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PeterPan

Narrative language in autism

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I think that your DD is intuitive about using her brain in a way that is complementary to yours. The other stuff about sifting and studying it is also probably true, but I think that her perspective is complementary, and she seems to focus her communication on that basis. Like she can naturally meet someone's thinking process and fill in, and she is already quite familiar with the way your brain works. It's not a skill everyone has, and it's just an impression I have of her.

Will try to comment on the rest later--I have a big to-do list for the evening.

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You are very right that she and I work together well because she knows me so well. She told me that this click on the cause/effect thing was from a year of History of Civ where the professor spent the whole year pursuing history as cause/effect. I thought that was funny. :biggrin:

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There are separate books from many providers with faces and emotions, grading emotions, etc. My son did some of that stuff with the old behaviorist. He could basically categorize both faces and words as negative or positive, but he couldn't get much more specific than that or really identify things closer to neutral. 

I don't know if the apraxia has anything to do with your son's glitches or not. Really, no one expects the glitches my DS has, and they are hard to elicit and easy to overlook. I bet the autism books could be helpful, but it's also possible that if you shore up the things you are seeing right now and then use the SGM stuff, you might end up already doing what's in her autism books, just from a wider base of products. 

I will PM you the shopping list she gave me, but she really pinned it down with questions specific to my DS's situation.

I didn't ask about when someone is ready for Thememaker. I think part of the idea is that Thememaker is actually an entry point for older kids that maybe didn't get the SGM earlier, but I am not positive. She did call it the older kid version of SGM. I didn't ask about Core of the Core. I pretty much listed what I asked about in my post, and I hadn't even noticed East meets West.

When you are talking about how your DS can fly through a level of Talkies, but he still needed it broken down, that is a lot of what happens with my DS that I would say contributes to an illusion of competence. From where I am sitting, you are right to recognize those additional levels of support and stay on track of making sure he can do it repeatedly and without prompting from you (but prompting from the tool is purposeful so that he can internalize that process). 

I think the autism books actually magnify and expand on SGM in that what SGM does in one manual, the autism stuff does in three. That is the sense I meant my comments. I think you might be taking it that the autism books add on. I think that she indicated they are SGM methodology geared toward autism over three books instead of one. But since she didn't want me to start there, I took her statement and didn't ask more questions about it.

I don't think I'll be doing the Close Reading stuff at this point, but she might suggest it later. I get the impression that if our tutor and SLP like the other stuff, they will probably naturally apply it to reading, etc. It's really more for therapy professionals to use to help classroom teachers get it from what I understand.

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Ok, you can laugh at my dumb moment in which I suddenly realize our library has storytelling kits for popular children's books with repetition. Thinking that's where we're gonna start for narrative work...

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Well I got enough stuff to make the Braidy doll and a braided marker for $40 at Hobby Lobby. We'll see if I get them done. I decided to try to make them, rather than buying, partly to save money but more because I wanted them a different size. The Braidy doll meant for schools and therapy is plenty big for at home, so I want to try to make it a bit smaller. The braided marker options are both kind of small for ds. I got bigger beads, a bigger head. I think it could work. If it doesn't, I tried, lol. 

I made a basic full page of the Braidy head and shoulders in Pages/Word and I'm hoping to print and laminate it this week. Then I can laminate some paper for the mouths, eyebrows, etc. and we can rearrange them to make faces. The ColorCards (Speechmark) deck for Feelings that I ordered from ebay came. I think I can use them with the face manipulative and the critical thinking triangle language (kickoff, feelings, plan) to work on building that language. Then we can begin applying it to literature from this list https://www.weareteachers.com/15-must-have-picture-books-for-teaching-social-emotional-skills/  I think for actual narrative work we'll back up and use younger books with repetition, rather than starting with more complex things. I think that will allow him to build his voice as a narrator, etc. I found pics where Moreau takes images from the books and puts them onto the Braidy doll rings. I bought flannel for those parts, so the pics should stick nicely with velcro. We'll see. 

The more I think about it, the more this idea of the language, the because (I feel blank because blank, this happened so I feel blank and plan to blank) is just really spot on for where the issue is. It's where the breakdown in thinking is AND the breakdown in language. So to spend time putting words to feelings and realizing what he feels and what the cause/effect was on that could be really earth-shattering. It could open up lots of potential to self-advocate, which would be huge.

I used blank playing cards to make emotions to sort/categorize. I think we could add to the lists using terms in or from the books we read. 

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1 hour ago, nixpix5 said:

With my little buddy with autism one of my favorite, more organic way to do it is snuggle up and read a story that is character driven with alot of varied emotion and conflict. He struggles with perspective taking which obviously is a necessary foundation for emotional awareness. So we might look at a cover, read a synopsis and I ask him "what do you think the character is like? Let's write down his top 3 traits. Now that we know this, how do you think he will feel/respond if his friend doesn't play with him" for example. We then read and I draw attention alot to how the character is responding and I ask my son how he would respond. I draw the character and my son on the board with a venn diagram and we put similarities and differences of emotions and responses. I then challenge him to predict how the character will respond to different scenarios and I tell him "this is putting yourself in his shoes" and we discuss that figure of speech. 

We just do things like this alot. It also helps him start to "read between the lines" when it isn't explicitly stated in a story. At first it felt like a slog and I felt a little crazy trying this as I was getting nowhere. After 2 years it has paid on beautifully. He is really getting it. I see it being extrapolated to co-op where he is starting to draw conclusions and predict how interactions with peers will play out. 

We also have fun with our thesaurus and make lists of synonyms of emotion words to try to use the nuanced variations in sentences so he can see and feel the slight differences. As we read I will use them to describe an emotion.

What nixpix said in the other thread was so brilliant, I wanted to carry it over here. I think it merges really well with what the graphic organizers in the ASD-kit from MW are trying to get you to do. I keep debating what to buy. I think if the ASD-specific set is honing in on this, it might be really good for us. But her ideas are just super practical and spot-on.

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Btw, if you're thinking about making your own Braidy doll, it's a pain in the patoot. Turns out the leg braids were stuffed, meaning I'm spending way more time than I should have. On the plus side, ds is intrigued and thinks it's a squid. Story Squid, we can work with that. LOL

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There is a nice natural opportinity too if you talk about a thoughtful gift at birthdays and Christmas.  It’s really obvious when they are picking a gift idea they would like or if they understand what someone else would like.

I got a paper from school for Mother’s Day, someone had filled out with my son, a long list of fill-in-the-blank where he put my favorite things.  It was really cute and a mix of my favorite things or things I often say/do, and his own favorite things.  

Anyway something simple for perspective taking!  And then it can help to talk about with family members because it helps them understand family members more.  I think it helps with playing and with understanding why to take turns picking tv shows, and understanding we aren’t always going to do their favorite thing because sometimes we are going to do something they like less but that is preferred by a sibling.  

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It’s a good chance to do sentences with “but” also, you can say “you like this BUT your sister likes that” kinds of things, it can be perspective taking and making a good sentence with but.  

We are not close to the critical thinking triangle here, and I know just how long it takes my son to use any of the ties.  About a year each lol.  But I agree it is really helpful with perspective taking, and then either perspective taking or just *being able to have the language to communicate about perspective taking* has helped a lot with behavior. 

Some of our worst behavior issues here have been around him not understanding why we wouldn’t do his preferred activity, so understanding and being able to talk about how a sibling *does* prefer it has gone a really long way.  

Mainly with tv shows and being places he doesn’t want to be, but a sibling does want to be there and he’s not objectively miserable (aka it’s not sensory, we aren’t expecting him to stay a long time, etc).  

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So today..... I read all these articles and watch the YouTube videos, and then here is what I personally did today: 

We read some books.  One was Officer Buckle and Gloria.  There is some nice perspective taking, because Officer Buckle doesn’t know his dog is standing behind him doing things while he gives safety talks.  Nice discussion of perspective taking, some discussion of Officer Buckle’s feelings.  Nice picture of the dog, Gloria, looking really downcast and sad when Officer Buckle is upset with her.  Some inferencing with the pictures.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0399226168/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527473877&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=officer+buckle+and+gloria+by+peggy+rathmann&dpPl=1&dpID=61LpvvCIalL&ref=plSrch

We read this book  Https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0316112194/ref=pd_aw_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=TXNCWRP6GR216S1VVG8S&dpPl=1&dpID=61YZbUcf0pL. It is also about safety.  Great pictures, good opportunity for my son to do some reading, and discuss some of the little scenarios in the pictures.  

We read this book https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0375870369/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527473222&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=peanut+butter+and+jellyfish&dpPl=1&dpID=51q12dwV3bL&ref=plSrch#immersive-view_1527473234498  We read this for the third time.  It has some difficult vocabulary words I am going over.  A nice story to talk about feelings.  A nice story to try to talk about some foreshadowing with rereading, there is some foreshadowing that the grumpy crab is always alone, and then he ends up wanting to be friends with the main characters, and being nice once he is not feeling left out.  

This is a good day for us.  It seems a long way from the articles and videos in a way, but I still find them helpful.  

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Lecka, I think what you're describing is spot on for what you should be doing! Moreau/SGM was doing those videos with kids with DYSLEXIA. Those kids are in uniforms and she worked at a school for dyslexics. And sure those kids have some issues, but nothing like what we're dealing with. I mean I just spent how many works working on being able to say things like "A pencil rolls." The starting point is just really different.

So yeah, she pulls these kiddie lit books that are great and can wax philosophical 20 times over. We've got to pick lit that hits our kids exactly where they are and we extra and discuss what they're ready to extract/discuss. What I take from it as that there's a lot farther we can go if the dc is ready. We take them as far as they're ready to go with assistance. And it sounds like you're nailing that.

