to match up all those new strategies to all of those pieces, both ruling in and ruling out what works. But if he's successful, and it seems like he can do xyz, then support is faded, but really, we find out that he needed x1, x2, y1, y3, z4, z5, etc. and a roadmap of how they all work together. Stuff is just missing, and the success was a false positive or particularly good circumstances that didn't trip him up.

 

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You could do your own thing this summer, Peter Pan, and then pick up with therapist in the fall or next scholarship quarter--it might help you solidify some things through trial and error. There is nothing wrong with wanting a summer. You don't have to "solve" all your concerns to just say, "let's let this unfold more slowly." You can just say, "I want a summer of not driving."

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2 hours ago, kbutton said:

You could do your own thing this summer, Peter Pan, and then pick up with therapist in the fall or next scholarship quarter--it might help you solidify some things through trial and error. There is nothing wrong with wanting a summer. You don't have to "solve" all your concerns to just say, "let's let this unfold more slowly." You can just say, "I want a summer of not driving."

Our summer is over as soon as the SLP on maternity leave returns and the social skills groups begin, sigh. We're already pretty heavily booked, with 3 days a week driving to things. 

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The current edition of Scientific American Mind, has an article on Episodic Memory.  Which looks at its use in past and future thinking. (Retrospective and Prospective).

As an example, we might think of a list of things to get? Next time we go past the local hardware store.  The list is then stored in our past EM, and going past the hardware store, is stored in our future EM.  So that Episodic Memory, is used for a combination of Past and Future Thinking. 

But you might like to have a look at an article on ASD and Episodic Memory?   Where it defines the primary elements involved, as "Scene Construction" and 'Self Projection".

With Scene Construction, this isn't just visual. But also includes; sounds, smells, thoughts, feelings, etc.  The whole experience.

Then Self Projection, involves projecting oneself into the Past or Future Episodic Memory.

Here's a link to the article:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3906795/pdf/neu_28_1_55.pdf

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That is interesting!  I didn’t know there was so much to memory.

I want to back up some.... story structure isn’t something I remember ever learning at school, it was new to me when my kids went to school.  

So — for kindergarten where we used to live, they would look for some understanding of story structure for students beginning K.  My older son had a teacher who was very rude to me and imply I didn’t do anything with him at home bc his reading difficulties, but then she would say “well, but I can tell he has been read to at home, because he does have a good understanding of story structure.”  So to some extent this is something they expect kids to pick up just by being read to, with no instruction.  

Then I would see some graphic organizers, but I didn’t really see where they were going with it, until I saw a mystery one.

So for a mystery, for a children’s book, any mystery is going to have things like a crime or mystery, a detective or someone trying to solve the mystery, some way they look for clues, some clues that are found, and then solving the mystery.  

That is the most obvious one to me.  

Then the idea is that if you know about the things that go along with a mystery, you are mentally, on some level, checking off things as they happen, like “oh, that is the mystery, I wonder what happened, and “oh, this is a clue, I wonder how it will fit with the other clues.”  

Then that is supposed to help with reading comprehension.  

So I think there is a structure that we are used to, and we tend to use it and expect others to use it.  It makes it easier to understand.  And then that is just how it is done.  We can’t really argue that there isn’t some basic structure that exists and is used.  

I think it’s like handwriting.  People learn different ways to form letters and different styles, and at first everybody’s letters look pretty similar.  But pretty quickly kids go on to develop their own handwriting.

But at the same time we are going to have an easier time reading handwriting that conforms to  a range of handwriting that a range of people can easily read.  

I think it’s like handwriting too, some kids are going to pick up letter formation easily and with little formal instruction.  Some kids are going to need a lot of instruction and still have a hard time.  

 

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6 hours ago, geodob said:

The current edition of Scientific American Mind, has an article on Episodic Memory.  Which looks at its use in past and future thinking. (Retrospective and Prospective).

As an example, we might think of a list of things to get? Next time we go past the local hardware store.  The list is then stored in our past EM, and going past the hardware store, is stored in our future EM.  So that Episodic Memory, is used for a combination of Past and Future Thinking. 

But you might like to have a look at an article on ASD and Episodic Memory?   Where it defines the primary elements involved, as "Scene Construction" and 'Self Projection".

With Scene Construction, this isn't just visual. But also includes; sounds, smells, thoughts, feelings, etc.  The whole experience.

Then Self Projection, involves projecting oneself into the Past or Future Episodic Memory.

Here's a link to the article:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3906795/pdf/neu_28_1_55.pdf

That is amazing! I'll go read more on it. I ordered a Verbalizing and Visualizing tm on ebay, and it's trying to do what you're saying, getting them to visualize a scene that has all the senses (movement, sound, color, mood, count, perspective, etc.) to improve retelling. I think being able to visualize it and then talk about it (image to words, words to mental imagery) may be the gap or at least a helpful piece. Worth a try. V/V is very popular around here for people working with autism and disabilities. You see it on provider shelves a lot that it's getting used. I think it makes more sense than saying it's a cognitive gap, that he just doesn't know who the characters were or something.

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It can tie in really well with learning about the 5 senses also.  We had a thing where we made little booklets about places we went and what we would hear, feel, smell, see, and taste.  He had a cute one for Dairy Queen.  We also found out he said a lot of places were noisy, which was interesting.  

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So on the most basic level, if you do exercises with visualization, you are stimulating the hippocampus, yes? Like you're actually stimulating a part of the brain. And whether the actual work of V/V improves the retellings or whether it just builds pathways in that part of the brain that lets the tellings improve, either way it could be an explanation why V/V could work. If tellings require episodic memory and that happens in the hippocampus, then ANYTHING that stimulates the hippocampus would bump that.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9662134

Googlefu says yes.

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I did finally sort things out in my mind. I'm ordering parts (not the whole) of the Talkies kit from LMB/Gander Publishing. It's the precursor to V/V and intended for expressive language issues in autism. It spends more time at the word level, where Verbalizing and Visualizing goes from word imagery to sentences to paragraphs more quickly. I think the Talkies steps, where the go concrete to images and do it both ways (images to words, words to images) will work for him. Their components break down the process of putting words to an image. So where ds is struggling to look at a picture and say what is going on in the picture, Talkies spends a lot of time on that, totally developing it. They build those pictures into sequences, so by the end the person with language deficits is narrating a sequence of pictures, which is the basic thing ds has struggled to do. So I feel comfortable I've found a system that finally encapsulates what I said was going on with ds for narratives. 

