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PeterPan

Narrative language in autism

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My older son had cluttering with speech therapy and rapid speech rate.  That is the only thing he had as far as speech therapy.

Then with reading he had a huge amount of trouble with phrasing, at all, with even very simple sentences.  I assume phrasing and chunking are the same things?  There is stuff in reading fluency material for how to work on that.

I didn’t do anything directly for reading with expression, just practicing and copying.  He also did readers theater at school, which I think helped a lot.  

My younger son has okay prosody.  There is something about how he talks, but it isn’t prosody (as far as speech therapy).  But he could not do the two clauses for saying something happened, the feeling, and the response.  He could do half (either half I think) but he cannot tie it together.  It seems like a huge overwhelming thing as far as him getting to that point.

I read something interesting about prosody recently I will see if I can find it to link.   

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I was thinking about it and decided to order this book for fluency practice, my son liked the sample.

https://www.amazon.com/Kids-Funniest-Poems-Bruce-Lansky/dp/067174769X/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1528198786&sr=8-4&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=Giggle+poetry&dpPl=1&dpID=61BiZ3F4eYL&ref=plSrch

There’s a lot of recommendations for using funny poetry for fluency.

I didn’t do it with my older son, it wasn’t his kind of thing.  

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I've read both my dc poetry. We started ds with Prelutsky, because it was funny and had illustrations and was easier to engage with. That collection is very social. It looks fun, and I ordered it through our library. Just saying that's very challenging stuff to understand. When you pick one author, you get used to him. Only now am I reading my ds from an anthology. I'm sticking with things he can relate to or find interesting, like animals. So you've got Dickinson, Rossetti, etc. on bats, caterpillars, etc. He usually does something with himself (legos, playdough, etc.) while I read, and it's part of our morning bin. So hymn study, poetry, etc. are all in the bin and we just work through them, bam bam bam. That's in his office. That way we have something that's predictable and a winner to start with for our office time. I was reading how Sonya Shafer at SCM was doing scripture memory with her dd on the spectrum and I want to see if I can add that to our time. I've tried other ways (more auditory) and it didn't work. I think now it might work to do like she did and literally just have him read the cards aloud and move on. It would be something. I haven't really figured it out. It's on my plan, sigh. Dd has commandeered ds' office for the summer anyway, so right now we're only doing language stuff and doing it at the dining table. As long as his behavior is ok, that works.

Well we're a fuzz fuzz behind, but if he's good to go today then we *should* be able to finish the last packets of our stuff, which means we can start our new stuff tomorrow. That's exciting. I printed it all yesterday but haven't gone through and made packets or figured out the plan. I try to stay very focused on what we're doing so I don't get distracted or move on mentally. Also I picked up the first round of holds from the library. I have books to go with the East Meets West Holidays (which I didn't order, and now I'm wondering why), books to go with the Storymaking book, and books from that 50 books for emotional thinking list. I organized the emotions books by the emotions, and they look very promising. The storymaking books are on the young side, so I think we'll probably prioritize starting with them first. Some of them don't have much of a narrative that anyone would bother to retell. What the manual is doing is more like language play, imitating sentence structures. It's cute, but I don't care to do that. I still think it will be good to read them, because I think ds might see some of them afresh. But they might be kinda young or a flop.

The 50 list books are AWESOME and I'm definitely looking forward to those. So now I need to think through how they intersect with my other materials for emotions. I could do the books randomly, or I could do the books systematically, working through an emotion at a time. I *tend* to think I'm going to do the latter, but I don't know. I think there's enough random exposure in life that this is a better time to be systematic, since I have the books, since I can. I'm still waiting for my MindWings box. It will probably come soon, I would think. I ordered the Braidy interactive poster for the faces. You're right, I need to get my blank face printed and laminated and the pieces for it made. 

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So a little interesting twist. We're doing the SPARC grammar book, which I really, really like. It's not as arduous as the attributes book was, and it hits some killer, killer narrative language scores. I LOVE how they weave that in. :wub::wub:  Anyways, it goes through each chunk of grammar with an entire unit/progression just for that one thing. The "I" pronoun he slid through nicely. Now we're doing "he" and by gum if he doesn't start making the incomplete sentences he's made for so long!!! And you would think if the methodology was just leading him in (remember the "I" unit was smooth), then he shouldn't have had errors either. Instead, this really funky error I could never figure out, why he was using incomplete sentences sometimes, not others, why he couldn't tell they were complete consistently, boom, explained. Maybe it had to do with what the subject was. Like he understood some subjects as being essential, not others. So he can look at a boy painting a picture and thinking "Painting a picture" is a complete sentence when the language given to him in the question (a bombardment strategy where there's more than he can handle and a question to listen for), but with "I" as the target he would nail it. Go figure.

My MW box came today, but I haven't even opened it yet. I'm out of breath every time I go up and down the stairs. Instead, I'm running the roomba. That at least says I'm getting a little better, as I noticed there was dirt on the floor for the first time in weeks, lol. 

I'm liking the problem solving books. I am not trying the emotions workbook yet. I needed my MW stuff to integrate with it. So instead we're only doing intro to grammar and problem solving right now. The No Glamour Problem Solving book is HUGE, utterly huge, almost 300 pages, so that may take us a while. We're doing 5+ pages a day as we can. That's still 6-10 weeks if we're lucky and longer if we're not. They start at a really simple point and take it to a really sophisticated place, so it's pretty impressive. I think it should do something good for ds' brain. 