I've got a pile of books coming from the library. I requested most of the ones on that 50 book list and then I went through another guide that lists books with repetitive elements. So I think for beginning simple narratives for ds, starting where he is as far as level (narrative age 5) makes sense. So for his narratives, I've got books coming with the repetitive elements. But then for the critical thinking triangle, I'm gonna try taking it up a bit, just to see what happens. I think nixpix is right that it's going to be a process, just a long journey, not a one and done. 

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For me, I know my son’s reading group is mid-1st grade, so I have been looking mainly at Braidy and the autism materials.

As far as I can tell, Braidy and the entire first book in the autism series do not get to the critical thinking triangle.  

It looks like it is introduced in the materials that are 2nd grade and up.  

Also I am more vague here, but I think my son would be in Stage 4 in the SGM model, which is a stage before the critical thinking triangle.

I have seen book lists for the lower stages, and they are younger/simpler books, that look very appropriate to me. 

I think try to think about what your current goals are.  Then look at what programs work with your current goals.

If you are doing great things with VV and Talkies, then I think that is really good.

Those are imagery programs.  They aren’t teaching story structure or the use of ties.  As far as I know, anyway.

All these things are important for story structure.

I don’t think it’s bad at all for a program to focus on a certain aspect.  

I don’t think it would be fair for me to criticize VV for not teaching story structure.  It’s not what it is meant to teach.  It’s teaching something else that is also important.  

I have seen a lot of improvement with ties.  And he can only use a few!  So I’m pretty content where we are and with letting it take time.  

Using “if” let’s him say things like “if I do this, can I do that?” That is really helpful if he wants to do something.  He can talk more about it.  

Using “because” let’s him say “that’s not fair because.....”  Or “I’m mad because.....”  These are really powerful things for him to say.  Especially for these it’s the difference between him making just a statement, but I don’t know exactly what he means by it, and being more clear.  It’s much more direct communication.  

But he had to be able to make a statement or a phrase first, before adding the ties.  

I think while you see you are getting a lot of mileage and success with the things you are currently doing, then focus on them!  I think that is good to do.  

But I do think the setting level of Braidy could tie in really well with VV, because they are both talking about the 5 senses.  From my understanding at least.  I think those could go together well or maybe look at it to expand VV if you end up getting it anyway and like it.  

 

 

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If you are able to jump to the critical thinking triangle, though, I think go for it.  I think I know where my son fits because he has been doing this kind of thing, and I know how long it takes him, and I know that he has comprehension breakdowns at certain points.  I already know that.

But I think there are definitely plenty of kids who make jumps, too.  

But I think if you are getting a lot of milage with imagery and the 5 senses right now, that it could tie in with the “star” or setting part on Braidy, and maybe have some more synergy that way.  And I think that could be good, too.

I think it will depend how fast he moves through it.  He might move through it really fast, or you might be happy to have some more material to use at a similar level.  

Edit:  I have an idea that it has taken my son about a year per stage with the SGM levels.  He just does not move through it quickly.  And that’s not from a lack of time or intensity, it is just how long it takes, and I think some is waiting for developmental growth, too.  

So that is where I am coming from with thinking you might like to start at the beginning and progress to the critical thinking triangle.

But if you have a sense he can do the critical thinking triangle, I think go for it.  

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I am definitely doing what I can do, where I see a good response.  

I do see it help with him being able to talk about reasons he is angry or doesn’t think something is fair, though.  I think it helps a lot with behavior that way. It goes a long way.  I think it’s very worthwhile.  

But I think VV and Talkies are amazing, I think you are going to see a lot of progress there, i think it’s very cool!

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I got a book on conjunctions, but it's not at all workable for him, not really. I'm either going to return it or use it as an outline, because the lessons themselves were just targeting too old of kids. I need something for conjunctions that is appropriate, if possible. I've got some ways to hack it myself using picture prompts and dice, but I wanted some premade materials too. I probably need to keep looking, sigh. I had hoped that conjunctions book was going to be it. 

I think in a way doing the CT for SGM is sort of an after the fact for language and a thought process that is already there or nurtured or developing. Ds ISN'T using conjunctions. He's using some now, because of the language work we're doing, but before that he just flat wasn't. Well not as an absolute zero thing, but as a functional reality that was not a thought process that was just easily in his repertoire that his was whipping out. So yeah, when I was complaining to SLP after SLP that he wasn't self-advocating, what we were basically saying was he couldn't make a "because" sentence and tie it to his emotions and what he wanted to have happen. And whether you call that the CT and do it in lit or work on it as a language issue (the earlier stages), it's the same thing. And that's what I'm identifying needs to happen.

I was going through it last night, and I want to go through the Practical Games for Theory of Mind after we finish what we're working on. We have 7 more days at our current pace with our current materials, and then I can start new things. We're off today for the holiday, so that puts us into next week. Then I basically have 7-10 days before we resume our speech therapy trips and things get crazy. I charted out last night where I can start the PG4TM now and be to the harder parts by then. So I basically have that 7-10 days to do the more involved parts of PG4TM and some stuff for emotions and conjunctions. Then we'll have to slow down. 

What I'm having to wrap my brain around is that all these programs hit the same areas (narrative language) and make big promises, but they aren't necessarily trying to be COMPREHENSIVE. So they're all looking at niches and saying their niche will be magical, and I'm having to sort out what order to go in. We didn't have anyone working on making more complex sentences, and I didn't have the funding. It will be good stuff and I think it's a capability (VBA term) waiting to be unlocked. I think he's totally ready developmentally to do this, and I think it will be a huge leap forward emotionally. But it's frustrating to me that I've been to how many SLPs and behaviorists and psychs saying he can't self-advocate and nobody asked if they were working on conjunctions. Now the SLP I really liked for language, the one who was strong on it (REALLY strong, I liked her) DID go to them as a practical matter. But I got headaches from her location and she wasn't helping me make data or do testing to get funding. And she overwhelmed him and left him under the table, sigh. 

That's a rant. I'm glad it's coming together for me finally, but it is frustrating. And I have two issues I'm dealing with in my own mind. One is that we need the language, and two is that I want it to sound natural. So I don't mind that things are coming together, in the sense that I think it could sound kind of natural. I can't change that he has apraxia or that working on being intelligible was the most important thing to work on. It had to be, because he wasn't intelligible. And until we got these supplements in place, he was basically frightful to work with. I don't know. I can't change the past. But I think he has huge, huge capabilities right now. Nothing I'm doing maxes him out or makes me think we've hit a ceiling. It's why I'm pushing so, so hard on language right now, because we're not even CLOSE to maxing out what he's ready for. It's more just that we're having to go back and, piece by piece, build up all this language someone should have been working on for the last 3 years. We should have had the autism scholarship, should have had the funding, should have had the hours. So instead of doing it an hour a week for 4 years, we're doing 20 hours a week now to catch up. 

So yeah, what you're saying basically confirms what I'm feeling (but have felt a little odd about), that getting out an actual narration is the LEAST important thing right now. I think we'll start in with some soon, just because I think the books with repetition will be FUN. I think the variety will be good. But to say I need to work on his IEP goals (narratives) would be a rabbit trail. I think I felt some intellectual pressure, like oh if you were doing a good job you'd be working on those. In our state, those goals mean literally the SLP is supposed to write progress reports saying how they're going. But those goals are not what he needs because they're not addressing the foundational deficits. He's old enough now that the system doesn't really care about that. They would just go for the end goal (get out a narrative with SGM) and not go back and rebuild those foundational issues (conjunctions, emotions, etc.). That's the sad reality. And I'm the one backing up and saying lets build all this. But it's not what his IEP goals say, so I thought maybe when we went back our PROMPT therapist would go wow you did a bunch of stuff but not the important stuff, kwim? But I think this is important and I see it improving his everyday speech and his self-advocacy. I think it's huge, even if it does mean some of the end points have to wait a bit.

I can go look for more on conjunctions. The SLP I liked set them up with games. Like she had the fish pictures set (which I got!!! so excited) and then she'd have him play games forming the target construction. I got small foam dice so we can put the target words on dice, roll, and make sentences. It could be really fun, either making up reasons or trying to merge pictures (the girl is crying because she wanted to eat a cookie) But I like the premade speech therapy materials I've found for other things, because they usually go beyond that gross level. Like that's the most obvious expression and use, but there are going to be more ways. So if I can approach it from more angles, I'd lke to. I'll just have to keep looking. 

So I think the language is the same, whether we're working on it as language or working on it in the CT. But to the extent trying to apply it to the CT is wasting time or maybe going for a more abstract application when we're better spent getting in some bulk practice and getting the language to click, that's a good point. That's why I've been trying to target materials now that are really pivotal and not get bogged down in things like the narrative work. And I think the language work in CT/SGM might be just enough and natural for some people and might be less than enough for others. They give these testimonials, but that doesn't mean that's the right starting point for ALL kids. Ds is going to benefit from some targeted work I think. 

There is a No Glamour Sentence Grammar book I was looking at that builds sentences with pictures. I know he's ready for it, but I don't know if it hits the conjunctions. I can go see. I got overwhelmed because there were so many levels to use it at (basic, expanding, etc.). I didn't want to use it and not do a good job at it, so I just kinda decided to pause, lol. That's the thing. SLPs don't just do what is on the page. They know their goals and they bring some expansion, an extra kick to it. I've tried to make sure I was doing that with everything I've used so far, really milking the materials, maxing out the language growth potential (on a reasonable level). But yeah, something to work on conjunctions would be good now. We'll see.