Once we get that foundation, then we'll go forward into V/V to extend it into more complex sentences and paragraphs. I think at that point he'll be ready to use the new Imagine History series from Gander, so I'm ordering those as well. They're on a bundle sale through May. 

I'm still working through that last video we linked from SGM, the 1:30 minute video. It has technical issues the first 30 minutes but then really picks up. They're finally answering my questions, so if you just fastforward to the 30 min point and start watching it would be worth your time. I'm VERY glad I'm watching it and I'm now much more confident that it is a useful methodology. The potential I thought I saw there for extending to expository writing IS there and has been fleshed out. They're basically walking you through Thememaker and all their logic. Good stuff. And their more advanced book, Oral Discourse, would be the follow-up and more equivalent to WWS or high school writing. Thememaker though is a really good starting point. Given that they have a 20% coupon right now, it's hard to decide what to order and what to wait on for winter sales.

The maps of SGM and how they flesh the concepts out are really good. I think my issue was needing to back up farther due to language deficits. I'm pretty satisfied I'm going to be able to solve those with Talkies, so I feel comfortable going forward. We should be able to go from Talkies to V/V to SGM strategies, I would think. Maybe I'll think there's a middle stage? Even outlining could, in theory, be done with SGM (umbrella term, I really mean Thememaker) strategies blended with Inspiration software. We just had the language deficits to deal with.

Even if you don't want Talkies/V/V, you still might look at their Structure Words approach. I guess you could think of them as equivalent to EET, but not really. They sell structure word boards that are basically strips with the terms. This kind of thinking and the need for it seems missing from SGM, which makes sense when you remember SGM was developed for dyslexics, not people with significant language issues. 

Here's a link. http://ganderpublishing.com/product/talkies-structure-word-board-set-of-3.asp

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http://www.islha.org/Resources/Documents/Sweeney storytelling - FINAL.pdf

Found this pdf, which has a helpful listing of books, apps, etc. on narrative language and building narratives. Some is stuff we've talked about before and some was new to me. 

I went ahead and ordered Conversations with Conjunctions: Assessment and Activities for Oral Language from that list. 

I need to start bringing in some work on grammar with ds. He's not hearing issues with noun verb agreement, and they are especially apparent when he's answering questions and needs to use an understood construction. So if the question asks with a plural or in the past tense, then the speaker ought to tweak their answer to be in the plural or past tense. That's a pretty complex thing, transformations like that, so for now I'm just helping him realize what the implied sentences were and helping him hear it. I usually try to have him answer with complete sentences for the worksheets, but it's interesting for some of these to realize he can't get a typical one word correct answer either. Just to have a conversation with him, you don't realize the issues are there. There has to be cognitive load or something more complex, but then it shows up. 

The V/V manual came today. The Talkies manual should come later in the week. I'm going to have to be more well before I can do much with those. Obviously I'm itching to read and get started. I thought I had read about people getting by with scant supplies for V/V, but I think for ds having more of the tools (easel books, talking cards for Talkies, etc.) would be helpful. I think it will serve him well to go through the steps. I'm really excited to see whether visualization can do anything for increasing his episodic memory and his ability to narrate. It really might. It makes sense to me and can't HURT. And when I look around Gander, I'm seeing stuff that really fits him, like I'm finally in a place that is thinking like he's thinking, where he's the market. 

I'm excited about the Conversations with Conjunctions book. I got some cute things from Super Duper, like the fish pictures kit. I was thinking it would be easy to build sentences with them, which would merge with the CwC book, score. Having constructions like that in his repertoire should make getting narratives out a lot easier, I would think. Building sentences with active verbs definitely has made a difference in his speech. Now we're working on attributes, which I think should be transformative as well. I have a bunch of things for attributes, so it's just going to be a bit tedious getting through them. He knows it's hard, so he has to have help (short chunks, etc.). He's doing pretty well though. I'm really just getting started with the attributes, and I figured it might take 2 weeks. We'll see. He's going so quickly, maybe we can nail it in one, dunno. But think about it. How do you describe a setting for a story if you can't use attributes comfortably, naturally, easily?? You can't. And I think many kids would just slide into that, where he benefits from some work on it.

I feel silly in a way, building everything ELSE besides narratives, when narratives seemed to be the thing the school and SLPs were freaky about. However, language, the ability to make the sentences, is where it's at. With no language, there is no narrative.

Oh, there were some StoryMaking books on that pdf, and they were going into the idea of retelling stories with repeated elements. I thought it was a really important point. The books used to be sold by (SuperDuper, I forget) and are now oop. The titles weren't all top run books and they weren't things you'd necessarily have lying around or be able to find at the library, which is probably why the books were let go by the publisher. But the IDEA seemed really spot on to me. It fits with our culture's tradition of using stories like The Three Little Pigs or The Billy Goats Gruff, stories that have repeated elements. This link https://beautyinthemess.com/50-repetitive-books-for-children-with-apraxia-of-speech/ had a list of books that would be commonly available that had repeated elements. I definitely want to do that, as we pull our language elements together and begin working on narratives. I think if he's scoring like a 5 yo for narrative production, then let's do the narratives you'd expect a 5 yo to do, with those levels of support. (pictures, repeated elements, etc.)

In the meantime, what I'm seeing is his personal narratives are improving. Like if he just comes in the house and tells me what he did outside (something dreadful, like throwing pop-its all over to scare the cat...), it will have active verbs and make a picture of the story in my mind. He's still reverting back to sounds at the end, where his language isn't adequate, but still he got enough sentences out that what he did made sense.

I found this book that I think I might use as a middle of the road option for grammar. It's not as abstract as another series I have, and it follows a format we're used to from other Linguisystems materials. http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/display?itemid=10036  It's called Help for Grammar. It lets them circle answers, which can be good for him when I'm trying to build concepts and not wear him out with expressive work. 

