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PeterPan

Narrative language in autism

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Well that review was brief, but yeah it's definitely something I'm going to look into buying. That's set up in a way that would totally click with him. And there's a new edition out from when that review was written. It's probably even more developed or fleshed out. At $150, the price is comparable to buying a set of MW/SGM stuff.

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21 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 have no stake in this. We are already past the point of concern in language, in my eyes. But, I just wanted to say that keep at the back of your mind that studies done in promotion of a product tend to be self-serving. I am not specifically talking about the Gillams' program. It is a general comment/ observation.

I put a lot of emphasis on language from very young with my son. I created my own materials, used some Linguisystems, some SuperDuper, etc. and mostly worked with my son hands-on building his language using his own thoughts. He has not shown any LDs, so I just built on his language to get him to the point of being able to follow curricula. Even there, I use a blend of homeschool and school resources. I don't put all my eggs in one basket. I pull elements from educational philosophies and therapies. One thing I would never do though, is not focus on the language issues my son had (and we are still working on to some degree), separately. I don't feel that his expressive language would have gotten to the level it is at, had we not. I'm just really happy I did the research I did, and caught on early on as to how I wanted to approach this!

PeterPan, one word of advice, follow what you see and know about your child, and your gut.

All the best to everyone,

M

ETA: Reworded for the sake of clarity.

Edited by Guest

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In the Gillams' defense, they have been researchers in narrative language DECADES before they wrote their curriculum. Ron Gillam got his master's degree in SLP when I was a toddler and his PhD. when I was in 6th grade. Sandra is a bit younger but she still got her master's in the '80's and her PhD. in the '90's. He's been a professor since '88 and she's been one since '99. Their curriculum was written in 2010. It was the result of a grant they got to turn what they had learned through their research and training graduate SLP students into something that could be used by others.

I don't think it's a fair criticism to say that they're only out to sell their product (which the university press publishes so presumably the profits go back to the school).

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5 hours ago, Crimson Wife said:

In the Gillams' defense, they have been researchers in narrative language DECADES before they wrote their curriculum. Ron Gillam got his master's degree in SLP when I was a toddler and his PhD. when I was in 6th grade. Sandra is a bit younger but she still got her master's in the '80's and her PhD. in the '90's. He's been a professor since '88 and she's been one since '99. Their curriculum was written in 2010. It was the result of a grant they got to turn what they had learned through their research and training graduate SLP students into something that could be used by others.

I don't think it's a fair criticism to say that they're only out to sell their product (which the university press publishes so presumably the profits go back to the school).

 

First off, while I may have quoted PeterPan's last post, I was not talking specifically about the Gillams' program. I was talking in general about studies that are done in support of a product. I don't know the Gillams and I have nothing against their program, or MW, or SGM. They are programs I don't feel we need at this stage so I don't feel the need to look into them further. I was just making a general comment that is common sense as far as I am concerned.

Second, there was no criticism there. Just an observation from personal experience and common sense. Nothing personal!

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32 minutes ago, Crimson Wife said:

Their curriculum was written in 2010.

Is there any word on the street about the extent of the update? 

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Is there any word on the street about the extent of the update? 

I know this edition is correlated to Common Core (make of that what you will as I'm not opening that can of worms). Not sure how much else has changed from previous editions. I've never actually had the chance to see any edition and I don't know either of the Gillams personally to be in a position where I could ask.

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It does look like it is addressing similar things and in similar ways, as Mindwings.  You might look back at Mindwings.  

It looks like they are both story-based with embedded explicit instruction.  

I think if you can find more information about Skills it looks great, too.  

I am leery of things that seem like you need to attend “professional development” when there is an option that has more videos available and seems like it is more possible for a non-specialist to teach (which I suspect Mindwings is this way, depending what else you can find for Skills).  

Edit:  I wish I knew more about what Eli does with this.  I don’t since it is at school.  But he has had good gains, it has been very worthwhile. 

Edited by Lecka

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So I'm back looking for more reviews of SKILL Narrative (Gillam) and came across this blog post. https://bilinguistics.com/intensive-service-delivery-models/  She's actually talking about a traditional weekly pattern service delivery model vs. an INTENSIVE service delivery model. Apparently the Gillams have data showing intensive wins out, so 6 weeks of intensive got better results than 2 years of traditional. Interesting considering that's what we (ds and I) just did. And when I whine about SLPs, that's putting more words to it, that I want someone to be rocket fuel to help me KEEP UP that intensity, and they have NO VISION for it. 