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Lightbulb moment. The if, because, etc. constructions are formed to answer QUESTIONS. So I'll find what I'm looking for in materials that work on asking questions. We did *some* on questions, but I'm realizing there's doubtless a lot more we can do. I'll definitely find materials on questions, mercy. I just didn't realize what I was looking for and where it was hiding.

http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/display?itemid=10180 For example this goes through questions and those constructions, the exact stuff I was looking for, all the stuff I was listing out saying he can't do. Duh...

I'm looking at level 1 of this, and it would pair really well with the face/emotions work I want to do with the Braidy doll. Level 2 starts a lot more abstract, with things he's not ready for. Ds will start with level 1, but then we can really slow it down and talk about each page and milk it. Lot of potential there. 

I'll keep looking. Linguisystems had tons on questions, and I just didn't realize I was looking for that. Now that I'm onto it, I'm hitting jackpot. The stuff I was wanting (beginning use of if, because, basic coverage of emotions, etc) is all hit under QUESTIONS. Now we know, lol. Leave it to me to think because I had done one workbook on wh-questions that I was done, duh, lol. 

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I'm starting to see a spread in target markets for these products. Like when I look at http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/display?itemid=10771 this is maybe a different market. They're mentioning nonverbal kids, kids who are older. Now the materials look really good and flexible, but there could be different goals with different products. I'm not sure "drill so they come out using it" is necessarily the goal for every product. Ds already has these skills receptively. Like if you give him a 4th grade science reading comprehension product, he does GREAT on it. So my goal is to get out expressively what he already understands to some degree. It's maybe a different goal from if those skills were even (receptive and expressive) and it's why his issues are unexpected. 

Anyways, that was a rabbit trail. I'm just saying ds' skills are not even. If I just let him skate by with pointing or using single words or phrases, he'd fly through it. The challenge is that I'm expecting him to kick out complete sentences. That's where life is lived and that's what we're wanting to see. And it can be that the language is hard, but I don't think anyone has a way to really quantify how the *apraxia* makes it hard. When I acknowledge to him that it's hard and I say I get it, he's like no you DON'T get it. And I don't really have a great answer for that except to do more PROMPT, do more everything, and hope it gets easier with time, sigh. 

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Now I’m going off samples, but I think Braidy looks great as a piece of the puzzle for conjunctions.  

I’m trying to say, I think you can use Braidy for conjunctions, and not even worry about the critical thinking triangle for a while.  You can take your time and work through Braidy where it makes sense with your other materials.

It could fit in with conjunctions, and it could fit in with imagery for settings with VV.  

I am not sure if you have seen the stages in SGM but my son is stage 4 I think, and this is a level where they have covered a few conjunctions, but have not gotten to the critical thinking triangle.  My understanding is it would be covered with Braidy and/or book 1 of the autism materials.

So honestly I think — don’t worry about the grade-level goals, work on what makes sense and what is showing results.

But I do think Braidy and the autism materials look great, and I think they are an option that could fit with other things you are doing and have some good synergy.

But I am not saying forget anything else and just do this one thing.  I think that would not be covering everything. 

But I think it could add.

And I haven’t seen the materials enough to know exactly how they build, but I have seen in the samples that it looks like they build to sentences from single word responses, in Braidy and the 1st autism book.  So I don’t think “only” do that, but I think it could be worth looking at to fit in what you are doing now.

And I think it can help you see what else you need to work on, when you see problem areas.  

To me I think it’s a huge jump to go from not using conjunctions, to using the critical thinking triangle.

But I think there is a lot of potential for the kind of language to help with self-advocacy and self-regulation, *before* the critical thinking triangle, at the Braidy or 1st autism book level.  I think there are a lot of real-world gains to be had there, and not worry about pushing to the critical thinking triangle.

And then if he picks it up easily, you will get to it quickly anyway.  

Just as a suggestion, do you think you could consult with the speech therapist who was good on language, pay her to pick materials for you and suggest what to work on and in what order, and then you do the work and see her monthly?  Or maybe pay her one-time to come up with a near-term plan?  I don’t know if that’s possible, but it might get you the best of both worlds, with getting some solid guidance but still being able to do it yourself and not have to drive?

 

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Like on this sample https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0853/7592/files/samplePgs_autismManual_book3.pdf?14197804036980666548

They are saying, okay, stay on this level while you are also working on using the right sentence constructions.  Stay on this level while you are working on sequencing with first, second, third.  

They are saying, for this piece of the puzzle, work on this part while you are working on sequencing and sentence construction.

I don’t think they are saying that their program is going to teach all that, they are just saying how they link up with those goals.  

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Lightbulb moment. The if, because, etc. constructions are formed to answer QUESTIONS. So I'll find what I'm looking for in materials that work on asking questions. We did *some* on questions, but I'm realizing there's doubtless a lot more we can do. I'll definitely find materials on questions, mercy. I just didn't realize what I was looking for and where it was hiding.

http://www.linguisystems.com/products/product/display?itemid=10180 For example this goes through questions and those constructions, the exact stuff I was looking for, all the stuff I was listing out saying he can't do. Duh...

I'm looking at level 1 of this, and it would pair really well with the face/emotions work I want to do with the Braidy doll. Level 2 starts a lot more abstract, with things he's not ready for. Ds will start with level 1, but then we can really slow it down and talk about each page and milk it. Lot of potential there. 

I'll keep looking. Linguisystems had tons on questions, and I just didn't realize I was looking for that. Now that I'm onto it, I'm hitting jackpot. The stuff I was wanting (beginning use of if, because, basic coverage of emotions, etc) is all hit under QUESTIONS. Now we know, lol. Leave it to me to think because I had done one workbook on wh-questions that I was done, duh, lol. 

Ah, I lost my reply.

So, are you going to have him come up with statements for the pictures, such as "He's going to walk the dog," and then have him add in conjunctions? For instance, saying some version (but any appropriate word order), "He's going to walk the dog because he brought the leash." I would re-write this to be more concise, but it took me a while to figure out all the parts for myself. Basically, I am going to give some examples about my son trying to illustrate that getting those ties down is super, super important, and that slowing down and doing that is an awesome idea!!! 

My son gets all that information out by using more sentences and more words and being emphatic, lol! It's very hard for him to naturally slip in those subordinate conjunctions unless he's told to specifically, knows we want that, etc. He has to intentionally do it as its own thing and know someone wants him to! He can do it beautifully if asked the right way, and he can revise work to make it happen. But he doesn't often do it spontaneously.

I think, for him, the CTT would help him bring that thinking out intentionally, and after a while, he would start anticipating that those connections are needed, and that it's a lot less work to design his talking and writing around those conjunctions the first time around vs. as a revision. It sounds to me like your son, because he's still just understanding the relationships between individual words and whole phrases (sentences, etc.) might need more breaking it down. My son didn't have trouble understanding that words have meanings as well as phrases. Not even when he was learning to talk. He just seemed so advanced because a lot of what he was doing was advanced--it was just that things that should have developed concurrently were MISSING, and no one caught it. I think if he'd been able to run but not walk, people would've thought that was weird, but with language it was just like, "Wow, he can do that?!" or worse yet, "You're making this up. Kids his age don't talk that way." Um, okay. (He definitely didn't perform on cue at pediatric appointments, lol!)

It's like DS has to run about five or six separate programs in his head to make this happen, and then when you add in work on making generalizations, well, it's just too much.

If you are wondering what my son would do instead of using if/because for those pictures, it would be something like this (though this is a little artificial because in a natural setting, he wouldn't be saying what he thinks is happening, he would be reporting what he knows is happening and be far less tentative in his statements):

  • The dog is waiting. 
  • The owner brought the leash.
  • Obviously, they are going for a walk. 
  • [So, can you combine those sentences?]
  • The owner brought the leash to the dog, and they are going to take a walk. 
  • [Could you use a subordinate clause?]
  • Why didn't you just say so...The owner brought the leash, so they are going to take a walk. Because the owner brought a leash, they are going to take a walk. [Potentially several different phrasings if asked]

If this were a spontaneous conversation about something he needed to tell me, he would basically make a bunch of statements, and he would change his voice to be emphatic about certain points, but the ties would not be there. The ties would be his emphasis, and he would assume I'll make the logical connection because I am a logical person, lol!

In spoken conversations with context, you don't even notice that this is happening most of the time because he can be very clear, but when it's written down without context, or when he's asked to write about something, he can't just use those changes in tone, gestures, etc. to make his point, and he is at a loss.

When self-advocating, we know there is a problem somewhere because he's more gruff, impatient, etc. when reporting his "list of facts" that don't have ties. In a busy classroom or in other situations where people aren't used to him, people hear the list of facts, and don't realize it's their job (in his mind) to identify the significance of those facts--what the problem is, notice that he juxtaposed facts that should show a contrast between what is and what should be, etc. He's really relying on someone to infer things correctly, state it back to him with those ties, and then he can go from there to fix the problem or get what he needs. 

My son has spoken this way since he was 15 months old or so, though he started with choppy sentences (missing words when he didn't have one, or made up phrases like, "plug it out" for unplugging something). He used very specific gestures when he didn't have specific words--he always wanted the most precise word for nouns and verbs even though he had trouble with precise words for feelings, etc. People were just way more blown away by the fact that he could give you extremely specific directions on how to light a fire in the woodstove at 17 months old (even if he had to make up words or gestures to do it)! The reaction wasn't that he was missing ties; the reaction was that you better make sure he couldn't reach matches because he didn't leave out a single detail necessary to build a fire except maybe removing the ashes from a previous fire!