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I think it's great you are finding resources that are targeting specific needs!

I would assume that what you are working on will form a basis for narratives, but I would not necessarily assume you won't hit other potholes later on, basically. There are so many things that my son didn't struggle with (and even now can do up to a point), but somehow it still didn't add up to form a cohesive whole picture that he can take into abstract levels of writing and thinking that involve language. I am looking more at the Making Connections book on SGM. 

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Kbutton, my V/V and Talkies manuals came today, and I'm over the moon about them. You'll laugh, but they're hitting that idea of kids who can't pull things into a whole, can't get out a narrative, can't do any higher order thinking with it.

Right now, the SPARC materials are really kicking ds' butt. We're doing the SPARC Attributes book, and it's so deceptively potent, I'm gonna plunk out for the SPARC Grammar and SPARC Concepts books. Then I think I'm even gonna do their SPARC Routines maybe. I think it will be a good way to work on narrative language of everyday events. There's also a No Glamour Sentence Structure book I'm going to get that forms sentences, picture by picture. I think it will bust through, once and for all, his misunderstanding of language only as gestalt and not as the pieces, because it's doing the opposite, building pieces into the whole. 

So yeah, I have no illusions that anything will work well, lol. Right now my theory is more come at it so many ways that maybe something will help. Could be utterly ineffective, but I doubt it. At worst it's not cost efficient. The actual work is fine, no matter what, because he's using more language and happy. 

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2 hours ago, kbutton said:

I think it's great you are finding resources that are targeting specific needs!

I would assume that what you are working on will form a basis for narratives, but I would not necessarily assume you won't hit other potholes later on, basically. There are so many things that my son didn't struggle with (and even now can do up to a point), but somehow it still didn't add up to form a cohesive whole picture that he can take into abstract levels of writing and thinking that involve language. I am looking more at the Making Connections book on SGM. 

I wanted to go into this a bit more. What I'm seeing in the materials I'm buying is a really intentional effort, now that I'm finally into this serious a level of intervention, to build the teeny tiny steps of narratives. So like in this SPARC book we're building definitions, bit by bit. We're looking at 4 pictures connected by arrows and the therapist points to them as she says something like "A radish (points to radish) is a vegetable (points to the basket of vegetables) that is red (points to radish beside a red crayon) that grows underground (picture of radish showing roots and a line for the ground." It's BRILLIANT. It's way more complex language than my ds has been using, but they just taught so many skills with that one exercise! They just broke a thought or narrative bit down into a sequence of pictures to track. They just built a visual expression of what it means to write a definition or to have a definition or read a definition. It's so foundational and it's forward thinking. They're clearly thinking ok, next thing for this kid, we're going to want him to be able to do xyz, so let's plant the seeds now. I finally am getting in that loop where that level is happening.

The SPARC for Grammar book is the same way and the No Glamour Sentence Structure. They're going to merge with the talking with imagery work in the Talkies and V/V programs. It all merges and flows. Each piece is giving him a bit more language, a bit more experience with working with that dual encoding (what V/V calls it) of the language and the imagery, so we can get back and forth. I think it's why the episodic memory is important, because it's a sensory experience that creates imagery they can draw from and put into language. V/V has this line about needing the imagery, needing to be able to put the imagery into words, needing to be able to THINK about the image, needing to be able to get out your thoughts. That's the progression from a memory to language to higher order to written. And I think they're right. I don't think they're the only piece, but still for where ds, it's part of the piece. I don't even think he necessarily is bunk at visualization. We'll see. I think he may be good at it. But he's bunk at the language piece of getting it into words, lol. That will be the value for him.

I have no clue how that would translate into anything to help a 14 yo. Ds is 9 so backing up like this seems reasonable. Ds has wicked poor language scores, so it was an appropriate place to back up to. It's literally super hard for him to say these things, even with the visuals, like "A radish and a potato are alike because they both grow underground." That's HARD for him. But he's doing it. I like what making the effort to think about the pieces is doing for his brain. I think it's like when you said that he finally figured out people weren't trees. I think he's figuring out that things have parts and attributes and that he could notice them. And I go back to my mantra, but all the SGM in the world won't change if he can't even describe things, can't say things. He has to have the language. This was definitely the right point to back up to for us. I don't know yours. Just this was ours.

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11 minutes ago, Lecka said:

It might help his behavior, too.  

Oh ABSOLUTELY language issues underly his behavior, yes, yes, yes. It's why I was in utter revulsion when a school we visited this year wanted RESTRAINT to be their grand and glorious, solves everything, great and ultimate tool. Mind control. Not actually solving the disability in a kid who this year FAILED multiple language tests including expressive language grammatical forms AND narrative language. Nope, if he can't get out his problem, he should shut up, suck up, comply, or be restrained. And imagine that, I wasn't on board with that.

Now that same school can be on the table when these language issues are better, sure. But that to me was just eyebrow raising. And I didn't have data, only my mother gut. But when I work with him, yes he's right to mumbling and needing breaks as soon as it's hard. And he sort of has this wish that things wouldn't be hard, which isn't realistic. And I'll say I know this is hard, and he's like no you don't, lol. Clearly I don't. I don't have apraxia. I'm sorry it's hard. And we use it as ways to work on advocating for breaks. Lots and lots of breaks, because that's what he hasn't been able to say. Oh, I was supposed to make signal cards and I didn't!!!!!!!! My bad. My total bad. Whoops.

Ok, so let's get brilliant. I need break signal cards. The SLP, somebody suggested they could be just a red (stop), or they could be more like Zones where he's self-monitoring and showing green, flip to yellow, flip to red. But really, with the language work, he goes in short spurts. It's hard for him. I don't push him for long sessions like you would in a therapy setting, because it's just too hard. I have him going maybe 3-5 minutes at the most right now. If the pages are easy for him, he can do more. But once we're cranked up making sentences like "A potato and a carrot are alike because they both grow underground" well that just is maxing him out FAST. Four of those and he's TOAST. So we're just working on taking a deep breath, using our strategies (heavy work, bring in a frog to look at, etc.) and getting through it.