It's looking like SKILL is set up to be 9 weeks intensive. Fascinating. That would totally work for us. And she has before/after samples of some of the kids' work. I definitely think for what I'm wanting right now SKILL is a superior product. It's highly structured, scripted, providing the instructional materials, with explicit instruction source texts not a complete reliance on contextualized study. (MW is just starting to develop instructional text material and visuals.) I agree there's little difference conceptually, though it's clear from State of the Art in Narrative Assessment and Intervention - ASHA  that there's a little turf war or that the Gillams have an *opinion* about MW/SGM, hehe (see page 12 of that handout, hehe). Maybe we can google farther. Clearly the concepts are the same and not even unique to those programs. There are structural differences in the materials and the delivery models. So obviously as a user I'm going to choose the materials that help me implement the concepts, and I seem to like an intensive, explicit therapy approach that then broadens out to contextualized at a more typical pace. That seems to be my style.

So at least I know why the therapy stuff was bugging me. Sometimes it makes me feel a little crazy, because there's this implication like get an SLP, SLPs are good (the viewpoint of the psych who was begging, begging us to use services at her place), and I'm like ok but even without words I know what my gut is telling me to do is GOOD and WORKS. So it's kind of interesting then to read a blog post and figure out the words and go ok I WASN'T crazy!! :biggrin:

Ds was making beautiful sentences using concept words yesterday. I couldn't even believe it. I think we planted so many things, so much language, during that intense period of intervention, that now it needs time to gel and get applied. I think it's really good. And I think when we're set up to work on narrative intensely it will be good too. I'm just working on it. I think one of those articles said they started off trying to develop methodology for reading comprehension and realize they had drifted into revolutionizing narrative language intervention instead. I think there may be this idea that improving narrative language *will* bump reading comprehension as overflow. I don't know. Obviously I'm getting set up to work on reading comprehension too (hence my other thread, hence my purchasing of books), but narrative language is typically developed at the level we're talking about by ages 3-5. So there could be the argument that developmentally, logically, the narrative should come first. 

The other interesting thing was that the SKILL program is directly remediating the deficits testing by the TNL (Test of Narrative Language). I thought that was good, since ds BOMBED the TNL. Because it's so foundational, I'm probably going to err toward overkill and duplication on these goals. MW/SGM is going to shine on the contextualized application, totally shine there. It's going to be strong on the things that you use while doing contextualized study (graphic organizers, delving in deep, applying, etc.). I think it's probably not overkill in our case to do BOTH, and since I already have the MW materials, it's no trouble. 

As to the cost, I think the $150 for SKILL is probably under-priced and heavily subsidized. We'll see what value the materials present and how extensive they are, but that's my guess. I pay $140 an hour around here for SLPs, even if they're crap, even if they know nothing about narrative language or reading comprehension or how to work intensively or how to teach conversation or anything else. They can be green as the hills and send everybody in the room red zone and not be able to hold a pleasant, engaging conversation, and they're $140 an hour. At that price, SKILL at $150 is nothing, a drop in the bucket. And since it looks like it's set up to give 9 weeks of open and go intensive therapy (45 hours???), that seems like a tremendous BARGAIN to me. 

Edited by PeterPan
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16 hours ago, Lecka said:

 I wish I knew more about what Eli does with this

         The Next Step Forward in Reading Intervention: The RISE Framework       This book has, in the appendices, the kinds of stuff you've described. It's all laid out, in order, one cards the teacher can put in order and draw out. 

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16 hours ago, Lecka said:

I am leery of things that seem like you need to attend “professional development” when there is an option that has more videos available and seems like it is more possible for a non-specialist to teach (which I suspect Mindwings is this way, depending what else you can find for Skills).  

I don't know, I've been to a bunch of the workshops like Zones, MGW/ST, etc., and to me sometimes they're about getting people on board, getting them over the hump of not having read the books but being told to use it in their schools, etc. There's a lot of pep rally there along with the chance to talk with the authors, ask questions, see it in practice, get behind the scenes with videos, etc. I like professional development stuff, yes.

SKILL looks like it's intended to be open and go, idiot-proof, and it looks like it's trying to provide source material. It's set up to be used intensely for 9 weeks. That's probably daily for 9 weeks, intensely. SGM/MW is set up in a more traditional delivery model, where the SLP gets brief sessions once a week for a year. You can use it more intensely, but still the therapist is having to create all her lessons herself, which has it's obvious pros and cons.

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I really appreciate the compare/contrast with the actual set up of the SKILL and SGM materials. Where are you getting samples, etc.? I didn't see anything but a book cover and brief description on the site. 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

So I'm back looking for more reviews of SKILL Narrative (Gillam) and came across this blog post. https://bilinguistics.com/intensive-service-delivery-models/ 

I will repeat that I have nothing against any of these programs but, since you posted this, did you take a close look at the pre and post sample? Just because there's a lot more output in the post sample, it doesn't mean the language improved. It just appears to be showing that the level of comprehension improved.