I wish you could see the way the SPARC book for grammar is introducing narratives. It's really, really slick. They have cells of pictures and go through a story, with dialogue, narrator, everything, and they go through it three times, each time a little more stepped up, till finally the last time the dc retells the story completely himself from the picture. It's AMAZING to hear ds doing this. I've NEVER had such a complete narrative come out of him. It's really going to raise the bar on how I work with him, because I'm seeing how much he needs the language, needs supports. And I think he's pleased with himself, because HE didn't know he could tell a story (with enough supports) and be the voice of characters and give dialogue and things.

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Pronouns are hard for some kids.  You might look for pronoun materials.  Or what you have might use different pronouns.

I think “we” is one to check for because it might not come up in workbooks, but you could use family pictures.  

Edit:  There are a lot of pronouns with subject position, object position, singular, plural, and possessive.  If you haven’t done them before I think there are a lot!  Anyway for us some were harder to work in, the ones like we/our were not going to happen with using pre-made materials that I have seen, because it will be talking about the people in the pictures! 

It sounds like it’s going so well!  The problem-solving book sounds really cool, too.

My son is making predictions with prediction cards (saying what might happen next) and at home I am focusing on reading fluency with repeated reading.  I think it’s a good time for him.  

I am trying to get more responses with comprehension questions when I read to him, too.  It’s going okay, lol.  I still have my eye on the MW stuff but maybe in a few months.  

Edit:  I forgot about “you,” it doesn’t come up in pre-made stuff as well either.  But if you had family pictures you can check things like “what am I doing in the picture?” and see if he answers with “you are....”

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2 hours ago, Lecka said:

Pronouns are hard for some kids.  You might look for pronoun materials.  Or what you have might use different pronouns.

...because it will be talking about the people in the pictures! 

The SPARC book we're using has units for each thing. So we did a whole unit yesterday on he. Yes, I think you're right that for some kids there could be a generalization issue. Thing is, for my ds the work *seems* to be generalizing fine. Yes, I have some more things from Super Duper to work on pronouns. I'm going to go through the SPARC unit before I try any of those, because SPARC is more foundational. I think the pronoun funzeez game I got would be overhard and frustrating without the foundational work. It's more abstract, rearranging stuff, etc.

We'll see how it goes with generalization. Right now he's just having a seeming language EXPLOSION. The sheer amount of language coming out and the sentence variety and the uniqueness of what he's saying is just astonishing. The behaviorist saw it when she was here this week, and it's even more dramatic today (Saturday) than it was Thursday. This SPARC stuff is just opening him up for language. The narrative work as the last task for each unit is HARD for him, but I LOVE it. I think it could be revolutionary for helping him be able to go into basic narrations. It's not social thinking, not conflict/problem/whatever. It's just can you actually say some things happened if somebody gives you the sequence with enough picture prompts. And the way they do it is BRILLIANT. The worker reads the story, pointing to pics. Then the worker reads the story, sentence by sentence, pausing to let the dc repeat. Then the dc tells the story himself. I was actually really amazed how ds did. Now for the narrator portion where there is no picture prompt, he's toast. So the title and the intro ditty (it's nice out today. Tommy wants to play all day.) got lost. But once he had pictures, he was actually getting it out. And that's so much more than he's ever done. In a task like this paraphrasing is totally acceptable, as long as the content and grammatical targets are there. And it's so much content he HAS to paraphrase, which is good. With only 4 complex sentences, he can memorize. But with this, it's enough longer (10+ sentences) that he's really having to work it, keep the jist, put some into his own words, and stick to the grammatical forms and not rewrite in crazy roundabout forms. (Kbutton can appreciate the roundabouts, lol) It's a super good exercise for him. 

Manding is a natural time to use you. We haven't done the unit for you yet. But if you think about ds and how he mands, yeah that's why you're getting incomplete sentences and why it sounds abrupt. I'm introducing to him the idea of POLITENESS now and pointing how that when he uses a magic word he sounds POLITE. I think more will fall in that category. There's stuff he does with squealing when he gets frustrated, and I'm pushing back on that like no make your request politely. He couldn't handle much pushback before, and now he can. 

He's at an age where people expect politeness and they just assume things if he doesn't sound that way. It's natural, and nobody is going oh wow he didn't have the grammatical structures to be polite. They just assume he WANTS to come across that way. And yet, as he's getting the structures and can handle the pushback, it's sorta clicking. It's a new thing for him, but he'll do it. I think it will click and matter and be something he can understand. I don't know if the social thinking people put politeness into expected/unexpected, but I think that's under-serving him at this point. It's not just unexpected--it's UNACCEPTABLE. To me, unexpected isn't perjorative. Like you could say that was unexpected and I meant it to be that way because I'm an ornery cuss. And by saying we have to be polite, I'm making a moral statement that it's unacceptable, that it's a value in our home to be polite and you'll make the hard effort to get the structures so you can be polite. I had him doing something for me yesterday and I realized that politeness and work really merge, because appropriate politeness (not sissy-ness, but realizing who to be polite to and why) makes you a better worker. 

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2 hours ago, Lecka said:

My son is making predictions with prediction cards (saying what might happen next)

There's some of this in the No Glamour Problem Solving book, which is interesting. Then you're putting it in the context of predicting what will happen if you do such and such, whether that was a good solution, etc. That's what they're leading into. What you're doing now is great and foundational. It's just dabs in the No Glamour book, not a whole thorough exposition of the skill.

Oh I forgot you're working on IF structures! Well that makes sense, duh. Good stuff!