I think it was a bit of a long day, lol. But I'm really psyched. The SPARC book is crazy challenging in a way I didn't anticipate. Like you really don't look at the samples and go oh yeah let's give some autistic kids meltdowns today! LOL I think the No Glamour Sentence Structure will be easier. I try to have easier pages and harder pages to alternate, to keep it from being all one way or another. We just got off a bit because I was sick. This SPARC book has 16 units, so we're doing 2 a day, which is pretty challenging. It's good for him, but it's challenging.

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22 minutes ago, Lecka said:

It might help his behavior, too.  

That's actually what got me going on more grammar today. I'm DESPERATE to get him more able to use prepositions and locations. He can't answer where something is!!!!! And it turns out the answer is this SPARC for Concepts book. Seriously. Like I've been to how many SLPs saying please help me, my ds can't tell me where something is, and they don't seem to know what to do. Well it's right there in the SPARC book, the very stuff I took them workbook pages from math saying he can't do, stuff I was saying he couldn't say in real life. It's right there. It's called "concepts" apparently in the SLP world. It's stuff like saying something is over, under, taller, shorter, etc. Concepts. And now I've got a SPARC book for it.

This is why I wasn't willing to sit around and wait for SLPs. He needs WAY MORE than one hour a week to make any progress, and I've been to SO MANY already and never ever ever gotten any who were digging in at the level and giving me the level of answers I'm finding now. But think about it. I'm willing to pay $38 for an ebook I'm going to use 2 weeks. They would need 20-40 weeks to get through the same workbook at one therapy session a week. Who would want that? Who would pay for that? It makes total sense the way I'm doing it, with me banging it out. 

This happened with other stuff like phone numbers too. I told so many people I was worried because he couldn't say his phone number, got no traction. Turns out it's on major developmental forms you fill out for psychs. There's just a lot these people don't know. They know what they know. I don't have to know everybody's problems. I only have to solve MY ds' problems. And for me, it's more expedient for me to spend $38-60 a week and buy enough speech materials to do 20+ hours of therapy with him myself than it is to pay someone double that and only get one hour. And I can make sure he's at his best and rested and working hard. It's just way more efficient.

This stuff just blows my mind. I just keep digging. We've not at all maxed him out. I was worried that maybe working on language only was a mistake right now. We're not doing math, science, geography, nothing. Instead, it's like this huge epiphany for him. He wakes up smiling and happy and he's using more language and more complex language and blossoming. It's really exciting for me. I thought about bringing in a little math, but really he just seems happy. I think we're just gonna keep focused and keep banging on language the next few weeks till the train ends. Once our SLP returns who does PROMPT, sigh, everything will slow down. He'll be too tired to work this hard. 

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3 hours ago, kbutton said:

I think it's great you are finding resources that are targeting specific needs!

I would assume that what you are working on will form a basis for narratives, but I would not necessarily assume you won't hit other potholes later on, basically. There are so many things that my son didn't struggle with (and even now can do up to a point), but somehow it still didn't add up to form a cohesive whole picture that he can take into abstract levels of writing and thinking that involve language. I am looking more at the Making Connections book on SGM. 

V/V tries to address this.

It's really interesting in a way, because you've got SGM saying let's go at it cognitively. You've got V/V saying it's an autism thing not to visualize and be able to get it into language. I doubt it's any one piece. I'm thinking all the pieces need to come together. V/V does have grade leveled stuff. I don't know. The language deficits are a big deal. I don't think I have as high aspirations as you though. Like I don't see us ever writing anything that resembles what you seem to think of as a high school paper. I just don't expect it. If his mind gets there, fine. It's just not on my worry list at all. I want him to be able to self-advocate, be safe, given an opinion, maybe have something resembling a reciprocal conversation. If we get that far by the end of high school, I'm done, graduate him, Thank you Jesus. That's it. That's my whole vision.

So yeah, when my goals are so low, I have lots of leeway to say hey let's back up and narrate from pictures of daily routines and retell stories from picture books with repeated elements. I'm not trying to go very far with him honestly. If he happens to, fine, but I don't see it. 

The trouble with intervention the way I do it is that I always think I'm so virtuous. I don't know how he'll look back on it 10 years from now or where it will have gotten us to. He may say thank you mother, you worked so hard and I got to this point where I could do xyz (get out my thoughts, blah blah). Or he may just say thanks for nothing, thanks for the years of torture, lol. I don't know. That's my philosophical rabbit trail here. I mean, I have a 19 yo now and I know that happens, that they're going to look back. But I'm trying to unlock SOMETHING for him. Whatever CAN be unlocked, I'm trying to unlock. And I'm unlocking it the only way I know how. I didn't have anyone offering to do it this thoroughly, at this level. And maybe we'll go fast enough and intensely enough that it will be a speed bump in his memory and forgotten, much like Barton or anything else. That's what I'm hoping. Cuz we're being kinda rough and blazing about it.

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

V/V tries to address this.

It's really interesting in a way, because you've got SGM saying let's go at it cognitively. You've got V/V saying it's an autism thing not to visualize and be able to get it into language. I doubt it's any one piece. I'm thinking all the pieces need to come together. V/V does have grade leveled stuff. I don't know. The language deficits are a big deal. I don't think I have as high aspirations as you though. Like I don't see us ever writing anything that resembles what you seem to think of as a high school paper. I just don't expect it. If his mind gets there, fine. It's just not on my worry list at all. I want him to be able to self-advocate, be safe, given an opinion, maybe have something resembling a reciprocal conversation. If we get that far by the end of high school, I'm done, graduate him, Thank you Jesus. That's it. That's my whole vision.

So yeah, when my goals are so low, I have lots of leeway to say hey let's back up and narrate from pictures of daily routines and retell stories from picture books with repeated elements. I'm not trying to go very far with him honestly. If he happens to, fine, but I don't see it. 