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In a NT child the narrative does not precede comprehension (posting this in regards to one of your comments, PeterPan). If you know how CM (Charlotte Mason) builds narrative, the child narrates what he got from the story. Comprehension and narration go hand-in-hand. In the early years it is mostly factual output. It later incorporates abstract thought. All that will come naturally to an NT child.

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13 minutes ago, Moved On said:

In a NT child the narrative does not precede comprehension (posting this in regards to one of your comments, PeterPan). If you know how CM (Charlotte Mason) builds narrative, the child narrates what he got from the story. Comprehension and narration go hand-in-hand. In the early years it is mostly factual output. It later incorporates abstract thought. All that will come naturally to an NT child.

 

And with a NT child the level of complexity in the language (verbal and written) will also come naturally, and right along the above two, as he is read to/ reads language rich literature.

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

I really appreciate the compare/contrast with the actual set up of the SKILL and SGM materials. Where are you getting samples, etc.? I didn't see anything but a book cover and brief description on the site. 

You can see pictures of a printed manual with what looks like student text as the student is being shown it. Also the descriptions say it's scripted and I've read other places it's something they can hand SLPA's (SLP Assistants). The review on their site says it's open and go and includes everything but a few partner reads.  So it's scripted, something you can hand an assistant or less trained person that they can just plain implement, and meant to be done intensively. 

We'll see when I buy it. I'm trying to read on some groups to see if there's any more feedback. I've got other things I'm working on now, like the Cartwright book and the Color My Conversation kit that I have waiting in the wings. I had offered CMC to the last SLP, but I'm not sure I'm going to with this next one we try this week. I'm tiring of them as a profession at the moment. We'll see what the person is like. I'm not going to let them slow us down and I'm not going to give them materials I paid for to cover up their lack of training or acquisition of expertise. The SLP can put it up with something she CAN do, or I'll walk. Right now, I'd settle for being able to have a conversation. 

The real problem there is they're looking at our idiotic IEP and going ok, what do you want me to work on?? They're asking me to name goals because they don't have expertise to figure out the goals themselves, and the goals in the IEP were very high, end product, not the foundational steps needed to actually get him there. Like I said, I'm getting really tired of it. 

Once I get SKILL, I'll do some better digging obviously.

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1 hour ago, Moved On said:

I will repeat that I have nothing against any of these programs but, since you posted this, did you take a close look at the pre and post sample? Just because there's a lot more output in the post sample, it doesn't mean the language improved. It just appears to be showing that the level of comprehension improved.

Maybe compare those pre and post intervention samples to the link I gave earlier (pdf) explaining conversational and literate language. There's a RADICAL difference in those samples, and it's a difference I'd like to see in my ds. His language right now is like that pre sample, and it took our intensive work over the last few months even to get him to that. So if we can do SKILL and get him to that post sample, you bet that would be amazing!

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54 minutes ago, Moved On said:

the narrative does not precede comprehension

There are stages to narrative development, so I'm not going to be able to get my ds narrating and comprehending, all at the level of his current decoding or "reading" in one fell swoop. Those things are going to jog, with one going up and then the next. He is reading at probably a 6th-9th grade reading level but narrating, as of our last data, at the level of a 5 year old. He's going to have to go through all those steps of narrative development and we'll have to pull both discourse AND comprehension up to get everything working together. Right now he's radically uneven.

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11 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

The real problem there is they're looking at our idiotic IEP and going ok, what do you want me to work on?? They're asking me to name goals because they don't have expertise to figure out the goals themselves, and the goals in the IEP were very high, end product, not the foundational steps needed to actually get him there. Like I said, I'm getting really tired of it. 

Once I get SKILL, I'll do some better digging obviously.

Yep! Once you get some idea of what you want, you can step back and update the IEP--you do NOT have to be at your regular date to call a meeting and get it updated. 

Every year, our IEP looks more low-level because every year, we find out that the end product goal is too end-product, and we need to work on intermediate skills. So frustrating! If you happen to see an IEP goal bank for these skills, let me know. Otherwise, we'll probably just phrase things with SGM words, and it will be fine, but the school might think we're weird. And the SLP can go lots of ways with things according to the wording. It's both good to give her leeway and also frustrating because it would be nice for the IEP to be precise if we ever had to put him in school (which he doesn't want!).

I could probably see if MW has a goal bank too. Hadn't thought of that.

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Just now, PeterPan said:

https://www.quill.org  Saw this mentioned as a resource for older students with language/narrative challenges.