My assumption had been that I would want RBT hours to get in practice using things we'd worked on to get them to generalize. So that's a good point that IF it's generalizing now, then we really don't have to have RBT hours for that. We could have them for something, but it wouldn't be for that. And that's why the behaviorist had said to wait till July to decide. Yeah, with 3-4 more weeks, who knows where we'll be. I mean, that's a big shift even from a week ago. A week ago I was like oh man I need RBT hours to get this language actually going and make conversation happen. Now, he's going up to people and having conversations and using tons of language. Now there's a lot farther to go (non-preferred topics, etc.), but like right now, this very minute, RBT hours to get language to generalize aren't what I'm thinking anymore. 

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Small score with the book list from the East Meets West Holidays guide! I thought I'd use the list to do a holiday of the week, since the group the social skills provider was going to do (holiday each week) fell through. We started with Hershel and the Goblins, and it's really good! Lots of potential there, better than most FIAR books would be for him. It has repetitive elements, making it easy to story tell, terrific cultural elements we can dig in on. Should add a little pizzaz to our summer!

I was gone in Colorado for 24 hours and just got back. With that break and seeing ds fresh, I was AMAZED at how much better his language is. He's using lots of sentences with me, conversing about stuff, willing to talk across topics. Just really good. Obviously we have to keep working, but it's good progress. Normally I come back from being gone for a day for this or that and he can tell me NOTHING about what happened or what he did while I was gone. So this is good on a language level and on a safety level.

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That sounds great!

I have got books organized and I have a little tub with books for reading fluency, and it is going really well.  We got a lot of books from a garage sale also, with Disney characters he likes.  

He’s doing well with it and I think it’s what I’m going to concentrate on for a while, maybe all summer.  

 

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Started working with some of the emotions stuff today. I got the Mindwings/SGM My Friend Braidy poster set, which includes a ring with pictures of the 6 universal emotions, connector words, etc. So today we tried to make the 6 universal emotions with a mirror and see if our faces were doing what the pictures showed. I took the words listed on the emotions bookmarks for the Critical Thinking Triangle set (which you can see if you watch their video) and we put the words under the 6 universal emotions and then sorted them by least to most. We made sentences as we did this of course. 

I've got the Super Duper photo fish, so we'll probably do some work with causality and building complex sentences. (draw a picture of a boy crying, roll die that lands on because or so, then build a sentence) I have feelings Colorcards to go through, so I need to find some ways to use them.

This link shows the 6 universal emotions https://mindwingconcepts.com/blogs/news/36160257-sgm-summer-study-series but the synonyms aren't the same as the ones on the video. This link adds some idioms and expressions, so those can be good. I figure we'll just keep adding to our collection of emotions and filing them under the 6 universals. The behaviorist seemed to be saying she's seen them taught lots of ways, but I figured might as well go the way SGM is. It's at least logical, and it gets somewhere with talking about levels of feelings.

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Still plugging along here. Found some more things someone might find interesting.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/241645113_Perspective_Taking_Through_Narratives_An_Intervention_for_Students_With_ASD  This is a study I need to read through

Perspective-Taking in Narratives of Children with SLI and ASD - ASHA  I was looking for a list of perspective taking vocabulary or how you would know you were developing perspective taking in narratives 

https://www.smartspeechtherapy.com/shop/narrative-assessment-bundle/ This is what I was inspired by and wasn't wanting to spend $25 on. 

https://www.smartspeechtherapy.com/shop/understanding-complex-sentences/ She has a TON of freebies, and I did plunk out for this on complex sentences and https://www.smartspeechtherapy.com/shop/improving-critical-thinking-skills-via-picture-books-in-children-with-language-disorders/ I didn't get https://www.smartspeechtherapy.com/shop/from-wordless-picture-books-to-reading-instruction-effective-strategies-for-slps-working-with-intellectually-impaired-students/ but it looked really good.

http://www.njsha.org/continuing-ed/pdfs/2016-NJSHA-NJIDA-Handouts.pdf Moats explaining developing a "masterpiece sentence". This is actually fabulous btw. 

I continue to be pleased with how we're doing with our mix of Linguisystems materials. We're now reading that pile of 50 picture books on emotions from that Huff Post article and we've begun reading the Little House series aloud. He's able to make predictions, comment, etc. and seems to tolerate a chapter a day. That's exciting, because that's a really typical 1st grade read aloud, which means we're moving forward. 

I want to take a step in moving from the picture/prompt driven narratives we're doing now to text/picture book narratives, but I haven't tried that yet. It's just on my need to make that happen list. I think he might need significant support. I got some storytelling kits from the library that have physical items velcroed to a mitt or apron to tell stories. That might help us transition. 

I was also thinking that his language is to where he might be ready to do https://thesingingclassroom.com/ at the grade 1/2 level. They're songs with a focus on rhythm and repetition. It's taken a lot just for him to be able to repeat sentences comfortably, so I think this would be a good next step. I'm excited to have a sequential resource like that. They're using a nice mixture of games, hand movements, chants, etc. I think it might fit him well and be within reach. He seldom sings at all and it's a hard thing for him. So to have a progression that would get him there seems nice. We had done some music therapy, but life is just kind of frenetic.

I've been using the 6 universal emotions cards from the My Friend Braidy kit and definitely like them. I made cards with more emotion words to expand under each basic emotion. MW also lists social emotions (emotions that are in relation to other people) which is interesting. It's upping our game and making more organized how we can talk about things. Like tonight I asked how someone felt (we were watching Battle Bots and doing worksheets, hehe), and he's like SCARED. Well no, not scared, it's a social emotion and in relation to other people. How does he feel? It's a good systematic approach. We've been doing some talking about scale too, like ranking the emotions under each heading. Good stuff.