The trouble with intervention the way I do it is that I always think I'm so virtuous. I don't know how he'll look back on it 10 years from now or where it will have gotten us to. He may say thank you mother, you worked so hard and I got to this point where I could do xyz (get out my thoughts, blah blah). Or he may just say thanks for nothing, thanks for the years of torture, lol. I don't know. That's my philosophical rabbit trail here. I mean, I have a 19 yo now and I know that happens, that they're going to look back. But I'm trying to unlock SOMETHING for him. Whatever CAN be unlocked, I'm trying to unlock. And I'm unlocking it the only way I know how. I didn't have anyone offering to do it this thoroughly, at this level. And maybe we'll go fast enough and intensely enough that it will be a speed bump in his memory and forgotten, much like Barton or anything else. That's what I'm hoping. Cuz we're being kinda rough and blazing about it.

That makes tons of sense--I thought from some of your previous posts that maybe you were thinking this would build automatically into high school level work (and it may naturally flow into something really amazing since you are seeing clear issues and clear responses to therapy).

Really, this and the last three posts sound fantastic! I am so glad you are figuring this all out. 

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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

But once we're cranked up making sentences like "A potato and a carrot are alike because they both grow underground" well that just is maxing him out FAST. Four of those and he's TOAST. So we're just working on taking a deep breath, using our strategies (heavy work, bring in a frog to look at, etc.) and getting through it.

 

 

 

4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I wanted to go into this a bit more. What I'm seeing in the materials I'm buying is a really intentional effort, now that I'm finally into this serious a level of intervention, to build the teeny tiny steps of narratives. So like in this SPARC book we're building definitions, bit by bit. We're looking at 4 pictures connected by arrows and the therapist points to them as she says something like "A radish (points to radish) is a vegetable (points to the basket of vegetables) that is red (points to radish beside a red crayon) that grows underground (picture of radish showing roots and a line for the ground." It's BRILLIANT. It's way more complex language than my ds has been using, but they just taught so many skills with that one exercise! They just broke a thought or narrative bit down into a sequence of pictures to track. They just built a visual expression of what it means to write a definition or to have a definition or read a definition. It's so foundational and it's forward thinking. They're clearly thinking ok, next thing for this kid, we're going to want him to be able to do xyz, so let's plant the seeds now. I finally am getting in that loop where that level is happening.

The SPARC for Grammar book is the same way and the No Glamour Sentence Structure. They're going to merge with the talking with imagery work in the Talkies and V/V programs. It all merges and flows. Each piece is giving him a bit more language, a bit more experience with working with that dual encoding (what V/V calls it) of the language and the imagery, so we can get back and forth. I think it's why the episodic memory is important, because it's a sensory experience that creates imagery they can draw from and put into language. V/V has this line about needing the imagery, needing to be able to put the imagery into words, needing to be able to THINK about the image, needing to be able to get out your thoughts. That's the progression from a memory to language to higher order to written. And I think they're right. I don't think they're the only piece, but still for where ds, it's part of the piece. I don't even think he necessarily is bunk at visualization. We'll see. I think he may be good at it. But he's bunk at the language piece of getting it into words, lol. That will be the value for him.

I have no clue how that would translate into anything to help a 14 yo. Ds is 9 so backing up like this seems reasonable. Ds has wicked poor language scores, so it was an appropriate place to back up to. It's literally super hard for him to say these things, even with the visuals, like "A radish and a potato are alike because they both grow underground." That's HARD for him. But he's doing it. I like what making the effort to think about the pieces is doing for his brain. I think it's like when you said that he finally figured out people weren't trees. I think he's figuring out that things have parts and attributes and that he could notice them. And I go back to my mantra, but all the SGM in the world won't change if he can't even describe things, can't say things. He has to have the language. This was definitely the right point to back up to for us. I don't know yours. Just this was ours.

6

Interesting---we're trying to find a way to use the EET tool to make definitions very similar to this, but for more abstract things. We are pretty certain that is one of our breakdowns...like my son knows it, but it's not obvious to him that he can say that. And we think that could lead into making generalizations. My son can definitely find commonalities, which form the basis for generalizations, but we still can't find the breakdown. It's someplace past where the materials we've seen are targeting efforts. It's frustrating, lol! 

It's interesting to see what you are figuring out and see how I can extend that into new ideas for our situation (as Lecka has helped with also).

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5 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Kbutton, my V/V and Talkies manuals came today, and I'm over the moon about them. You'll laugh, but they're hitting that idea of kids who can't pull things into a whole, can't get out a narrative, can't do any higher order thinking with it.

Right now, the SPARC materials are really kicking ds' butt. We're doing the SPARC Attributes book, and it's so deceptively potent, I'm gonna plunk out for the SPARC Grammar and SPARC Concepts books. Then I think I'm even gonna do their SPARC Routines maybe. I think it will be a good way to work on narrative language of everyday events. There's also a No Glamour Sentence Structure book I'm going to get that forms sentences, picture by picture. I think it will bust through, once and for all, his misunderstanding of language only as gestalt and not as the pieces, because it's doing the opposite, building pieces into the whole. 

So yeah, I have no illusions that anything will work well, lol. Right now my theory is more come at it so many ways that maybe something will help. Could be utterly ineffective, but I doubt it. At worst it's not cost efficient. The actual work is fine, no matter what, because he's using more language and happy. 

Somehow I didn't see this with the other posts.

I don't think what you are doing is ineffective--it's obviously a big help. I just want to caution that sometimes things become more evident over time, and there might be a sort of "transition" to another kind of thinking that has to take place. My son didn't seem like he was going to have any issues at all with that, and he doesn't have the additional difficulties of apraxia or of "detectable" (for lack of a better word) expressive and receptive issues. I think that everything you are doing is important and a base for future progress, for sure.

Basically, I was afraid from some of what you've said that you would fix this and fix that, and then it would all be smooth sailing. Your more recent posts are much more specific and sound very promising. I think you were making broader statements at one point that I was interpreting very differently. 

I am super glad to hear that he is happier with this work! That's HUGE. Congratulations!

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22 minutes ago, kbutton said:

 

 

Interesting---we're trying to find a way to use the EET tool to make definitions very similar to this, but for more abstract things. We are pretty certain that is one of our breakdowns...like my son knows it, but it's not obvious to him that he can say that. And we think that could lead into making generalizations. My son can definitely find commonalities, which form the basis for generalizations, but we still can't find the breakdown. It's someplace past where the materials we've seen are targeting efforts. It's frustrating, lol! 