That looks a lot like Don Killgallon's Sentence Composing materials. I really like those, though my DD is nowhere near ready for that level. We're still working on getting her to write a complete sentence without skipping any "function" words (articles, helping verbs, etc.) or verb tense endings.

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This is MISL, the rubric the Gillam's created (and tested) for evaluating the language in the narratives. I think it may come with SKILL.

viewcontent.cgi?article=1493&context=com  

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10 minutes ago, Crimson Wife said:

That looks a lot like Don Killgallon's Sentence Composing materials. I really like those, though my DD is nowhere near ready for that level. We're still working on getting her to write a complete sentence without skipping any "function" words (articles, helping verbs, etc.) or verb tense endings.

Yeah, I got Killgallon years ago to try with my dd and for her it was just unnecessary, something she did naturally. What was interesting about the tasks at Quill was their connection of meaning and the connectors. This is something Kbutton has talked about her ds having troubles with.

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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Obviously I'm getting set up to work on reading comprehension too (hence my other thread, hence my purchasing of books), but narrative language is typically developed at the level we're talking about by ages 3-5. So there could be the argument that developmentally, logically, the narrative should come first. 

 

This is what I was commenting on, which was why I spoke about NT kids. Unless I misunderstood your comment, I got that you are saying that developmentally, narration precedes comprehension.

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51 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Maybe compare those pre and post intervention samples to the link I gave earlier (pdf) explaining conversational and literate language. There's a RADICAL difference in those samples, and it's a difference I'd like to see in my ds. His language right now is like that pre sample, and it took our intensive work over the last few months even to get him to that. So if we can do SKILL and get him to that post sample, you bet that would be amazing!

 

I don't really have time at the moment to look at the PDF but are any of the samples from kids with language delays, and more specifically autistic kids with language delays?

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21 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yeah, I got Killgallon years ago to try with my dd and for her it was just unnecessary, something she did naturally. What was interesting about the tasks at Quill was their connection of meaning and the connectors. This is something Kbutton has talked about her ds having troubles with.

They do seem to place emphasis on meaning, which is something my son is good at getting around, lol! For instance...

Quote

Patrick Henry opposed new British taxes.

He gave a speech.

The speech was powerful.

The speech was to inspire the colonists.

He would get around the "so" or "was to inspire" part by writing something like, "Patrick H opposed new British taxes and gave a powerful speech that inspired the colonists." If I could isolate the lessons where he'd have a problem, it would be great. If not, he'd be doing a lot of what he's already good at, lol!

This is an excellent example I could take to his SLP and his IEP meeting to show how easily he goes around important skills, and then later, he can't pull them out in original writing without work. At the same time, his sentence looks good if you don't stop to notice that he changed it from an intent to a result and that it's a pattern. 

I think the SGM critical thinking triangle is going to make him do this, but he will need some additional word lists beyond what they give once the habit of rephrasing to show causal ties is established. He understands the causal ties. He just NEVER uses them. He does sometimes use subordinating conjunctions, but mostly only for time, not for cause-effect.

We probably need goals for various categories of causal ties. I think Peter Pan gave the speech therapy term for those ties, and then the ThemeMaker book (from MW) also talks about them too in one of their diagrams, but I don't have it on me.

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12 minutes ago, kbutton said:

https://mindwingconcepts.com/pages/iep-goals-benchmarks-sped

It's not a big list, but MW does have some examples.

Interesting!! Then I should google to see if SKILL has suggested IEP goals. SKILL2 will be keyed to Common Core, so it would be easy to transfer that into IEP goals.

22 minutes ago, kbutton said:

They do seem to place emphasis on meaning, which is something my son is good at getting around, lol! For instance...

He would get around the "so" or "was to inspire" part by writing something like, "Patrick H opposed new British taxes and gave a powerful speech that inspired the colonists." If I could isolate the lessons where he'd have a problem, it would be great. If not, he'd be doing a lot of what he's already good at, lol!

This is an excellent example I could take to his SLP and his IEP meeting to show how easily he goes around important skills, and then later, he can't pull them out in original writing without work. At the same time, his sentence looks good if you don't stop to notice that he changed it from an intent to a result and that it's a pattern. 

I think the SGM critical thinking triangle is going to make him do this, but he will need some additional word lists beyond what they give once the habit of rephrasing to show causal ties is established. He understands the causal ties. He just NEVER uses them. He does sometimes use subordinating conjunctions, but mostly only for time, not for cause-effect.

We probably need goals for various categories of causal ties. I think Peter Pan gave the speech therapy term for those ties, and then the ThemeMaker book (from MW) also talks about them too in one of their diagrams, but I don't have it on me.