I think that because he could actually convey very complicated ideas at a young age with big words, we just totally missed that he avoided certain kinds of grammar and didn't work on it, and he didn't flag as language deficient until very, very recent testing. I have no idea why any professional didn't notice--they mostly noticed his behavior around tasks and assumed he was capable but difficult, I think.

Anyway, I am thinking that since your son is just now grasping parts and pieces of meaning at the word, phrase, and sentence level vs. using entire memorized paragraphs, what you are doing makes sense--hitting all those different kinds of things before pulling it into narrative. For my son, it's like he has all the parts except for some ties, and he understands ties. He just has no organizing principle for knowing which parts and pieces to pull in, when to pull them in, and how to make it automatic without losing something or going through layers and layers or mental or paper and pen revision. If you are going back so far to find developmental holes, and your son doesn't really have a differently developed coping mechanism in place, then I think you are going to get things coming out in a more developmentally typical sequence because you are providing those really important pieces for him. My son, OTOH, developed elaborate language-based coping strategies (besides echolalia), and on the receptive side, he understood what others said, so he didn't need to be able to respond with the same constructions. We're using these tools to get what's in there, out in a helpful way. You are still trying to figure out what is there, what is not, and you have a chance to get the content there at the same time the relevant developmental skill gets there, I think. Maybe that's oversimplifying.

I think the CTT will help my son with that, but it's because the pieces are basically all there. 

 

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3 hours ago, Lecka said:

You can take your time and work through Braidy where it makes sense with your other materials.

It could fit in with conjunctions, and it could fit in with imagery for settings with VV.  

 

So honestly I think — don’t worry about the grade-level goals, work on what makes sense and what is showing results.

But I do think Braidy and the autism materials look great, and I think they are an option that could fit with other things you are doing and have some good synergy.

But I am not saying forget anything else and just do this one thing.  I think that would not be covering everything. 

But I think it could add.

 

And I think it can help you see what else you need to work on, when you see problem areas.  

 

And then if he picks it up easily, you will get to it quickly anyway.  

 

Just as a suggestion, do you think you could consult with the speech therapist who was good on language, pay her to pick materials for you and suggest what to work on and in what order, and then you do the work and see her monthly?  Or maybe pay her one-time to come up with a near-term plan?  I don’t know if that’s possible, but it might get you the best of both worlds, with getting some solid guidance but still being able to do it yourself and not have to drive?

 

3

I am reading this as a suggestion to let the SGM stuff contextualize the overall process (with the reassurance that it really is a complementary resource), show where stuff normally develops together, and then potentially settle into it while using other materials to go broad. If you can see the progression and complementary way the products work together, it might also let you relax a bit and not have to continually worry something is left unaddressed. 

Using the SLP that was "too much" but actually aware of real issues would also be a way to not have to reinvent things.

But I also know that you have to wrap your own head around how to use the SGM and VV (and everything else) stuff and have that lightbulb moment. I get that! But maybe if you can catch some of the overlaps and be convinced it's going to do it, then you will be able to back off and just do the therapy with more trust and be more settled.

I assume you will still have to drive for the PROMPT part. Are you trying to keep that entirely separate, or do you think that your SLP there could get on the bandwagon of where you are with [fill in the blank with the various resources you settle on] and use the articulation work with this stuff a dual duty? Or, do you think that what you are working on plus PROMPT is too much for your son's brain at once? 

I think that sounding natural with apraxia is a good long-term goal, but he might have to actually internalize all of the parts and pieces before he does sound natural. Is that what you are thinking? I am just wondering if separating out the PROMPT from the language work might make the "hyperlexia"/echolalia kinds of speech worse (if you go beyond what he uses correctly with you during PROMPT sessions), but I do think that some kind of separation sounds like it's necessary. Would this be something where you can restrict the constructions he uses during his PROMPT sessions to things he definitively understands and does correctly on the language side with you? Maybe you do this already. I am just trying to figure that out, not drive you crazy. ?

And if this sounds like "take a break with PROMPT," it's not. But I do wonder if in order to integrate articulation with meaning, you might have to be in a holding pattern with the constructions used in PROMPT. ?

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Kbutton, I think your point about context is really important. It's not enough that they do sentence combining as a grammar exercise. They need to realize the CONTEXT for using the construction, why and why they would use it. That way using it seems empowering and natural.

And yes, my ds has all kinds of complex walkaround constructions, lol. It seems what you're highlighting there is the value of speech therapy materials, rather than leaving it to the random work of say a writing program. What I like about speech therapy materials is they try to create some naturalness, some motive, and then give you a ton of practice doing it. It's going to take both context and practice to get it. So like with because, they'll set up a game or scenario where using a because construction is natural, and then do it OVER AND OVER till their brain is like oh duh that could be a thing I say, lol.

At least that's what works with ds.

Interestingly, ds came home today from his outing and tried to use his language. Now he wasn't very nice about it, but he actually made a sentence, on own, where he said he was tired but couldn't nap because blah blah. I thought that was really good! Here we've been working on because constructions all week, and boom he's using one to problem solve. I think using his language to problem solve scenarios in pictures, scenarios in books, etc. will be a logical next step for him. I think having it in a CONTEXT is really important. I can only go so far with worksheets. And I think he's got the untapped capability to go from very simple analysis to more challenging pretty quickly. I definitely think he'll get there. It could really unlock a lot on him. I was just pleased that he actually said that! 

I'll keep reading. Kbutton, are you still doing work with your older ds with an SLP, or are you done with that? And is anything she's doing getting traction with this? What I try to do with ds is be very systematic and back up to idiot land. Like going to that level one book of the asd-pdd asking questions book is clearly super easy, super obvious for him. But we can buzz through that whole book in a number of days, and I have this VISION for how to use it in more sophisticated ways. By dropping the complexity of the material being analyzed, I can increase the demands for language to a much, much higher level. But ds actually has holes that will be obvious doing that. I don't that your ds would. I was just curious what he was up to.

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

When self-advocating, we know there is a problem somewhere because he's more gruff, impatient, etc. when reporting his "list of facts" that don't have ties. In a busy classroom or in other situations where people aren't used to him, people hear the list of facts, and don't realize it's their job (in his mind) to identify the significance of those facts--what the problem is, notice that he juxtaposed facts that should show a contrast between what is and what should be, etc. He's really relying on someone to infer things correctly, state it back to him with those ties, and then he can go from there to fix the problem or get what he needs. 

BINGO. This is exactly what the CT stuff is saying. Now see, ironically, your ds would be more age-appropriate for the conjunctions book I just got. https://www.proedinc.com/Products/13551/conversations-with-conjunctions-assessment-and-activities-for-oral-language.aspx  Check it out. It didn't have a lot with samples, or maybe it had no samples? I finally have it in-hand and my initial take was it was way over ds' head. But I can look through it and think about your ds. It's actually thorough and it can get them farther. It's not just because but lots and lots of things missing that would give nuances and clarity. I need to look at it more, but anything giving context, using pictures, etc. is good.

Ok, I'm looking through it. Font is nasty and old, which is a total turnoff for me. Each conjunction is introduced and then there are 10 or however many category/position uses for it all modeled with fill in the blank conversations. It's meant as lessons, but it could be an informational outline to make sure you're addressing more complex constructions too. 

It strikes me that the work I did in Russian with prepositions was very, very similar to how this is set up. In Russian, your prepositions all take cases, so you can show movement, all sorts of things, depending on what case you put with it. We had to work them so many ways, so many locations, developing subtlety of meaning. And you would think oh that's not worth much because those were just memorized exercises, but actually they were. So there's a sense in which maybe this workbook on conjunctions wouldn't seem like much but could actually have an effect by giving a thorough examination of the topic and creating models to memorize and practice and build from.

 

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Kbutton, the more I think about your situation, the more it seems to me you need more than the CT. You actually need targeted work on conjunctions. 

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

My son has spoken this way since he was 15 months old or so, though he started with choppy sentences (missing words when he didn't have one, or made up phrases like, "plug it out" for unplugging something). He used very specific gestures when he didn't have specific words--he always wanted the most precise word for nouns and verbs even though he had trouble with precise words for feelings, etc. People were just way more blown away by the fact that he could give you extremely specific directions on how to light a fire in the woodstove at 17 months old (even if he had to make up words or gestures to do it)! The reaction wasn't that he was missing ties; the reaction was that you better make sure he couldn't reach matches because he didn't leave out a single detail necessary to build a fire except maybe removing the ashes from a previous fire!

One of the books I was looking at uses a system of pictures and added words/markings to build sentences. For a brief moment in my brain here, somehow that system of markings and your ds' gestures seemed equivalent in a way. Look at page 240 of this link/sample, and imagine that with the "because" written between the pics to link them.

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

Anyway, I am thinking that since your son is just now grasping parts and pieces of meaning at the word, phrase, and sentence level vs. using entire memorized paragraphs, what you are doing makes sense--hitting all those different kinds of things before pulling it into narrative. For my son, it's like he has all the parts except for some ties, and he understands ties. He just has no organizing principle for knowing which parts and pieces to pull in, when to pull them in, and how to make it automatic without losing something or going through layers and layers or mental or paper and pen revision. If you are going back so far to find developmental holes, and your son doesn't really have a differently developed coping mechanism in place, then I think you are going to get things coming out in a more developmentally typical sequence because you are providing those really important pieces for him. My son, OTOH, developed elaborate language-based coping strategies (besides echolalia), and on the receptive side, he understood what others said, so he didn't need to be able to respond with the same constructions. We're using these tools to get what's in there, out in a helpful way. You are still trying to figure out what is there, what is not, and you have a chance to get the content there at the same time the relevant developmental skill gets there, I think. Maybe that's oversimplifying.