It's interesting to see what you are figuring out and see how I can extend that into new ideas for our situation (as Lecka has helped with also).

V/V has their 12 or whatever points for expansion/description.

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Somehow in all this ds has started journaling! It's actually really cute. My father sent ds a pad of paper, pens, etc. for his b-day last fall, and in the last bit he has started journaling on his own, just a bit each day. I'm thinking by fall he might be ready to do some kind of writing from prompts like the Jump-In prompts. This writing he's doing is by hand, his own thoughts. I think maybe with the prompts we'd use tech. That's what his IEP says, that he has a scribe or tech for anything a sentence or longer. But just the fact that he now has some communicative intent with anything written is interesting and the fact that he's attempting to hand write is interesting. I've been pretty reserved about it, because it didn't seem like pushing (with the ABA workers) had gotten us anywhere.

And yes, on the how this flows into high school writing, OF COURSE I see it. I taught a dc through high school, a dc who could do this work. She's home banging out more papers in fact for a summer class. I know where this stuff is going. I also know he is who he is and he is where he is, and there's not going to be any forcing out or compelling what isn't there or isn't ready. We're just going to gently keep building skills and seeing what happens. He may surprise us. He now has something to say and he's saying it with is own little personal journal writings. People would probably be aghast, because it's simple stuff like "Day 2, Sick boy." But still, he is communicating in print of his own free will. We'll just let it build and put the pieces in place.

It's easier for me to build clear thinking than it is to force output. That's the thing. The output will happen as it's ready. Thinking is sort of separate. I like the work we're doing (and he likes it), because it makes him think. And thinking is thinking whether it's FFC or latin or math or brain teasers or whatever.

I read the beginning and the end of the Talkies manual tonight, and I'm pleased. They very end has an appendix that runs through all the steps in outline form for Talkies. I need to go through V/V, but I'm hoping it has the same thing. If it does, we're seriously in business. I'm having this total mind sync with Talkies right now (I think?) because where they're going is what I'm wanting. So at this point I just need to read the manual to see how flexible it is, whether I really need their specific cards to do the steps or if I can just use any old things I have lying around, dunno. But the goals themselves are spot on for ds. It's weird, because they want to say that if your scores are such and such to go directly to V/V. But for ds, I think his issues are too mixed. He's not doing those things because they're too hard. He might not be as severely severely non-verbal as some of the kids Talkies was meant for, but I still think that addressing it at that level first will help. And if the manual is right, it could be fascinating. They're saying interaction, all sorts of other things should bump. I don't know, but it could be really interesting. I'm fascinated to think what could happen if he could actually use his language and describe the way the sample child in the book does. That would be amazing. It would make him sound much more typical and appropriate. Right now, he's all verbs and harshness.

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40 minutes ago, kbutton said:

 

 

Interesting---we're trying to find a way to use the EET tool to make definitions very similar to this, but for more abstract things. We are pretty certain that is one of our breakdowns...like my son knows it, but it's not obvious to him that he can say that. And we think that could lead into making generalizations. My son can definitely find commonalities, which form the basis for generalizations, but we still can't find the breakdown. It's someplace past where the materials we've seen are targeting efforts. It's frustrating, lol! 

It's interesting to see what you are figuring out and see how I can extend that into new ideas for our situation (as Lecka has helped with also).

Yes, I would consider what we're doing the way around the block, take an extended time, let's see if we can do this the hard way, approach to EET, lol. I looked at it, and EET tries to hit in short order stuff I'm using tons of materials for. But I think ds needed that. He is needing a lot, LOT of repetition and overlap to get this language comfortable to where it can come out. We'll see. Maybe it still won't come out, lol. Attributes may kill us. They're such a huge topic, with so many ways to go, and the materials just seem unending. I mean we've got these 16 SPARC units, the 100% vocabulary, some Spotlight workbooks, blah blah, and then when all that is done we still need to begin Talkies stuff! I doubt it will really come to fruition in language till we move it over to Talkies. We'll see. Maybe one will steal the thunder from the next, dunno. And if we get there and it's easier because of this work, that's all cool. But I don't think so. Each thing has sort of built and prepared for the next. Like just figuring out which vegetables have peels and which have stems is revolutionary for him. I don't think he realized the things had parts. I don't think he was noticing parts. And then, when he has the ability to realize things have parts, then he can go into V/V/Talkies and describe parts of pictures. That should really work.

Yeah, the definitions are interesting. It's built into the SPARC book, not original to me. I just thought it was really smart. I had a visual dictionary I used to read when I was a kid. Actually I still have it. It was basically my most (or one of my most) beloved possessions, lol. It was a Sesame Street picture dictionary. :D

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2 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yeah, the definitions are interesting. It's built into the SPARC book, not original to me. I just thought it was really smart. I had a visual dictionary I used to read when I was a kid. Actually I still have it. It was basically my most (or one of my most) beloved possessions, lol. It was a Sesame Street picture dictionary. ?

 

One of DS's favorite baby books was a picture alphabet book that he used as a talking dictionary--he pointed; I talked, lol! We used that thing for a long time when he was learning to talk. 

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Ok, don't look now, but he just said "That's different! They go in through the back and come out through the front." This is WAY more descriptive than what we were getting before. And he just said it about a real object in his hands, no prompts, not in a language workbook. 

I think this is where Talkies and V/V are really right. It can't happen for writing if the language isn't there and the imagery isn't there and the ability to think about the thoughts isn't there. So he's noticing the parts of things and actually talking about them. Cool stuff. 