This kind of thing is tricky. For me working with ds, I ponder whether it's needing to DO it more or whether the foundation for noticing the relationships is not there or what. I think it's possible to get it with that sort of declarative level, memorized thing, but not really have picked it up on the more intuitive level where the brain figured out the pattern and gets it. Or omaybe he's reductionist? Or maybe his literary language isn't keeping up? I don't know, I'm just making up things here. But really, if the more advanced language and the taking in of the more advanced language is in literature or essay books or writing that he's not reading because he's not engaging with the social narrative, then he wouldn't have anything driving the deep, intuitive acquisition of that language use. 

So, like if you just ask in general, people will say their kids write like what they read. It's why I've been so concerned about audiobooks for ds! The joke is, he was MEMORIZING the books, so indeed he sounded like them but only because he had memorized them, lol. Dd, on the other hand, read a lot of essays in high school and her writing sounds like it. So that could be another strategy, to give him more time with the type of literary language you want him using.

I think cause/effect could be a bear anyway, just because it's requiring so many skills. And yes, ds does that, speaking around, writing around the expected grammar. I think it's an issue. You know Linguisystems has an entire workbook on conjunctions. Like an inch think, aimed at high schoolers, serious workbook. Probably the most encyclopedically thorough droning on the topic you could find, lol. My bad. Conversations with Conjunctions: Assessment and Activities for Oral Language It was at ProEd.

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I was thinking about this, and one of the CELF tests (might have been metalinguistics) measures how many compound and compound-complex sentences a student uses to finish a started paragraph, but it doesn't measure what KIND of connectors are used. It totally misses the point that you can have fancy and complex language but not connect things in important ways. Big fail, lol! 

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2 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I was thinking about this, and one of the CELF tests (might have been metalinguistics) measures how many compound and compound-complex sentences a student uses to finish a started paragraph, but it doesn't measure what KIND of connectors are used. It totally misses the point that you can have fancy and complex language but not connect things in important ways. Big fail, lol! 

The assessments are created to drive therapy, and most of this therapy is in a school setting where they only do enough to help the student access the curriculum. We're the nasty overachievers saying we want our kids to be able to do everything they COULD do with enough intervention. 

I don't know if the CwC book has pre/post tests or not. I can look.

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2 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Interesting!! Then I should google to see if SKILL has suggested IEP goals. SKILL2 will be keyed to Common Core, so it would be easy to transfer that into IEP goals.

This kind of thing is tricky. For me working with ds, I ponder whether it's needing to DO it more or whether the foundation for noticing the relationships is not there or what. I think it's possible to get it with that sort of declarative level, memorized thing, but not really have picked it up on the more intuitive level where the brain figured out the pattern and gets it. 

I think cause/effect could be a bear anyway, just because it's requiring so many skills. And yes, ds does that, speaking around, writing around the expected grammar. I think it's an issue. You know Linguisystems has an entire workbook on conjunctions. Like an inch think, aimed at high schoolers, serious workbook. Probably the most encyclopedically thorough droning on the topic you could find, lol. My bad. Conversations with Conjunctions: Assessment and Activities for Oral Language It was at ProEd.

I didn't remember seeing that book, and I will look at it.

So, my take based on starting this article...

1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

...is that your son maybe shows features of both SLI and ASD. I think mine shows mostly ASD features. What do you think? Not about my kid necessarily (though you can say something about that), but about my impression that your son might have features of both? It's a vague impression that you would have to consider broadly, but they do discuss this piece of information:

Quote

The 2 children in the ASD group with lower language skills, looked similar, or worse than the children with SLI and responded to treatment in a similar fashion to the children with SLI 

I will flat out say that this is kind of an intuitive leap, based on secondhand impressions, lol! 

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5 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

The assessments are created to drive therapy, and most of this therapy is in a school setting where they only do enough to help the student access the curriculum. We're the nasty overachievers saying we want our kids to be able to do everything they COULD do with enough intervention. 

I don't know if the CwC book has pre/post tests or not. I can look.

But I think the assessments can change--The TNL is getting major traction with SLPs. Also, if my son's abilities made him able to access the curriculum, he would be writing reasonably well by this point. I bet there are kids that could take his current intact skills and run with them, but he cannot. I think that testing is going to end up changing at some point to reflect this. It will have to if Common Core stays the standard long enough. They are asking kids to do tasks that pretty much require all skills to be intact OR maturity to make a leap without having all the skills. Since they are doing these activities very young, that maturity to make a leap is not going to be there, and for kids with additional deficits--ASD, EF difficulties, etc., they aren't going to be able to pull together what they have and make a leap over what they are missing. 