I think the CTT will help my son with that, but it's because the pieces are basically all there. 

 

Yes, I think you're capturing the differences very well. I think that red conjunctions book might organize his (your ds') brain. It would be systemic and create an outline for him to practice for usage. The worst problem is when language seems random. For instance, until I looked in that book, I had never made the connection that "before" in "I've done that before" and "before" of "Before I go to the store I want to wash my hair" were somehow semantically related. They were just separate things. So there's a lot that can be done with good organization. It might not be natural to organize the brain on an outline, but on the other hand natural can seem kinda random and not be accessible either.

With ds, things don't seem to come out unless we actually work on them. Whether it was sounds or word length or whatever, everything we've gotten is because we've explicitly worked on it. It's why his language development stopped, because after a point (mainly looking at sentence lenght) the PROMPT people stopped looking at it. Expressive wasn't their gig and it's not inherently part of PROMPT. We would talk about doing expressive work, but with no funding and me not quite realizing, it didn't happen. It wouldn't have mattered anyway. His motor planning is only now enough that he doesn't regress significantly with 6 weeks off. Think about that. After, um, almost 8 years of therapy we can now take off 6 weeks and not have him regress on intelligibility. Oy. We're actually talking about whether we might put MORE funding and hours into his motor planning. I don't know. That would be a challenge to keep up with, but language work has always, always gotten us the most bang for our buck. We'll see. We may just hold at the 2 hours a week. But he's literally finding the language work we're doing so fatiguing that it wouldn't be out of the question to do more PROMPT. It's the gap between can I get it out and can I get it out easily, sigh. I don't know. The SLP just floated that today.

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Kbutton, total aside, but think about how your ds' gaps are affecting his reading comprehension. Is it showing up there or is this totally an expressive gig? And then how can he wrangle with discussing academic topics, if he's not using conjunctions? 

Not all development is developmental. The SLPs have lists and the tests will cover stuff, but some of this stuff occurs and builds with academics. So, for example, phonological processing is developmental but understanding written text or being able to write is non-natural and something that has to be taught. Sentence complexity is linked to education level, and more complex sentence constructions are going to be associated with higher worker memory and higher intelligence. So it's RIGHT that you want it and normal and natural, but it doesn't tell you what actually happened and why xyz level of sentence complexity didn't develop. I dont' think all these constructions are necessarily on the hit list of everyone gets this, we remediate if they're not getting it, kwim? There are limits where the system pulls the plug and says good enough and then there's what we as parents want to have happen based on what is appropriate for our kids.

Have you done any diagramming with him or teaching him an inflected or foreign language? I think sometimes people with kids with disabilities are skirting issues by going over to another language. It gives them an excuse and context to work on constructions, and then the kid goes backward to english and gets some carryover. More ways to skin a cat kind of thing.

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

I think the CTT will help my son with that, but it's because the pieces are basically all there. 

 

The advantage of CTT is making it visual. The curiosity is whether he needs explicit instruction in more kinds of constructions. 

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

I am reading this as a suggestion to let the SGM stuff contextualize the overall process (with the reassurance that it really is a complementary resource), show where stuff normally develops together, and then potentially settle into it while using other materials to go broad. If you can see the progression and complementary way the products work together, it might also let you relax a bit and not have to continually worry something is left unaddressed. 

Using the SLP that was "too much" but actually aware of real issues would also be a way to not have to reinvent things.

But I also know that you have to wrap your own head around how to use the stuff and have that lightbulb moment. I get that! But maybe if you can catch some of the overlaps and be convinced it's going to do it, then you will be able to back off and just do the therapy with more trust and be more settled.

Oh I'd go back to that SLP in a heartbeat if I could! Her office was really really close to a tv tower and I was getting unbearable migraines. I physically can't do it. It was a helpful experience though, because I got to see the potential for what kind of bounce ds gets just having time with other people, other types of people. It really raised the bar for me on how to use our scholarship money. At this point I'm looking for workers of any label who have strong language skills. I also want someone to do non-verbal stuff with him (RDI). But we'll see. 

And yeah, I don't know if I've made it clear, but I've finally wrapped my brain around all this stuff. No, I can't just trust and assume, haha, because that's not how I am. But I've wrapped my brain around it and see where we're going and am comfortable now. I do need to decide whether/what I'm ordering from SGM, but I've just been putting that off because I'm so tired. If I don't sort it out by tomorrow, I'll probably just call. I'm just trying to rest up. I think I may actually be much more tired than I realize. 

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Kbutton, that's a really good question whether the PROMPT therapist should try to bring in some overlap. What I don't want is time spent on stuff that is not PROMPT, because I'm driving over 2 hours each way. I can't have her doing things that I can do or that any local person can do. I drive that far ONLY for PROMPT. But then when the question is whether we could do something with PROMPT to make easier what we're doing with our expressive language, that's another interesting question. 

Sometimes what has happened is that work I've done, say on phonological processing or whatever, has bumped working memory and opened up capabilities that the PROMPT therapist then taps. So it's kind of a back and forth. If he can handle thinking through more complex words or constructions, then they can use those in the therapy. They naturally pick up on that and step up the bar, because it's evident. But when that capability to use longer sentences, to use more complex words, etc. isn't there, they can't do that. So like when we took a break to work on phonological processing a couple years ago, we went back and got big gains. And it could be that, yes, we'll walk in the door and he'll just be able to do more.

My guess is that they've been maxing out what he can handle. This stuff was wicked hard, wicked. Anything that he's doing in only 3-5 minute spurts is just so, so hard. They have to keep the challenge level to where he can have acceptable behavior. He has to be able to tolerate it and not go under the table and be gone to them. It's your total ABA thing with trust, breaks, keeping it within reach. 

Every time I get antsy and want more, it messes things up. So as much as I like the idea, but guess is my people will up that level naturally. They've been super, super intuitive on him so far. If he could do more, I think they would do more. That's what I'm saying. Like it's easy to think oh they just don't have a big enough vision or aren't smart enough or aren't working hard enough, but I don't think that's the case. I think they're probably working with a broad enough variety of ages and abilities that if he could step it up, they would. If he has some room after what we've done, they will. I think they'll naturally try things out. I think I could mention to them what I'm working on. Our chick is coming back from maternity leave, so I don't think she's wanting extended discussions right now, lol. But I can give her hit lists. I think I mentioned to her in my email that we're working on because constructions with one of the workbooks and that it's really hard for him. 

Technically 1-2 hours a week is considered the norm for PROMPT. When people go doing more, that's an unusual situation. These therapists are good enough they can just turn it on and wear his brain out, like nuclear meltdown. If you do that, it sort of scrambles everything and the kid actually sounds WORSE. It's sort of counter-intuitive. Like more is not necessarily better.

I'm saying I don't know. I think if she senses room in there to use more complex sentences and structures while doing the PROMPT, she'll try. If she doesn't, it's because it wouldn't be good. And as long as he's progressing (which he is, definitely is), I'm just gonna be patient with that. A year ago he was not 100% intelligible, and now he is even after a 6 week break. So we're progressing, even if it is a long haul kinda thing.

And yes, we've worked on controlling language since he was little. I'm sure in her sessions the SLP is counting words to keep it tight. 

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Resting is always good, and you can wait to order if you need more time to think about it.

To share about my son, the Braidy type stuff is the reading comprehension component here (where we live now).  He does it as part of his reading group with a special ed teacher.  It is a daily class for him.  There is overlap with other things he does but this is the reading group/reading comprehension part here.

The way I have had it explained to me at two school districts, is that they use Fountas and Pinnell and that to be placed in a reading group you must answer certain reading comprehension questions, orally, using complete sentences.  And the sentences have to meet certain criteria for how clear and accurate they are.  

So right now, she is working on (among other things) answering how questions, because that is a focus of his reading group, for the level he is in.  

So I do think it is good to have some kind of component for this.  Not that it would be your entire speech/language program.  But I think reading comprehension with fiction is important, and open-ended questions are important, and the ties are important.  I don’t think they should be an entire speech/language program, but I think it’s a really worthwhile component.  

And Mindwings does have a program that starts at a pre-school level, so I don’t think it would be too early a level for what you want.  

I think the other components you are looking at are also important and needed.  But I think this kind of component is also really worthwhile and this seems like a really quality option that is more parent-friendly than a lot of things.  

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Sorry, our power surged. I'm still just looking. I need to think about the reading comprehension. We've been using materials and he tests well. Like the psych did his achievement testing and was blown away. The school looked at the scores and they don't think he needs reading goals. Now I don't think our school is exactly doing a sound, thorough job making these goals, and they'd probably up their game if he were actually in there and they were seeing things. They just have the numbers from the achievement testing and are going ok, no longer a discrepancy, move on. 

So yes there's a gap between what you can do with multiple choice and what you can do with your expressive language. I can look at our mix and see. At some point, the reason they're doing that is to drive language development to lay the way for writing. I'd have to think about whether doing that with fiction is a priority for me. The 3rd grade Common Core standards talk about having an opinion and supporting it, and that's more where I was going to be going with oral arguments this year. Sometimes reading curricula are really in the social weeds, not very interesting. As long as he can pass achievement testing for stuff that isn't going to be as interesting for him, I was pretty content to put that speech effort into arguing points that would be interesting to him. Obviously I can't promise we'll nail that, but that was my plan. The IEP team liked it to, because it fits the CC standards and because it's working with things that will probably be strengths for him. They liked that I had a plan to work with his strengths and not only be remediating weaknesses. If I spend all day doing reading comprehension, I'll just totally sap him. Sure it's a way to work on language, but I need more ways. His reading comprehension itself, per achievement testing, is fine. He was doing 1 grade level advanced science reading comprehension this year and on-grade level reading comprehension for social studies, etc. across multiple curricula sources. Some of those had him answering open-ended and wh- questions in complete sentences, yes. That's why we knew he had the language issues to work on. But we have more ways to work on it. I don't have to tie that to fiction reading. 