The work with concepts is going well. He was using comparatives and superlatives on an outing with some kids, so that was really funny and a good generalization.

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It looks like the first study you link is of Mindwings Story Grammar Marker.  

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4 hours ago, Lecka said:

It looks like the first study you link is of Mindwings Story Grammar Marker.  

Interesting, I haven't even gotten to read it yet! I had to go get cat food, lol. I did make some notes from the other article that we're looking for motives/plans, dialogue, and internal response (statements of feelings). And you're right, that's stuff MW/SGM hits really well. I was just intrigued by Elleseff's mention of perspective-taking *vocabulary* and was trying to figure out what that was. It might be things like MW's lists. I haven't dug in yet, but I know they have them.

MW posted to their blog some ideas on how to milk pictures books about feelings using the MW stamps. https://mindwingconcepts.com/blogs/news/two-summer-books-with-feelings  I got the stamps, and I hadn't even thought to use them like that! And I hadn't thought to use just one or two, rather than using ALL the stamps. So I thought that was pretty smart, because it would be a way to make a graphic organizer and do some analysis without a ton of prep.

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2 hours ago, Crimson Wife said:

Chapter 9 in School-Age Language Intervention by Teresa Ukrainetz is all about narrative language intervention. It's an expensive book to purchase but if you can borrow a copy through ILL, I would recommend reading the chapter.

Ooo now that's a really good lead! https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/presentation/4a78/57f5cc09a320853da07b65dc8d0f13a1f47b.pdf  This has the powerpoints for a talk she gave on narrative intervention in 2014 and she shows her a pictography approach she calls stickwriting. It would be an excellent bridging technique for the high support picture prompts we're using right now. I think it's too much for him to go from picture prompts (where the language is actually given to him too) to NOTHING. We have other activities where he gives sentences and narratives for pictures without being given the language. It's coming, just it's slow. There's a lot to nurture there and build up to get him to where he can actually DO the tasks of MW/SGM. And it seems like she's good with SGM/MW, so we're on the right track. Just the ASD and language issues mean we have more work to do. 

But yeah, good stuff! Very helpful.

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Just updating here! Our work with the worksheets has been more sporadic with life, holidays, etc. He still continues to make good progress. What I'm noticing more is that in real life he can say what he's doing and narrate his actions. So, for instance, we went kayaking and then splashed around in the Little Miami River after a therapy session, and he was narrating much of the time what he was doing. (I'm skipping rocks! blah blah) And they were nice sentences with descriptors sometimes. It was great stuff. And today what I saw with his play was interesting. I got him another bin of tiny math manipulatives, because always in the past he has lined them up, spending hours working on that. Well this time he actually sat there looking at each one and TALKING about them! He was like this one has spots! This one can't be albino but it might be pie-bald. Just on and on. Then he sort of maxed out, like what now? LOL So we still have a ways to go on play, because obviously the next step is to build narratives for play. But still, we're getting carryover and the new skills are changing how he functions.

We're finishing up much of our SPARC work. I think we finished the SPARC for Grammar book, and we're into the SPARC for Concepts. It's not as good, but it was necessary. I think we really need to work on building narratives now, because he's on the verge of outrgrowing the basic narratives we're doing with SPARC. That's not to say we need a HUGE leap, but just I think it's ready to become more of a focus, where we'll be building narratives every day. I liked the stickwriting from Louisa Moats, so that's probably where we'll go. I'm also looking at the new Building Writers series from LWT (formerly HWT). I think the BW-LWT would give us some structure by at least giving us the content for expository writing, developmentally appropriate tasks, and a sequenced progression. I think I can work with it. I also picked up Writing Tales 1 at a sale, so at some point we'll jump into that. And I have some narrative building kits I had picked up a year ago and not yet used with him.

So I think as we finish up this really foundational vocab/semantics work, that's where we'll be going. We'll probably also start some more traditional grammar (from therapy sources, not curriculum) and ramp up our spelling/morphology efforts. He's actually noticing spelling now and cognizant that it's useful to him.

Oh this was wild. Today he was playing word games using parts of words! I just realized what this actually means. It means his brain has gone from memorizing paragraphs (scripting) to breaking it into sentences and gross chunks (where he was) to sentence level understanding (where SPARC, etc. got to), and NOW he's actually working it down to the morphological level, where he's looking at parts of words, prefixes and suffixes, and getting WHY it would be useful to know them and manipulate them. Before, we had played Barton (Spelling Success) games and MEMORIZED them, but that work didn't seem to do any good. It was just showing his ability to memorize. Now he actually is beginning to GET it. So that's exciting stuff! That means we could see huge, dramatic progress in his spelling this year just by having the comprehension click. It makes sense that he would then NOTICE more when he's reading because those endings and things would begin to mean something to him. It also makes sense why he wasn't error-correcting before, because he wasn't attending and comprehending at the word level. Fascinating.

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That sounds like great progress!!!!!

Well, I have decided not to buy anything for now.  

I’m trying to do things with read-alouds.

I’m trying to ask “what do you think will happen next” questions, and give a synonym or short explanation for vocabulary words we come across.  

I would like to do some kind of summary.  A summary of the page after each page?  A summary of a part that might have been confusing?  

And then I am thinking of talking about something that happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the book.  

That is hard for me to do in practice.  

His current school goals are inferences (fairly easy ones) and text-to-self connections.  Those are easy to do because they are easier for him, lol.  “Text-to-self connections” is saying something in the book is similar to something he has done.  Or, what would he think if something happened to him.  He likes that, so it is easy, lol.  