 

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Oh, wait! I did see the conjunctions book...I need to see sample pages for the subordinating conjunctions. I think that what he's missing are the causal ties, and the articles you've posted suggest (as do the MW materials) that it's really the metacognitive piece of the conjunction use that is missing for my son. It has to be tied to the narrative.

Now, that's not to say you can't have a problem with conjunctions globally and then also a problem with using them metacognitively with the critical thinking component, but my son seems to have a problem purely with the metacognitive/problem-solving/perspective-taking piece that is dealt with in the critical thinking triangle activities.

 

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10 minutes ago, kbutton said:

your son maybe shows features of both SLI and ASD. I think mine shows mostly ASD features. What do you think? Not about my kid necessarily (though you can say something about that), but about my impression that your son might have features of both? It's a vague impression that you would have to consider broadly, but they do discuss this piece of information:

Technically from a diagnostic standpoint, SLI is a diagnosis of exclusion. An individual can only receive a diagnosis of SLI if there is no other diagnosis that can explain the language impairment. So if a student has a diagnosis of ASD or hearing loss or one of the various syndromes, etc. that means he/she cannot have SLI. It would be "mixed expressive-receptive language disorder secondary to [insert primary diagnosis here]".

Now where things get messy is that what is termed "autism" is almost certainly a collection of different underlying disorders. So while there are going to be common struggles, there are also going to be things that are going to be specific to the particular subtype (even if that subtype is as of yet unidentified).

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18 minutes ago, kbutton said:

...is that your son maybe shows features of both SLI and ASD. I think mine shows mostly ASD features. What do you think? Not about my kid necessarily (though you can say something about that), but about my impression that your son might have features of both? It's a vague impression that you would have to consider broadly, but they do discuss this piece of information:

Yes, at this point the SLPs are saying he has a language disability, so calling it SLI, DLD (developmental language delay), what have you is correct. There's also controversy about whether they ought to diagnose SLI/DLD *on top* of ASD. That's why they're splitting hairs there and pondering how they're the same, how they're different. But yes, at this point anything I come across that says SLI/DLD I read and add to my brain file, because at this point that's where answers are coming from, whether they use the label or not.

Really though, this isn't something that gets a lot of traction. I'm reading these private groups and they're basically saying what we already know, that in the schools they have such brief amounts of time that they hardly know how to prioritize when faced with a dc with SO MANY aspects to the disability. So I busted through that by saying fine I'll do 2-3 hours a day! But that's not what they get to do and they're left scratching their heads how to address ALL the areas (narrative, vocabulary, semantics, syntax, blah blah) in only 30 minutes once a week. What I did can't be done in that amount of time, so they pick something that can be, like a contextualized study of story grammar where they pick a book that hopefully will also hit their semantic and syntax goals. That's the best they can do in 30 minutes a week.

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2 minutes ago, Crimson Wife said:

Technically from a diagnostic standpoint, SLI is a diagnosis of exclusion. An individual can only receive a diagnosis of SLI if there is no other diagnosis that can explain the language impairment. So if a student has a diagnosis of ASD or hearing loss or one of the various syndromes, etc. that means he/she cannot have SLI. It would be "mixed expressive-receptive language disorder secondary to [insert primary diagnosis here]".

Now where things get messy is that what is termed "autism" is almost certainly a collection of different underlying disorders. So while there are going to be common struggles, there are also going to be things that are going to be specific to the particular subtype (even if that subtype is as of yet unidentified).

Yup, that's what I've read too. So my ds clearly has a language delay and they'll say that, but it's not something they code separately. It just means we read across labels and any time I see that term I pay attention. And we did have an SLP use coding for the expressive/receptive language delay. Our numbers fit it. 

So back to SKILL. What I'm reading online is people REALLY liking SKILL. Like really, really liking it. I'm not sure they're saying they use it with older kids unless there are developmental delays to make it appropriate. I think it may cite children's books and be on the younger (under 12) side. But the people talking about it really, really like it. So I'm getting kind of excited, as it's sounding like it will be good!!

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17 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Oh, wait! I did see the conjunctions book...I need to see sample pages for the subordinating conjunctions. I think that what he's missing are the causal ties, and the articles you've posted suggest (as do the MW materials) that it's really the metacognitive piece of the conjunction use that is missing for my son. It has to be tied to the narrative.

Now, that's not to say you can't have a problem with conjunctions globally and then also a problem with using them metacognitively with the critical thinking component, but my son seems to have a problem purely with the metacognitive/problem-solving/perspective-taking piece that is dealt with in the critical thinking triangle activities.

 

The CwC may dig in on meaning more than you expect, because it's aimed at older students. Just flipping through it, I'm seeing paragraphs for context and questions about meaning that might dig in where you want to be. It's WAY more than my ds is ready for, mercy.