My vision for fiction reading right now for him is only tentative. He listens avidly to books on audio, and I hope to try popcorn reading and motivators this summer to get him reading some fiction on his own. If it doesn't click, it may be a hill I don't die on. With as many hills as we have, that may be the least important. He's currently listening to The Disappearing Spoon on audio. https://www.amazon.com/Disappearing-Spoon-Madness-Periodic-Elements/dp/0316051632/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527537599&sr=8-1&keywords=the+disappearing+spoon He has wide discrepancies and abilities and I cannot only teach to his weaknesses. It will kill him. I HAVE to teach to his strengths. So doing some expository work where we argue points with structure and evidence is actually high priority for me. Reading non-fiction texts and outlining and extracting points to argue is important. I'll definitely continue work on reading comprehension, but what we're doing seems to be adequate, according to the IEP team and the psych. 

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Ds' comprehension scores for narratives are DRAMATICALLY higher than his expressive. His comprehension is almost age-appropriate, which, while not IQ-appropriate, is enough that it becomes less of a focus. His expressive scores were what were so low, so that's why we're putting all the energy there. His comprehension will naturally bump with the SGM work, but it really doesn't need to be a huge focus. I think probably he'll be more like Kbutton's ds in that he'll need the linch pin work. Like he was watching a movie yesterday and couldn't follow the plot at all. Normally he does better than that, but it was complex, with several stories interweaving. I think some work with SGM will help that, yes. But is it like emergency zone, desperate? Nope. And I think just a fuzz of work will probably get us there, because his scores weren't that discrepant. 

Just to ponder, the other thing that is interesting is the debates about WHY my ds' narrative scores are low. The SGM people (and SLPs who buy the kits, the ones I've talked with) assume it's a story grammar issue, that if he understood the components he wouldn't have the trouble. But is that REALLY the case? Think about it. His comprehension scores for narratives are just about age-appropriate. So he must be understanding story grammar elements on some level. That means that really you're providing supports for working memory deficits or EF issues or central coherence (my theory), etc. There's something else you're supporting, because it's not actually a deficit in understanding the basic components of the story. Otherwise his comprehension wouldn't be as good as it is.

But the SLPs just go see, we bought this $200 kit and we can solve it! And they don't actually pin down what they're saying they're going to solve. They just wanna rub the kit all over him like garlic and say it will work. Oh it will, but it's a lot easier to solve a problem when you can actually say what the problem IS. That's my point and why I keep thinking so hard. I definitely, definitely think working memory deficits were impacting his ability to get out more complex language. That's half of why he's requiring so much support and wigging out AND why he's making such rapid progress. Working memory is use it or lose it, and he has consistently had trouble keeping his working memory high enough to be able to motor plan and repeat larger chunks of text. So essentially part of his progress the last few weeks has been rapidly expanding his working memory and his ability to hold the jist of multiple sentences (or one huge sentence like a definition) and get it out.

Visualization supports low working memory by giving them more strategies. He's been mainly using his (incredibly strong) auditory memory, rather than tapping into visualization powers. 

So we'll see. I just keep thinking. The sale runs a while yet, but they also seem to have good sales pretty frequently. What I don't want to do is buy a manual with tons of text that doesn't get me anywhere. We'll see. That's what I'm most concerned about. I'm sorta getting post on all the little rubrics and charts, because I don't expect him to follow any of them. He might to a degree, but he's probably going to get to the end pretty quickly. So it's mainly whether the maps in the manual are worth anything. I'm a little skunked with Core of the Core, because online people are saying the map for research is the best one in the book. If MORE in the book are that good, it's worth something to me. Like that map I can pick up and use right away with him, boom. So I don't know if that means we should go up to Thememaker or whether there's more good stuff in CoC at that level, dunno. 

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Of course he shouldn’t do some fiction-focused reading comprehension all day.  But as a component I do think it would be good, I think it ties in a lot with social and with self-regulation.  

He needs to focus on strengths, too.

And if you are doing something else that targets a lot with social understanding, feelings, etc, I think that is different, too.  I think if you are otherwise covering social understanding and feelings, that is part of what I would value with fiction, but there are other ways to work on it.  

I do think spending a little time on it is a help for self-advocacy, self-regulation, social/emotional understanding, etc.  

I think also ——— this stuff doesn’t *only* target story structure.  It does also target the other things through “story-based interventions.”  

I think the value comes from the carry-over.  If it was really only about story structure and reading a type of material the child is less-interested in, then it would be a lot less compelling.

A lot of why it is compelling is the carryover.  

 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Kbutton, the more I think about your situation, the more it seems to me you need more than the CT. You actually need targeted work on conjunctions. 

Well, he can do it when he knows that's what we want. That's the case with almost all of this stuff. 

Maybe a foreign language would work, but I don't know how we'd do. He'd probably be hyperlexic in a foreign language and have GREAT pronunciation, lol! 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

One of the books I was looking at uses a system of pictures and added words/markings to build sentences. For a brief moment in my brain here, somehow that system of markings and your ds' gestures seemed equivalent in a way. Look at page 240 of this link/sample, and imagine that with the "because" written between the pics to link them.

I think your link is missing.

My son gestured when he was little--like when he was less than two. Now it's more about listing his facts and emphasizing with his voice. 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Yes, I think you're capturing the differences very well. I think that red conjunctions book might organize his (your ds') brain. It would be systemic and create an outline for him to practice for usage. The worst problem is when language seems random. For instance, until I looked in that book, I had never made the connection that "before" in "I've done that before" and "before" of "Before I go to the store I want to wash my hair" were somehow semantically related. They were just separate things. So there's a lot that can be done with good organization. It might not be natural to organize the brain on an outline, but on the other hand natural can seem kinda random and not be accessible either.

2

The organization is almost certainly part of the problem. I guess there is data (my tutor had a study a few months ago) suggesting that autistic brains take in language like they do noise, music, or any other sound. I think the general idea is that it is just sound first, and then they figure out it's language later. But then they have to retrieve it and reorganize it from a different place in their brains than that language center. 

I really think that my son doesn't have a connection between what kinds of questions or situations should prompt certain kinds of sentence constructions or information. But if he knows because the activity is targeted, then he does it really well and doesn't seem to struggle at all. It's frustrating everyone. 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Oh I'd go back to that SLP in a heartbeat if I could! Her office was really really close to a tv tower and I was getting unbearable migraines. 

And yeah, I don't know if I've made it clear, but I've finally wrapped my brain around all this stuff. No, I can't just trust and assume, haha, because that's not how I am. But I've wrapped my brain around it and see where we're going and am comfortable now. I do need to decide whether/what I'm ordering from SGM, but I've just been putting that off because I'm so tired. If I don't sort it out by tomorrow, I'll probably just call. I'm just trying to rest up. I think I may actually be much more tired than I realize. 

1

I think Lecka's suggestion was to go to her on a consultation basis. I also remember you being really stressed at the time--maybe it wouldn't be as bad if you aren't already super stressed.

Your second paragraph here--I'm not suggesting trust and assume. At all. More like using it as a to-do list of how things match up that you revisit vs. reinventing your approach over and over. If you find that it's not working, that's different, but trying to reconcile what you see happening and how they match up tasks they see as occurring together developmentally might be both informative and a way of troubleshooting without opening up a whole new can of worms over and over.

2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Kbutton, that's a really good question whether the PROMPT therapist should try to bring in some overlap. What I don't want is time spent on stuff that is not PROMPT, because I'm driving over 2 hours each way. I can't have her doing things that I can do or that any local person can do. I drive that far ONLY for PROMPT. But then when the question is whether we could do something with PROMPT to make easier what we're doing with our expressive language, that's another interesting question. 

Sometimes what has happened is that work I've done, say on phonological processing or whatever, has bumped working memory and opened up capabilities that the PROMPT therapist then taps. So it's kind of a back and forth. If he can handle thinking through more complex words or constructions, then they can use those in the therapy. They naturally pick up on that and step up the bar, because it's evident. But when that capability to use longer sentences, to use more complex words, etc. isn't there, they can't do that. So like when we took a break to work on phonological processing a couple years ago, we went back and got big gains. And it could be that, yes, we'll walk in the door and he'll just be able to do more.

My guess is that they've been maxing out what he can handle. This stuff was wicked hard, wicked. Anything that he's doing in only 3-5 minute spurts is just so, so hard. They have to keep the challenge level to where he can have acceptable behavior. He has to be able to tolerate it and not go under the table and be gone to them. It's your total ABA thing with trust, breaks, keeping it within reach. 

Every time I get antsy and want more, it messes things up. So as much as I like the idea, but guess is my people will up that level naturally. They've been super, super intuitive on him so far. If he could do more, I think they would do more. That's what I'm saying. Like it's easy to think oh they just don't have a big enough vision or aren't smart enough or aren't working hard enough, but I don't think that's the case. I think they're probably working with a broad enough variety of ages and abilities that if he could step it up, they would. If he has some room after what we've done, they will. I think they'll naturally try things out. I think I could mention to them what I'm working on. Our chick is coming back from maternity leave, so I don't think she's wanting extended discussions right now, lol. But I can give her hit lists. I think I mentioned to her in my email that we're working on because constructions with one of the workbooks and that it's really hard for him. 