He does have services this summer, so I feel good about this for home.  

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57 minutes ago, Lecka said:

I would like to do some kind of summary.  A summary of the page after each page?  A summary of a part that might have been confusing?  

And then I am thinking of talking about something that happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the book.  

That is hard for me to do in practice.  

Have you seen this? Perhaps it can help.

https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/helping-children-to-identify-main-ideas-and-supporting-details-when-reading/

 

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6 hours ago, Lecka said:

Well, I have decided not to buy anything for now.  

I’m trying to do things with read-alouds.

I’m trying to ask “what do you think will happen next” questions, and give a synonym or short explanation for vocabulary words we come across.  

I would like to do some kind of summary.  A summary of the page after each page?  A summary of a part that might have been confusing?  

And then I am thinking of talking about something that happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the book.  

I think you're right that buying stuff can be overkill. Ds misses clues and thus can't make predictions during tv shows. It's kind of interesting to me, because it's so high interest but he misses it. Picture books are a good way to work on that. We've had some lately we were reading that we were really conducive to that sort of what will happen next kind of thing. For your beginning/middle/end, you might try doing it with pictures. With the SPARC books, they give us the pictures (3-5) and go through several steps. (listen while I read, repeat each sentence after me, then you tell) That would be easy to do with little 3-5 step sequencing pictures you might have around or find online. You know, like the 3 steps for a chick hatching or how to do this or that. Could be fiction or non-fiction. If it's fiction, you just expand it to the extent he's ready. The SPARC books started with maybe 1-2 sentences per picture and sometimes by the end would only have 3 pictures and 3-5 sentences per picture! It was crazy. They'd get in the whole narrative effect, with a title, background, dialogue, wrap-up with feelings, etc. So it's really something you can milk as much as he's ready for, something you can bring your social thinking are targets into, etc.

You could make up little "just like me" stories for him to tell from picture prompts. "Johnny brushes his teeth every night before bed, just like me. First he squirts on the toothpaste, just like me. Then he brushes with a timer for two minutes, just like me. Then he smiles and thinks what a good job he did, just like me." Or don't do that, lol. There is a SPARC for Routines book you might like. Seriously. It would be narratives he can identify with, and it's really useful stuff. Here's a link to the samples. Looks like good stuff! It may be more complex than what we've been doing. It strongly emphasizes the beginning/middle/end of narratives and builds them into giving the narrative. Thinking we'll probably need to do that next. Everything we've done with them has been so good. Even when you're like oh that's simple, why bother, it still has a profound effect on him, just the effort to get it out.

6 hours ago, Lecka said:

He does have services this summer, so I feel good about this for home.

Yup, they don't want all of life to be therapy. I can tell when I'm at that sweet spot with ds, because he's just really engaged and happy. 

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He can do it for the sequence cards stuff, and the paragraph stuff, and the “half a page is a story, half the page is a picture” stuff.  I don’t see that it is transferring from that to a simple storybook, as the complexity is greater.  I’m not sure.  It could be that he does it with other people but it’s not easy enough for him to do it at home.  And then I don’t get too much response, so it’s hard for me to know what to say to be on his level.  That is for summarizing or beginning/middle/end.  I think I need to just talk about it more and see what happens.  

For tv shows, you can pause and point something out and make your own prediction, or ask him to make a prediction.  It’s a recommended thing to do.  If the thing to notice is visual that makes it very easy!  If the thing to notice is something that was said, you can repeat what was said.  

We did a lot with pre-school shows that had a really exaggerated sequence (especially Dora and Secret Agent Oso).  

But now I think for many/most things, he understands what is happening at the moment, but he isn’t going from that to a big picture view.  I do think he has a big picture view, though, enough to enjoy things.  But not enough to have it be clear instead of vague.  

He is also stronger verbally, so he can pick up more from a tv show compared to a book, I think.  

For books I just have to go by his engagement to tell how much he is getting out of it, to a great extent.  Or if I ask him if he wants another book like it, or if he liked the book.  If he says “yes” then I think he was engaged, lol, even if he wasn’t acting engaged.  

It is SUCH an issue that when he looks a certain way (a bit blank) that can either mean he is totally bored and unengaged, or else it can mean he is highly engaged and concentrating very hard.  I cannot tell the difference except by asking him.  I have to make a point to make sure people know that about him.  

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Honestly I don’t think I get very far introducing anything like this to him, but I am great at reinforcing what he has learned from other people. 

But I think the main thing is that for a lot of things I do see that he transfers from therapy materials to books and tv.  

But with summarizing it is a big jump for him to go from therapy materials to a book.  It’s a big difference in difficulty level for him.  But conceptually he does understand the sequence words, and he can go from picture prompts to saying a sentence or little paragraph using appropriate sequence words.  He can do that, but it doesn’t transfer to things that are longer.  

I mean, it transfers a little bit, and if there’s some obvious problem/solution he DOES get that.  

But as far as — is he past a 1st grade Common Core level for summarizing, the answer is no.  But he can do the level of therapy materials (that I am familiar with).  But for a lot of kids, once they understand the concept with therapy materials, they can apply it with things that are a bit longer like a simple storybook, and then a longer storybook, etc.  But it is hard for my son.  

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The therapy materials usually give them pictures that show 3-4 details that were important, where a picture book has just SO MUCH. You could try wordless books https://www.smartspeechtherapy.com/?s=wordless  This SLP blog has several articles on how to milk them. You could try stickwriting for the picture books. Where ds was before ( a year ago, quite a while ago), when I tried techniques like that he wasn't ready. It's not like you can make happen what isn't ready to happen. No matter how much support I gave I wasn't getting much out, and I think that's why I had to go with my can't milk a turnip, has to have the language inside to get it out approach. But you're saying he's got the language (which swaths of kids with ASD do). But also just picture books are complex.