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5 minutes ago, Crimson Wife said:

Technically from a diagnostic standpoint, SLI is a diagnosis of exclusion. An individual can only receive a diagnosis of SLI if there is no other diagnosis that can explain the language impairment. So if a student has a diagnosis of ASD or hearing loss or one of the various syndromes, etc. that means he/she cannot have SLI. It would be "mixed expressive-receptive language disorder secondary to [insert primary diagnosis here]".

Now where things get messy is that what is termed "autism" is almost certainly a collection of different underlying disorders. So while there are going to be common struggles, there are also going to be things that are going to be specific to the particular subtype (even if that subtype is as of yet unidentified).

It will be interesting to see, over time, if this line of thought changes. I mean, it used to be that if you had ASD, you couldn't get a diagnosis of ADHD too, but clearly, some kids with ASD do not seem to have ADHD or benefit from meds. I also wonder if they will go with autism subtypes, or if they will add additional descriptors that encapsulate something specific for each child--like the support levels but hopefully more helpful on language and some other things. I know researchers would probably prefer neat categories! 

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24 minutes ago, kbutton said:

The TNL is getting major traction with SLPs.

Interestingly, the TNL takes heat as STILL under-identifying students with disabilities! LOL Can't win. But yeah, the scoring mechanism is strong and makes the TNL a winner even if other things, in theory, would be slightly better. And I hadn't made the connection, but the Gillams are behind TNL1/2, so they made the tool AND the intervention. Boom.

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8 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yes, at this point the SLPs are saying he has a language disability, so calling it SLI, DLD (developmental language delay), what have you is correct. There's also controversy about whether they ought to diagnose SLI/DLD *on top* of ASD. That's why they're splitting hairs there and pondering how they're the same, how they're different. But yes, at this point anything I come across that says SLI/DLD I read and add to my brain file, because at this point that's where answers are coming from, whether they use the label or not.

Really though, this isn't something that gets a lot of traction. I'm reading these private groups and they're basically saying what we already know, that in the schools they have such brief amounts of time that they hardly know how to prioritize when faced with a dc with SO MANY aspects to the disability. So I busted through that by saying fine I'll do 2-3 hours a day! But that's not what they get to do and they're left scratching their heads how to address ALL the areas (narrative, vocabulary, semantics, syntax, blah blah) in only 30 minutes once a week. What I did can't be done in that amount of time, so they pick something that can be, like a contextualized study of story grammar where they pick a book that hopefully will also hit their semantic and syntax goals. That's the best they can do in 30 minutes a week.

I think that the SLI is what is making you feel like narrative intervention stuff like MW is missing something. Not that MW folks wouldn't also intervene on the SLI, but they are providing more of the narrative side. Then, you talked about what you like better about the Gillam stuff too. Anyway, it sounds like you are finding all the facets of what you need, and that evidence says adding narrative is going to help even if you do have holes to patch first.

I think it's sad that there isn't more traction--I know schools are limited, but it's really helpful as a parent to know how my kids needs are similar to or different from what they are doing or from other kids!!! I mean, I have two kids with glitchy language, but there is NOTHING about their glitches that they have in common!!!

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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Interestingly, the TNL takes heat as STILL under-identifying students with disabilities! LOL Can't win. But yeah, the scoring mechanism is strong and makes the TNL a winner even if other things, in theory, would be slightly better. And I hadn't made the connection, but the Gillams are behind TNL1/2, so they made the tool AND the intervention. Boom.

Well, it's looking only at one aspect of language. I am glad that TOPS and CASL are out there too. It would be interesting to see if the metacognition with verbs/MW critical thinking triangle correlated to the Transferring Insights aspect of TOPS...

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2 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I think that the SLI is what is making you feel like narrative intervention stuff like MW is missing something.

Bingo. I'm not sure that's exactly the way they would put it, but it's the sentiment or the reasoning. I had said there were holes, steps, more than needed to be done, and that with ds I need things so thorough, so foundational, so careful in progression that nothing is left to chance, that every little bit is built in and built up. That's where he's doing best, with materials that are that thorough. And you're right, very good catch, that MW was developed for dyslexics in a school, kids who did not need that extreme level of super careful language intervention. It was my complaint from the beginning of this thread, and it's really not a knock about MW as it's just a different market. It's just good to slide over to a product that is MEANT for this level of need and is giving me the tools. With ds, the more detailed and foundational the tool, the better he seems to do. SKILL is saying they integrate explicitly every aspect of the necessary syntax to build it up. It should all be there. At least that's what I'm hoping! 

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

SKILL is saying they integrate explicitly every aspect of the necessary syntax to build it up. It should all be there. At least that's what I'm hoping! 