Technically 1-2 hours a week is considered the norm for PROMPT. When people go doing more, that's an unusual situation. These therapists are good enough they can just turn it on and wear his brain out, like nuclear meltdown. If you do that, it sort of scrambles everything and the kid actually sounds WORSE. It's sort of counter-intuitive. Like more is not necessarily better.

I'm saying I don't know. I think if she senses room in there to use more complex sentences and structures while doing the PROMPT, she'll try. If she doesn't, it's because it wouldn't be good. And as long as he's progressing (which he is, definitely is), I'm just gonna be patient with that. A year ago he was not 100% intelligible, and now he is even after a 6 week break. So we're progressing, even if it is a long haul kinda thing.

And yes, we've worked on controlling language since he was little. I'm sure in her sessions the SLP is counting words to keep it tight. 

I think of PROMPT as practicing articulation in an isolated way, and the other language work as totally different. At some point, I would assume your DS needs to be able to use the language work in combination with his articulation. Beyond that, I feel like you are simultaneously saying he is and that he isn't. 

Are any of the therapists (other than the SLP we use there) trained in traditional speech therapy or just PROMPT. Because when you say that PROMPT is inherently not about the other language work, it's sort of scary to think they aren't at least watching out for both aspects. Our SLP doesn't just do PROMPT. She does other language work quite creatively. 

I am suggesting that if he is doing more complicated sentence structures in PROMPT, but it's divorced from a context where those structures mean something he understands and uses pretty spontaneously (from, say, your work with him), then I think it's essentially possible to make him hyperlexic in a way, but with speech instead of print language. You know for a fact that he memorized long passages that he used in place of his own language. I would think it's possible to keep doing that if the articulation is not paired with meaningful language activity. 

That's the crux of my concern. My son, even when he would sometimes say something in echolalia, refused to say or memorize something he didn't have a pretty good understanding for. He just tended to find it easier to use someone else's turn of a phrase. He will rephrase it if it's not too much effort for him. 

1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Just to ponder, the other thing that is interesting is the debates about WHY my ds' narrative scores are low. The SGM people (and SLPs who buy the kits, the ones I've talked with) assume it's a story grammar issue, that if he understood the components he wouldn't have the trouble. But is that REALLY the case? Think about it. His comprehension scores for narratives are just about age-appropriate. So he must be understanding story grammar elements on some level. That means that really you're providing supports for working memory deficits or EF issues or central coherence (my theory), etc. There's something else you're supporting, because it's not actually a deficit in understanding the basic components of the story. Otherwise his comprehension wouldn't be as good as it is.

But the SLPs just go see, we bought this $200 kit and we can solve it! And they don't actually pin down what they're saying they're going to solve. They just wanna rub the kit all over him like garlic and say it will work. Oh it will, but it's a lot easier to solve a problem when you can actually say what the problem IS. That's my point and why I keep thinking so hard. I definitely, definitely think working memory deficits were impacting his ability to get out more complex language. That's half of why he's requiring so much support and wigging out AND why he's making such rapid progress. Working memory is use it or lose it, and he has consistently had trouble keeping his working memory high enough to be able to motor plan and repeat larger chunks of text. So essentially part of his progress the last few weeks has been rapidly expanding his working memory and his ability to hold the jist of multiple sentences (or one huge sentence like a definition) and get it out.

Visualization supports low working memory by giving them more strategies. He's been mainly using his (incredibly strong) auditory memory, rather than tapping into visualization powers. 

6

Well, the author of SGM will tell you that part of it is working memory, and you've noticed that your son has those issues already. I am not sure I understand why you think that is a negative. It's really an overall tool that was designed broadly. They've added on as needs appear. 

The real crux, I think is that kids with autism struggle with parts and pieces, struggle to know which ones they need, and they need these things added to their toolbox slowly because they have to generalize them. So part B has to match up with part A. Add part C, and it has to match up with A and with B, and so on. My son clearly has all or most of these parts, but they were not put into the toolbox in a developmentally typical fashion. He received no therapy for years. We didn't know it was a language thing. You have a chance to see that your son gets these things put into his toolbox in a more typically developing sequence, which might be more powerful than backing up and patching holes. It's very late with my son to do that--we are patching holes, and honestly, it seems like the holes with my son are how to put the pieces together, not the content. If we can make him understand what we want, he can do the parts.

You KNOW your son has issues that we didn't know about with my son, and I think that you might solve them with or without SGM, but I strongly suggest that you won't solve it until you've matched all the parts and pieces pretty systematically with all of the other parts and pieces, and possibly not until you match it up (eventually) with PROMPT. How you go about doing it is your business. I am just suggesting that SGM might be a good overarching way to be sure you're actually matching it up in a more typically developed sequence. Your son is at a more sensitive period than mine for therapy, so maybe you are getting lucky or maybe you are matching up parts and pieces in a more wholistic and systematic way that you are able to articulate. But from where I sit, it's possible to have all the parts and not have them integrated, and it sounds like when people suggest something that could integrate those things, you minimize the tool. If you are integrating them, great. It's just kind of hard to tell. For those of us who are worried about the integration, the tool seems like a really promising way to integrate it all.

I keep going back to the idea that the sum of all the parts is greater than the parts individually with language. The reason this problem is so hard to state is because it's a very hard thing to pinpoint and give a name, and not every child is entering with all the same parts and pieces missing, integrated, not integrated, etc. When you say that they want to rub the tool on a kid like garlic, that's very dismissive. The tool might be ten times more brilliant than you realize if it actually succeeds in teaching what you don't have a name for without naming it. Whether it does or not remains to be seen--I am not an apologist for SGM. 

It sounds (to me) like you are saying that if I fill holes with my son, then all will be well, but you are missing that activities designed to fill holes show that he can pretty much do them, if he gets that's what we're driving at. It sounds like you are aiming to fill holes with your son, and I really don't want you to find out that filling holes leads to...the situation my son is in. 

 

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41 minutes ago, kbutton said:

The organization is almost certainly part of the problem. I guess there is data (my tutor had a study a few months ago) suggesting that autistic brains take in language like they do noise, music, or any other sound. I think the general idea is that it is just sound first, and then they figure out it's language later. But then they have to retrieve it and reorganize it from a different place in their brains than that language center. 

I really think that my son doesn't have a connection between what kinds of questions or situations should prompt certain kinds of sentence constructions or information. But if he knows because the activity is targeted, then he does it really well and doesn't seem to struggle at all. It's frustrating everyone. 

And that's where I was saying if you can make it visible, visualizable, maybe it gets both meaning and context for use.

Yes, I think the lit on scripting/echolalia is saying memorizing large parts and overlaying them on pictures without getting the precise meaning of the elements. So what I'm liking about that No Glamour sentence structure book is their effort to put meaning to every part of a sentence. 

Does your ds struggle with rearranged sentences? I tell ds they're Yoda sentences, haha. They're hard for him. One of the sequencing workbooks we're doing has a scad of them.

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4 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Or my brain is missing, lol. http://www.linguisystems.com/sample1/31667.pdf

Okay, I saw this earlier in the thread. I think it has potential, but it would have to be modified to use with DS.

I'll tell you...it's super hard. Everything has potential, all of it tells us something we aren't sure we can do anything about (or with), and everything gives false positives. It's really frustrating. I am hopeful that the integration of the SGM tools will give us a PLAN, and then any holes that come up have some CONTEXT for my son that he can latch onto and use purposefully.

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1 hour ago, Lecka said:

Of course he shouldn’t do some fiction-focused reading comprehension all day.  But as a component I do think it would be good, I think it ties in a lot with social and with self-regulation.  

He needs to focus on strengths, too.

And if you are doing something else that targets a lot with social understanding, feelings, etc, I think that is different, too.  I think if you are otherwise covering social understanding and feelings, that is part of what I would value with fiction, but there are other ways to work on it.  

I do think spending a little time on it is a help for self-advocacy, self-regulation, social/emotional understanding, etc.  

I think also ——— this stuff doesn’t *only* target story structure.  It does also target the other things through “story-based interventions.”  

I think the value comes from the carry-over.  If it was really only about story structure and reading a type of material the child is less-interested in, then it would be a lot less compelling.

A lot of why it is compelling is the carryover.  

 

There's a separate issue you're hitting there, which I'm realizing more and is something I'm still pondering how to handle, is that some people just do different things from me with the same materials or the same task. Some things just aren't as important to me as to some people, and to some people those things are so shockingly important and obvious that it's astonishing to them that they aren't to me. 

Like I said, it has only just recently really clicked for me that that's the case. I haven't decided what to do about it and whether to do anything about it. Not everything is fixable and not everything is of equal priority. I think sometimes highly NT people really value things that maybe are natural to them but aren't going to be the highest priority. I may be right or wrong, and I'll certainly mess up some things. I think it's good that I'm finally seeing it, but that doesn't mean my take is *wrong* on something. I happen to have been highly successful through college and grad school, so I probably have some sense of what will be of lasting importance, what is winnable, what isn't. A lot of therapy being done isn't getting anywhere, and I look for things that are pivotal, logical, and that fit the evidence of how the skills develop. I may choose some areas not to win on, or I may choose to outsource some areas I'm weak on. Yes, I realize that reading curriculum will have social thinking, inferences, etc. built in.

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1 minute ago, kbutton said:

Okay, I saw this earlier in the thread. I think it has potential, but it would have to be modified to use with DS.

I'll tell you...it's super hard. Everything has potential, all of it tells us something we aren't sure we can do anything about (or with), and everything gives false positives. It's really frustrating. I am hopeful that the integration of the SGM tools will give us a PLAN, and then any holes that come up have some CONTEXT for my son that he can latch onto and use purposefully.