I got a storymaking with picture books book (SLP materials) that was recommended on a list, and they weren't really doing with it what we would think of as narratives. What they did was take the repeated elements and do riff stories. Now I think that's really creative! We've just been enjoying the books so much, we haven't done any of that. Many were too young for him, but there was one that was like ooo that would be good to do that with. And it's so simple and obvious that it's not hard to just do for yourself. They just took whatever the repeated element was in the book and used it to make their own little storybook. It might be sort of an inbetween thing to do, something that is fun. 

Now I say all that, and my ds is only just now starting to play with words at the morphological level. So like to say well make a story that has rhymes or repeated elements the way this book did, he couldn't have done that! He understood rhyme in theory (enough to do it for Barton), but it wasn't this deep play with it kind of level. He now gets that words are words, sort of like the epiphany kbutton pointed out where he had realized people were people, not trees, not a forest. Well he's figured out that words are words, so to me playing at the level right where they are is cool too. It's not like we necessarily have to jump to the end and want the more advanced skill. CC wants it and the IEP goals want it, but to me my ds is not there. To me he's just starting to play with words the way smart 3-5 yos do, so it's logical that he'll interact with picture books in the way 3-5 yos do. 

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Lecka, when I first started with my son when he was younger, I used the images in the picture books to help him remember the sequence of events. I would ask, "what happened next?" to encourage him to keep going and to show him that there is a progression of events.  If he hesitated I would start the sentence for him and let him finish it. As he progressed, I reduced the sentence starters or would just fill in if he skipped a word.

I always followed (still do) a process when introducing books. We talked about the cover. Read the title and author/ illustrator names. I reminded him the author wrote the story and the illustrator drew the pictures. He knew already, but I still continued to do it. I would just have him tell me. We would flip and look at the pictures. Then we would read the story. He has been reading for a long time now so we usually either took turns or he read it himself. I incorporated questions to ensure comprehension (lots of open ended since he was very little), found ways of explaining abstract concepts (I would have my tablet next to us and look up images, videos, or we would reenact things), and explained vocabulary. We sometimes read books on Kindle etc. in which case we were already on a device and could look things up on the spot. We discussed thoughts of the characters. I would ask questions like "How do you think that person feels?", or "What could he be thinking?". Then I would say, lets talk about the story to remember what happened.

Stories involve a lot of discussion here (always have), before we get to the summary. Now, we do the same with chapter books. Then, when we get back to the book the next time, we spend some time remembering what has happened up to that point.

In the Charlotte Mason approach, the younger kids start narrating one paragraph at a time. Then the one paragraph becomes two, etc. until they are ready to go for longer stretches. That is my next goal for my son.  

I don't know if any of this helps you! Just thought I would share in case anything I shared gives you ideas on how to approach it with your son. 

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He has a lot of language, but there are thinking processes that are very very hard for him.  

I do my best to do book talks with him, and some parts I do better with.

I feel like with summary things of any kind, once they are at all long (more than one page), I can lead him to fill in blanks, but I don’t think it connects into as much as I would want it to. 

I think I should probably keep it up so he has more opportunities.

I know he does benefit with re-reading too, but I have to make a point of that, because I get impatient.  

I re-read a Magic Tree House book to him the past 3 days though, and I could tell it was much easier for him as a re-read.  

I know that is recommended, and it’s something I could do a lot more of.  

I do also think — Magic Tree House might be more straightforward in a lot of ways than a lot of storybooks, have simpler language, etc.  Maybe I could try more with them instead of storybooks if they might really be easier for him.  

With summariaizng like I tend to do when I try, he can’t particularly answer any open-ended question.

So then I am saying “do you think blah blah” and he says “yes,” or he will say “no” if I said something silly.  But it’s just hard to know if I am connecting with it or not.  

I am getting some good thoughts though!!!!!

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I think on the harder open-ended questions the SLPs will work around why and switch it to a what. So instead of saying why did the boy want the hammer, they'll ask what did the boy want to do with the hammer. And it's not that you want to do that all the time, but for this it can be pragmatic. I think it's the SPARC books that have been doing it. I don't know, I saw it somewhere, this idea of leading into the why question more by reframing and setting it up when it's a hard step to get up to.

Uh oh, ds looks like Tarzan this morning. :biggrin:

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I don’t know to what extent I am influenced by having two other kids who, at this point anyway, I can say “tell me about your book,” and they will tell me a nice summary.  

I know how to break “tell me about your book” down into things like “tell me this, tell me that.” But it is harder open-ended questions (at least for my son lol) than “why did he want the hammer” that are a problem.  He could do that if it was fairly clear in the book.  If it was clear to him, that wording would not throw him off.  

 

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Nonverbal language, that's a big one! Years ago, when he was younger, someone had the Magic English videos on YouTube. I think they have been removed now. In them, because they were designed for ESL kids, they had everything. Everything was described!  Another thing he will sometimes do now is set the TV on descriptive language. Some of the TV stations are set up that way and he always has to experiment with settings (sigh, that's how he messed up his computer a few days ago and I had to reset it) so he would set it on descriptive language and sit there and watch. It is designed for the visually impaired so, again, they explain everything. He has only done that a few times though. It can get annoying sometimes. Anyway, I do something similar with books and movies we watch together. I tap into all of that! Whatever I feel he isn't noticing, I would point it out. I did the same with my oldest. Then, if the opportunity came up during the day or days later, I would mention it and connect it to something from our daily life. Now, my oldest and I go into the deeper meanings.