If you did more workbooks like you've been doing plus MW, you'd have to try to integrate on your own, and that could be a total pain!

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12 minutes ago, kbutton said:

If you did more workbooks like you've been doing plus MW, you'd have to try to integrate on your own, and that could be a total pain!

It's more than that. I think ds needs a level of explicit, step by step instruction that will be an utter pain and guesswork for me to figure out on my own. I've done just enough with him that it's very obvious he would benefit from highly structured, specially developed materials. It's also why a gap is good right now. He's actually improving while we're NOT working on semantics and syntax, if you can imagine. Every day more is coming out and he's asking for more from literature. He actually asked me to read him a book! I'm hearing things we worked on show up in his language more, and he's doing better conversationally.

What I think I'll probably do is hit the Color My Conversation, because I think that will bump his attention to and understanding of dialogue in the fiction THEN go at it with SKILL. I'd love to do SKILL now too, haha. We could probably swing both. I don't know. I just think if I can only do one or the other, that would be reasonable. He needs to have an intake view with the county board. We probably won't do either before then, lol. I need to get that scheduled this week, hmm. That will determine if we remain eligible with the county or lose that bit of funding. He's right on that line where I don't know. He's becoming more functional and he may not get it this time, dunno. Depends on what questions they ask. It will probably be like last time but maybe with questions sort of the next stage up.

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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

It's more than that. I think ds needs a level of explicit, step by step instruction that will be an utter pain and guesswork for me to figure out on my own. I've done just enough with him that it's very obvious he would benefit from highly structured, specially developed materials. It's also why a gap is good right now. He's actually improving while we're NOT working on semantics and syntax, if you can imagine. Every day more is coming out and he's asking for more from literature. He actually asked me to read him a book! I'm hearing things we worked on show up in his language more, and he's doing better conversationally.

What I think I'll probably do is hit the Color My Conversation, because I think that will bump his attention to and understanding of dialogue in the fiction THEN go at it with SKILL. I'd love to do SKILL now too, haha. We could probably swing both. I don't know. I just think if I can only do one or the other, that would be reasonable. He needs to have an intake view with the county board. We probably won't do either before then, lol. I need to get that scheduled this week, hmm. That will determine if we remain eligible with the county or lose that bit of funding. He's right on that line where I don't know. He's becoming more functional and he may not get it this time, dunno. Depends on what questions they ask. It will probably be like last time but maybe with questions sort of the next stage up.

We all need time to get what we've learned intensively integrated into life. It makes total sense to me that he would improve during a pause.

The stuff for the board of DD is available online. I will send a link on PM.

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https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/51281/whats-going-on-in-your-childs-brain-when-you-read-them-a-story  This article says what we already intuitively know, but still it's interesting. Kids being read picture books (visual plus language) were making the most interconnected connections. Audiobooks alone made more language connections, but comprehension went down because the brain was straining to wrangle with the language.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/51281/whats-going-on-in-your-childs-brain-when-you-read-them-a-story  This article says what we already intuitively know, but still it's interesting. Kids being read picture books (visual plus language) were making the most interconnected connections. Audiobooks alone made more language connections, but comprehension went down because the brain was straining to wrangle with the language.

 

For the sake of clarity, the study involved preschool children ages 3-5.

Based on the brain networks they looked at as likely to be influenced... (see below quote)...

Quote

"We went into it with an idea in mind of what brain networks were likely to be influenced by the story," Hutton explains. One was language. One was visual perception. The third is called visual imagery. The fourth was the default mode network, which Hutton calls, "the seat of the soul, internal reflection — how something matters to you."

 

...they further clarify this:

Quote

"For 3- to 5-year-olds, the imagery and default mode networks mature late, and take practice to integrate with the rest of the brain," Hutton explains. 

 

And, to be more precise, they also clarified this:

Quote

When children could see illustrations, language-network activity dropped a bit compared to the audio condition. Instead of only paying attention to the words, Hutton says, the children's understanding of the story was "scaffolded" by having the images as clues.

 

The main focus of the study was to test ScreenQ, however. There's a link to the study within the article.

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Well I finally ordered SKILL Narrative by the Gillams. We'll see how it is. I feel silly, because we're probably like *this close* to being able to do it without. It feels like I shouldn't need to pay for a whole other curriculum. But at this point an open and go approach that just lets me get it done, without any machinations or searching or guesswork, would be really helpful. And if it's BETTER than what I could have pieced together on my own using lots of separate things, that's good. 

On the plus side, the postage was cheap, just $3.68 media mail, lol. Of course, does that mean it's going to be stupid slow and take forever? Figures.

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