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So I'm reading Talkies and slowly working through it with him. It's really good stuff, really good. I don't necessarily need every single step, especially at the beginning, but it was definitely the right starting point for him. It's catching holes he would have and helping me connect dots. Yesterday we took some time just to explore the idea of a picture in our heads. Today we're going to start talking about movement. I'm realizing there's a whole level they try to engage on of right/wrong using various types of responses (gestures, words, etc.). I'm realizing I don't interact with ds like that and that that would actually be really good for him. That's what I was saying that it's catching things. And they make the connection that once you have the active verbs, you need to PLAY them and put LANGUAGE to your place, which is then movement. So when you ask him to describe movement in a picture, you should have first built it up by putting language to movement in PLAY, with real objects. So that's my plan for today, play. :biggrin:

Also, I was talking with dd last night and she finally made click for me what kbutton was TRYING to explain. She's like well there are retellings (a list of what happened) and then there's a NARRATIVE, like something with cause/effect, something where they realize what was happening and why and tell it that way. And it was like OH THAT'S WHAT KBUTTON MEANT. LOLOLOLOL 

And then you've got an SLP guy on the MW blog talking about some stats on 5 yo with autism https://mindwingconcepts.com/blogs/news/tech-tuesday-interpreting-research-on-narratives-and-autism and he says basically the same thing, that even in the kids who COULD get out some kind of narrative, there tended not to be conflict, cause-effect, etc., or what they called "goal-directed behavior." In other words, they were figuring out the plot points and retelling them but couldn't get how they flowed together to tell them as a STORY with a point.

So I'm just sitting here with my prednisone addled brain, seeing if I figure it out. I really need to call them, because I don't know about the overlap in the maps. You don't want to have to buy so many separate resources for this. I think ds would get into some expository writing or at least analysis or using the maps for discussion, so I need enough SGM in some fashion to get us going and enough expository maps to have fun. I've also been wasting time pondering whether it's sensible to MAKE that stupid Braidy doll. For real I've let my mind get stuck on that. It's the faces, honestly. I really think there's something to that, with the 6 basic emotions. I really, really, really want to do some work with emotions with ds. I think it's actually more important than the narrative stuff, because I think working on them via lit might help him express his OWN emotions better. He has words for emotions, but he doesn't convey his own emotions. I think somehow that whole interoception and the basic emotions merge. I don't want to get sucked into a mess and make something ugly, but I just think $80 is high for the doll for only me. On the other hand, it would be easy to resell on ebay, sure. So I don't know. Me and my great ideas.

It's at least clicking in my mind that the critical thinking triangle (that thing that befuddled me) is the piece Kbutton is wanting to make a narrative coherent. I don't know how you make that NATURAL, but I think for analysis SGM is right.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

So I'm reading Talkies and slowly working through it with him. It's really good stuff, really good. I don't necessarily need every single step, especially at the beginning, but it was definitely the right starting point for him. It's catching holes he would have and helping me connect dots. Yesterday we took some time just to explore the idea of a picture in our heads. Today we're going to start talking about movement. I'm realizing there's a whole level they try to engage on of right/wrong using various types of responses (gestures, words, etc.). I'm realizing I don't interact with ds like that and that that would actually be really good for him. That's what I was saying that it's catching things. And they make the connection that once you have the active verbs, you need to PLAY them and put LANGUAGE to your place, which is then movement. So when you ask him to describe movement in a picture, you should have first built it up by putting language to movement in PLAY, with real objects. So that's my plan for today, play. :biggrin:

Also, I was talking with dd last night and she finally made click for me what kbutton was TRYING to explain. She's like well there are retellings (a list of what happened) and then there's a NARRATIVE, like something with cause/effect, something where they realize what was happening and why and tell it that way. And it was like OH THAT'S WHAT KBUTTON MEANT. LOLOLOLOL 

And then you've got an SLP guy on the MW blog talking about some stats on 5 yo with autism https://mindwingconcepts.com/blogs/news/tech-tuesday-interpreting-research-on-narratives-and-autism and he says basically the same thing, that even in the kids who COULD get out some kind of narrative, there tended not to be conflict, cause-effect, etc., or what they called "goal-directed behavior." In other words, they were figuring out the plot points and retelling them but couldn't get how they flowed together to tell them as a STORY with a point.

So I'm just sitting here with my prednisone addled brain, seeing if I figure it out. I really need to call them, because I don't know about the overlap in the maps. You don't want to have to buy so many separate resources for this. I think ds would get into some expository writing or at least analysis or using the maps for discussion, so I need enough SGM in some fashion to get us going and enough expository maps to have fun. I've also been wasting time pondering whether it's sensible to MAKE that stupid Braidy doll. For real I've let my mind get stuck on that. It's the faces, honestly. I really think there's something to that, with the 6 basic emotions. I really, really, really want to do some work with emotions with ds. I think it's actually more important than the narrative stuff, because I think working on them via lit might help him express his OWN emotions better. He has words for emotions, but he doesn't convey his own emotions. I think somehow that whole interoception and the basic emotions merge. I don't want to get sucked into a mess and make something ugly, but I just think $80 is high for the doll for only me. On the other hand, it would be easy to resell on ebay, sure. So I don't know. Me and my great ideas.

It's at least clicking in my mind that the critical thinking triangle (that thing that befuddled me) is the piece Kbutton is wanting to make a narrative coherent. I don't know how you make that NATURAL, but I think for analysis SGM is right.

This is crazy, but I just got off the phone with the company before reading this. When I called, they connected me to the author! She was super, super helpful. I highly encourage you to get your questions together and call her. She actually asked about how I heard about the company (and I had stumbled onto it a couple of other times), and I told her that it came up again in an active conversation on a homeschooling forum, lol! 

Without getting too detailed (but I would PM about this), she gave me a shopping list, and she thinks from some probing that my son is getting hosed up at the Critical Thinking Triangle level (in particular, though not exclusively), which made me feel better about my own observations (yay for positive thoughts). She explained some of the relationships between products (more on that below). She asked if we used any Social Thinking materials, so I told her that we'd used Thinking about Me, Thinking about You, and he seemed to get the concepts but couldn't necessarily do the activities as designed, which our (first, not most recent) behaviorist pinpointed to troubles with beginning, middle, and end. Apparently that is a common thing to have happen, and it's the narrative language piece.

Anyway, I am so pleased to be onto something useful and to have a much smaller shopping list than I thought I would need given my son's issues. 

Give that insightful DD of yours a hug from me. She's very intuitive. 