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What I am saying is, you have to tap into what they are not noticing. Point things out. Ask why whatever you are showing them is happening. Explain to them why if they don't know or can't figure it out. If you make them notice things, eventually, they start to notice things for themselves. 

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Lecka, it's very hard to live in the land of right where the kid is. Sometimes we think we're doing a good job and it's really just that the dc we're working with is conducive to it. I had that with dd, where I didn't realize how good she was at some things. Now I work with ds, and it's pretty wow sometimes. 

 MW will often break the tasks up, so instead of a summary try for JUST description or JUST setting. (Tell me 3 things that describe how she looked!) Or you could ask for the funniest thing or scariest thing that happened in the book and ask what happened before that and what happened after that. Like just getting the *parts* of a summary/telling is a start, kwim? You could do it collaboratively, taking turns giving components for the summary. You've said he's good with graphic organizers, so you could print one and use that. 

Kids are just where they are. Someone else here had said their dc with ASD was narrating from the Vos story bible, so I was like cool I'll pull out mine to use with him! Well he sorta understands it, but he can't narrate from it, my lands. Doesn't mean I'm doing a lousy job. Just means that's not my dc's next step. So you back up till you find steps that do work for your dc.

The SPARC books have done a lot for us in breaking down the steps to be able to make sentences from a picture. That might sound dorky simple, but it's really not. And you said your ds has it, but maybe he has it for therapy/school pictures and not story book pictures, kwim? So maybe you could focus on that. Like with SPARC, they'll have the kids looking at 3-4 details. We can touch the details or mark them and make sentences for them, then you can pull those details into a whole. 

Did you look at Cooking to Learn? It's really delightful and a totally different way to approach it. You wouldn't even necessarily need the curriculum. Just do the cooking and draw the steps and narrate through what you did. https://www.wiesereducational.com/products/cooking-to-learn-px1431.htm  That's where Moreau of MW encouraged me to start with ds, at that practical narrative level, not formal at all.

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PeterPan, you are comparing a child that is not autistic with a child that is. My two are both on the spectrum, both with ADHD, and they are pretty much completely different. Their strengths and weaknesses are different as well. Right down to their interests (they only have one interest in common). 

I remember the mom you mentioned. I remember thinking that, much like me, she had invested a lot of time on narrations and it paid off. Certainly, there are many ways to go about it! I shared mine just as she shared hers back then. It's a shame I haven't seen her post in a really long time! There's a lot we can learn from sharing our experiences. Anyway, we each decide what we feel fits our own child. 

Take care,

M

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My son creates animations with text using Bible stories. He has heard many of these stories so many times and from so many different Bible storybooks! The point you made, Lecka, about repeating stories is a very good strategy! 

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Well, today did go well.  I did another repeat book with a book he really likes, and I didn’t try for as much.  I think it’s probably the case he is more on building blocks and that is why building blocks are going well. 

 

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That is my point, Lecka. Only you and the people working with your son can determine where he is at and what the next step in his progress is. You have been posting while I have been lurking. I had been visiting on occasion and following certain threads. What you have been sharing has shown me that the school is working in many good areas with your son, creating those building blocks that he needs for text comprehension. And, you have done a lot of good work on your part, building on what they have been working on. 

I feel the need to encourage you in one area, though. Please, please, put some focus on pragmatics. They will be very important, not just academically, but for his life in the future. 

Best wishes,

M

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On 7/6/2018 at 8:16 PM, PeterPan said:

I feel compelled to point out that this study only seems to appear in the Sage:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1525740110395014?journalCode=cdqc

While many journals will have the occasional retraction, the Sage appears to be in the group that has had numerous in the recent years, even as recently as early this year.

https://retractionwatch.com/2015/08/19/17-retractions-from-sage-journals-bring-total-fake-peer-review-count-to-250/

Just something to keep in mind for anyone interested.

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Ds is on an audiobook binge right now, which is good to see/hear. He had totally backed off listening to audiobooks, and I hadn't quite correlated it to our language work. It really may have been though mercy. We had VBS this week and he went all 5 days, meaning we didn't have time/energy to do our language work. Now he's burning through audiobooks! 

He's doing 6 picture books a day with me and a chapter of Little House, so that's going well. I have the 3dimensional storytelling kits, so maybe we'll try those next. 

I've been looking at the High Noon books, which would let me control language while being high interest and high EMOTION (to draw him in with his autism), and they come with workbooks that seem to bring in comprehension work. It's more just whether I want to plunk out for them. I think, like the F&P books, he'd go through them quickly but maybe find them a really helpful progression. At 12 pages for the series I'm looking at, they're longer than what he currently readings (1-2 pages at a time for worksheets). So to go to 12 pages and have comprehension work whether they're doing nifty narrative work (postcard from a goon to send back home what he did in the beginning, middle, and end of the book, hahahaha!), that could be good. But it's money, sigh. Me and my theories.

I'm still tired from the terrible bronchitis two months ago. I tried to exercise this week and it left me in bed 11 hours, oops. Guess that's a bust. He's doing really, really well though for engagement and interaction. He's amazing to work with right now. I guess you could say our language has been like ABA for him. I hadn't thought it of it that way, but I guess it has. We're still not quite finished with our work on concepts. It's pretty hard for him and like I said we let things go for the week with VBS. That was pretty astonishing. He did reasonably well and he also had some good play time at the pool where he used his language to make friends and engage. Always before we've taken toys, so for him to use his *language* to get a friend was AMAZING.