Yeah, I more look for something that catches my eye and gives me a vision for what I could DO with it. If SGM is doing that for you, that's super stellar awesome. What works for me is to look through every single option out there (I spend hours doing this) until things catch my eye that say they're exactly right for ds or something that I could modify to be right for ds. And of course I pray over it, because sometimes I have NO CLUE, lol. But I'm saying you're good going with your gut. I really strongly think that when you're in sync with your dc you just go with your gut.

And yes, I think you're right that it gives you a starting point, a framework. It sounds really good. The 100% Vocab (Rothstein) book has turned out to be that for us. It's giving us a framework and as we expand the sections we just keep unleashing things. It has been really good.

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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

And that's where I was saying if you can make it visible, visualizable, maybe it gets both meaning and context for use.

Yes, I think the lit on scripting/echolalia is saying memorizing large parts and overlaying them on pictures without getting the precise meaning of the elements. So what I'm liking about that No Glamour sentence structure book is their effort to put meaning to every part of a sentence. 

Does your ds struggle with rearranged sentences? I tell ds they're Yoda sentences, haha. They're hard for him. One of the sequencing workbooks we're doing has a scad of them.

He has some glitches if we're actually doing formal grammar (like grammar analysis as a subject, not grammar in a speech therapy sense). He doesn't seem to have trouble with them IRL. 

My son's echolalia never replaced actual understanding for him as far as we can tell. He would literally not memorize a poem, song, or Bible verse that didn't make sense to him, even when he was 2. He just refused.

He basically will use the language he can, and he will understand more than he can use, originally. He is also AMAZING at getting his point across in person by using what he can in novel ways (like finding a million uses for a hammer because you have no other tools). And he can rearrange other people's language to be closer to what he understands (but not quite); however, it requires an elaborate series of steps, discussions, etc. where parts and pieces fall out of the bucket. 

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8 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I think Lecka's suggestion was to go to her on a consultation basis. I also remember you being really stressed at the time--maybe it wouldn't be as bad if you aren't already super stressed.

Your second paragraph here--I'm not suggesting trust and assume. At all. More like using it as a to-do list of how things match up that you revisit vs. reinventing your approach over and over. If you find that it's not working, that's different, but trying to reconcile what you see happening and how they match up tasks they see as occurring together developmentally might be both informative and a way of troubleshooting without opening up a whole new can of worms over and over.

 

Yes, I have so much of the methodology into my head right now that it's tempting not to buy anything. I think, like you're saying, buying SOMETHING would get me some more pieces and keep it all pulled together so I don't forget. I'm just not a stellar reader these days. I look at those samples and my brain drones... But if the maps are good and I can find my remaining pieces to complete my mental picture quickly, we'll be good. I know what I want. It was already coming together for me this evening. I think some kind of daily journaling where every hour or so the alarm goes off and we draw a picture of what we're doing. However we can do it sort of Our Wacky Day and all madlibs, like pick some crazy element of what you're doing so it makes for a funny story. And the organizer for the whole thing contains whatever level/quantity of the SGM pieces (ie. the narrative stage if we must be all nasty technical) we're at. So then it's scalable, contextualized, and also working on our appropriate VBA goals.

I went through the chart in Greer, and our work so far has bumped us up to step 19, which is what my GUT was saying. I just hadn't gone back to the chart to see. So that step is putting words to play. Hello. Not retelling books or fiction, just words to play. And step 21 is putting words to your DAY. Not books or fiction, just your day. And that's where I was saying SGM for us is jumping the gun. And the structures that look artificial to me (Braidy forms with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) actually feel really normal and reasonable if you're narrating about your DAY. That's actually how people would talk about their day. And it's the logical outgrowth and progression of what we're doing.

See that's the thing. I don't need Braidy or a system so much as I need to understand. When I understand, I can apply and make it fit him. THAT is good therapy. Just picking up a Braidy manual isn't good therapy, and that's not what an experienced therapist would do. They would take all that knowledge and look at him and make a custom use scenario that uses the framework and progression but puts it into a context that is just right for where he's at.

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6 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

There's a separate issue you're hitting there, which I'm realizing more and is something I'm still pondering how to handle, is that some people just do different things from me with the same materials or the same task. Some things just aren't as important to me as to some people, and to some people those things are so shockingly important and obvious that it's astonishing to them that they aren't to me. 

Like I said, it has only just recently really clicked for me that that's the case. I haven't decided what to do about it and whether to do anything about it. Not everything is fixable and not everything is of equal priority. I think sometimes highly NT people really value things that maybe are natural to them but aren't going to be the highest priority. I may be right or wrong, and I'll certainly mess up some things. I think it's good that I'm finally seeing it, but that doesn't mean my take is *wrong* on something. I happen to have been highly successful through college and grad school, so I probably have some sense of what will be of lasting importance, what is winnable, what isn't. A lot of therapy being done isn't getting anywhere, and I look for things that are pivotal, logical, and that fit the evidence of how the skills develop. I may choose some areas not to win on, or I may choose to outsource some areas I'm weak on. Yes, I realize that reading curriculum will have social thinking, inferences, etc. built in.

I think that we all have these areas in math, science, or whatever. But this is so much broader, and I think that you might be surprised--if someone did teach these things to your son, maybe those things would actually eventually make a difference to you.

There are things I have no use for that my kids need and vice versa. But, my son's ASD is less severe, and people are really going to expect things from him that they might not expect from your DS. We have friends whose son does better with certain kinds of academics, but he can't make a sandwich without assistance. If it were up to me, there are entire realms of information that I wouldn't bother to expose them to or teach them, and it would be very hampering. None of them have anything to do with areas of neurotypicalness--they are more cultural or personality-based. But my kids aren't me even when they have things in common with me. 

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15 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I think of PROMPT as practicing articulation in an isolated way, and the other language work as totally different. At some point, I would assume your DS needs to be able to use the language work in combination with his articulation. Beyond that, I feel like you are simultaneously saying he is and that he isn't. 

Are any of the therapists (other than the SLP we use there) trained in traditional speech therapy or just PROMPT. Because when you say that PROMPT is inherently not about the other language work, it's sort of scary to think they aren't at least watching out for both aspects. Our SLP doesn't just do PROMPT. She does other language work quite creatively.

 

I understand your ds can handle cognitive load while he's doing PROMPT. I don't have a great answer for that other than ASD2, kwim? I can tell you that when we were working with the previous SLP they found it was better to remove those elements. With ds, just with the way he responds and how it rolls, they're working on one OR the other. They either work on PROMPT *or* they pause the PROMPT and go work on inferences or something. They never do them together, and it has to be him, not the SLPs. They're reading him. After all, would you feed a cat and wash it at the same time?

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9 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yeah, I more look for something that catches my eye and gives me a vision for what I could DO with it. If SGM is doing that for you, that's super stellar awesome. What works for me is to look through every single option out there (I spend hours doing this) until things catch my eye that say they're exactly right for ds or something that I could modify to be right for ds. And of course I pray over it, because sometimes I have NO CLUE, lol. But I'm saying you're good going with your gut. I really strongly think that when you're in sync with your dc you just go with your gut.

And yes, I think you're right that it gives you a starting point, a framework. It sounds really good. The 100% Vocab (Rothstein) book has turned out to be that for us. It's giving us a framework and as we expand the sections we just keep unleashing things. It has been really good.

SGM is not doing that for me and neither does anything else. I see bits of potential, but I am not a speech therapist. I can, however, watch someone else do therapy and see areas where things are not clicking with him (that the therapists and tutors don't necessarily see because they don't know him as well). SGM is like a meeting agenda when you go to a meeting, and then we can find other things from there. Like you are saying, a framework. And I am glad the vocab book has done that for you! 

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5 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yes, I have so much of the methodology into my head right now that it's tempting not to buy anything. I think, like you're saying, buying SOMETHING would get me some more pieces and keep it all pulled together so I don't forget. I'm just not a stellar reader these days. I look at those samples and my brain drones... But if the maps are good and I can find my remaining pieces to complete my mental picture quickly, we'll be good. I know what I want. It was already coming together for me this evening. I think some kind of daily journaling where every hour or so the alarm goes off and we draw a picture of what we're doing. However we can do it sort of Our Wacky Day and all madlibs, like pick some crazy element of what you're doing so it makes for a funny story. And the organizer for the whole thing contains whatever level/quantity of the SGM pieces (ie. the narrative stage if we must be all nasty technical) we're at. So then it's scalable, contextualized, and also working on our appropriate VBA goals.

I went through the chart in Greer, and our work so far has bumped us up to step 19, which is what my GUT was saying. I just hadn't gone back to the chart to see. So that step is putting words to play. Hello. Not retelling books or fiction, just words to play. And step 21 is putting words to your DAY. Not books or fiction, just your day. And that's where I was saying SGM for us is jumping the gun. And the structures that look artificial to me (Braidy forms with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) actually feel really normal and reasonable if you're narrating about your DAY. That's actually how people would talk about their day. And it's the logical outgrowth and progression of what we're doing.

See that's the thing. I don't need Braidy or a system so much as I need to understand. When I understand, I can apply and make it fit him. THAT is good therapy. Just picking up a Braidy manual isn't good therapy, and that's not what an experienced therapist would do. They would take all that knowledge and look at him and make a custom use scenario that uses the framework and progression but puts it into a context that is just right for where he's at.

That sounds more reassuring. I was definitely not getting that impression from some of your other posts, lol! 

If we could find something for my son that works and expands, I would be enormously relieved. That has not really ever happened. 

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