Miscellaneous information (which I hope I am faithfully representing):
Thememaker is an "older student version" of SGM in essence, and it bridges the gap from narrative to expository writing
Talk to Write is the natural progression after Thememaker for writing tasks
The book on Close Reading is intended to help SLPs and other therapy professionals help classroom teachers understand why this entire suite or products works, exists, and can make a difference for their students, based on how narrative language underpins all of these academic and social issues
The autism books are essentially magnified/expanded versions of the SGM tool that support autism-related glitches. It was written after the SGM as a result of research showing a niche need. Volume I is getting the method and early steps down. Volume II is entirely about the critical thinking triangle, and Volume III is conversation/social stuff. 

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Oh good! That's good that you had a helpful call with her AND cool that they connected you. Yes, I've been trying to tighten up my questions. And yes, that's what I'm thinking, that if the CT is the glitch, then that's where we need to focus. Then I was thinking about *why* the CT glitches on ds. I think it's a combo of perspective taking (I've got a workbook for that that I haven't started yet) and the emotions. They bring in the 6 basic emotions in Braidy and they expand them in the CT kit with a list of words on bookmarks, but their use of the emotion words in the CT kit is still abstract. I think it's practical and right where we need to be, but I think ds needs to back up and spend more time making the faces (Braidy level) to connect them to the words (CT kit bookmarks) to be able to do the analysis. And I think some time doing that with lit, just DOING it and talking about those emotions, could be fab for ds and right where he is as a next step. I don't think he's ready to go to the abstraction of the words. When I watch the youtube video of her demonstrating the CT kit, it's still a bit abstract. The analysis is right, but ds needs to explore the faces and put meaning to the words. I think he actually needs to read 5 or 6 picture books for each emotion and really have an EXPERIENCE with those words and make them MEAN something. Sort of connect interoception of emotion and language here. THEN try to take that emotional awareness and extend it.

So that's what I'm slowing down on now. What I think I want is a bigger version of the Braidy Our Friend Interactive poster thing. It comes with faces. If I had a printable of the face and bigger, we could make the faces as we explore the emotions with the lit. It would be sort of inbetween the Braidy doll (a bit big, probably not something he'd use much) and the premade, smaller faces of the interactive poster. That's what I'm thinking I need. If a pdf of the faces comes in the kit, I could just make it, chop chop, and use magnets. I'm just thinking now. 

I'm also going to look for some other resources in other places for emotional awareness, because it's a huge deficit for him. Now he did finally tell me today he's hungry. I want some kind of organized approach to emotions, maybe several sources, that we could do along with this to get more language about emotion flowing, more awareness. Then he can apply it to narrative. You can't get out what isn't in there, and there really isn't a ton of emotional language instruction going on in the CT kit or Braidy itself. It would merge nicely, but it's not trying to get us to that point for a kid with apraxia who's not getting it out. 

See that's the other thing I'm having to grapple with. I'm reading blogs of people (like pehp, little shout out if she reads this thread, as I'm thinking of her) and these people's kids get ASD2 labels and they still narrate it. I can't reconcile it in my mind. So something is extra-glitched about ds. It means I'm not guaranteed even plunking out for the ASD expansion kit would make it work. His needs might actually go farther than normal autism because of the addition of the apraxia. I don't know. I really, really appreciate you sleuthing and finding out that the ASD kit is the expansion of SGM. That finally makes sense. And T2W2L after Thememaker, wow. Makes sense when you say it. 

I've been spending some time using the age limiters on the site, and I think I'm down to something from Braidy and the Core of the Core along with the Universal Magnets. I think that would give me some good pieces to move forward. I can go look at the autism kit. I'm looking at the CT kit too. It totally, totally makes sense why I would want the CT kit. I should go see the overlap between the ASD kit book 2 and the CT kit, dunno. I think the CT kit is right on, but the manipulative itself is pretty abstract for ds just yet. It's words and I just don't think he's there yet. But maybe. And we could roughly hack the same thing with the universal magnets and the Our Friend Braidy face pics for the emotions. 

So what was the shopping list she left you with? I'm sure it won't look like mine, but now I'm really interested! I'm SO glad you had a helpful talk with her. So do you think you might get Close Reading to pull it all together in your mind? I think I had that epiphany, about where this is going, but it's because I've taught through these levels with a student. All the dots just kinda connected. But if CR would get you there and let you see the big picture or let some of your workers see it, that would be cool. Me, I'm just making sure I burrow down enough with poor ds that every step is there, totally there, no leaps. He really can't leap at all. Like with Talkies, there are things that you're like oh he flew through that step, but actually he needed that level of breakdown on a level. So I'll look and see if the ASD kit can work or if I need to back up to Braidy. Doesn't bug me. All I care about is foundation. 

So at what point is someone ready for Thememaker? What was the overlap between Thememaker and Core of the Core? They're suggesting Core of the Core for the early early level expository, where Thememaker they put regular elementary. CoC looks like where ds is right now or could be. Like it looks really within reach. The books and whole mindset of Thememaker look out of reach for ds. 

Did you happen to talk with her about East Meets West? I really kinda liked their volume 2. I don't feel like I need a whole book to tell me who to find elements in a story, but I wondered if it was bringing something more, like maps or hands-on or something. I really liked where it was going. I could see us doing it as a follow-up, like a book of the week or book of the month or something, after we get through the basics. It would be engaging for him I think, a nice stretch.

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2 hours ago, kbutton said:

Give that insightful DD of yours a hug from me. She's very intuitive. 

 

Will do! That's hilarious. I thought I was finally understanding what you were saying, but it's like we had to put words to what you were seeing but couldn't get into words. Or a miracle occurred. Or she's amazing. Or we finally just looked at this stuff enough that we started to sift out the chaff and what was important. Definitely takes time to wrap your brain around.

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I asked the 19 yo Fount of Knowledge, and she agreed that emotional awareness would logically precede the ability to discuss cause/effect of things based on emotion. 

Well I'm just pleased that we're finally having epiphanies here! I'm really liking this SPARC Attributes book. It seriously makes their brains work. I need to find something as good for emotions. That's what I'm going to be digging in on next. I think there are some things we can run parallel with narrative work, but I think the emotion work is going to need to precede Critical Thinking triangle work for ds.

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