We're getting a lot of beautiful sentences now in conversation, but we're only formative with connections and narrative. Not sure what we'll focus on next. That's why I'm thinking those storytelling kits, because they're idiotproof. 

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Not sure what we'll focus on next.

It's not that I don't have ideas or options. I actually have piles of stuff on my table waiting to be done. It's pulling it down and being really tight about what thing builds on what we've done and gets us to the next place. But for stuff, I've got tons of stuff, no end of it, mercy. Narrative kits, conversation kits, grammar kits, workbooks for grammar, problem solving, and perspective taking. Tons we can do. The challenge is to narrow it down and pick and stay really focused, nail it, and move on to the next thing. I've got stuff I want to do (clauses, more advanced constructions) that I haven't really figured out yet how to do. I have ideas, but I haven't totally figured it out. So we'll see.

I sort of fell in a rabbit hole tonight on math. Heinemann is having a sale on their site and most stuff seems to be 30% off. I was rabbit trailing some Contexts for Learning Mathematics books by Fosnot.

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I was only trying to help. It's ok! I'll withdraw my posts if they weren't helpful. I was not looking to offend.

All the best!

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Engagement and interaction sound great!!!!!!  Glad things are going well ?  

It sounds like you are getting some great social gains from the language and narrative stuff you have been doing, too!  

 

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Never fear, narrative language has not dropped off my radar just because I'm also thinking about reading! :biggrin:

http://www.slh.org.tw/upload/files/14 Gillam_Language intervention through literature-based units.pdf I think this is actually a chunk of Ukrainetz' book, NOT Gillam.

I'm reading about the debate in contextualized vs. decontextualized therapy methods for language intervention (semantics, syntax, discourse/narrative, etc.). As you'd expect, decontextualized methods, like Linguisystems workbooks, resulted in higher scores on semantics and syntax, where the groups using contextualized study with literature and a focus on narrative had better "literate language" and richer narratives. That would lead you to assume a split, a bi-methodology would be smart, right? Nope, they still wanted to see if they could do it all with literature and contextualized study.

https://comdde.usu.edu/services/research/schoolage-language/s-gillam-docs/TLD-D-15-00023.pdf  

I'm still reading through this one, but it seems like the Gillams end up promoting a program they created. I plan to check it out.

I think the discussion of conversational language vs. literature language in the first article is really important. It explains why ds can have come so far and yet have so far to go, because that's what he's missing. But really, doing straight Linguisystems workbooks is evidence-based for what we needed to get done! We just have more pieces to do to round it out.

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10 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Never fear, narrative language has not dropped off my radar just because I'm also thinking about reading! :biggrin:

http://www.slh.org.tw/upload/files/14 Gillam_Language intervention through literature-based units.pdf I think this is actually a chunk of Ukrainetz' book, NOT Gillam.

I'm reading about the debate in contextualized vs. decontextualized therapy methods for language intervention (semantics, syntax, discourse/narrative, etc.). As you'd expect, decontextualized methods, like Linguisystems workbooks, resulted in higher scores on semantics and syntax, where the groups using contextualized study with literature and a focus on narrative had better "literate language" and richer narratives. That would lead you to assume a split, a bi-methodology would be smart, right? Nope, they still wanted to see if they could do it all with literature and contextualized study.

https://comdde.usu.edu/services/research/schoolage-language/s-gillam-docs/TLD-D-15-00023.pdf  

I'm still reading through this one, but it seems like the Gillams end up promoting a program they created. I plan to check it out.

I think the discussion of conversational language vs. literature language in the first article is really important. It explains why ds can have come so far and yet have so far to go, because that's what he's missing. But really, doing straight Linguisystems workbooks is evidence-based for what we needed to get done! We just have more pieces to do to round it out.

I haven't read the articles yet, but that distinction makes a lot of sense to me. I think that my son with ASD is fine on semantics and syntax (or can self-correct 99% of it), but he definitely needs that narrative instruction. I think my other kiddo needs the reverse, but overall, his language is a strength. I just don't want to take it for granted when he has glitches from CAPD and probably other little problems. 

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The Gillams are at Utah State and Dr. Ukrainetz is there now as well. I haven't seen the Gillams' curriculum (it's very pricey) but I've been impressed with their work through journal articles, talks, etc. Utah State is where I did my bachelor's in Communicative Disorders and the whole department is very big on the importance of narrative language for success in school. I wish they offered their SLP master's online to students outside of UT (they do have a distance ed cohort but it's limited to UT residents working in the schools as Speech Language Technicians aka SLP Assistants). 

I think if someone is using the Mindwings SGM or Braidy framework, that the Gillams' curriculum probably wouldn't be worth the purchase price. Here is a more detailed review of it: http://slp123.blogspot.com/2014/01/skill-program-for-teaching-story.html

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1 hour ago, Crimson Wife said:

I think if someone is using the Mindwings SGM or Braidy framework, that the Gillams' curriculum probably wouldn't be worth the purchase price. Here is a more detailed review of it: http://slp123.blogspot.com/2014/01/skill-program-for-teaching-story.html

Ooo thanks, I'll definitely look at this! The MW/SGM stuff is destructured enough, and ds does so well with explicit, highly structured, progressive materials, that I''m inclined to buy SKILLS. I just wasn't seeing any info on it and was going on assumptions. The review should be very helpful.

Yes, that's a master's I would pursue, if the UT State degree was online. I don't know that I have the inclination to do any of this after I'm done, but still it's silly that I've invested so much and am not planning to do anything with it but sell it to you. :biggrin:

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