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J-rap

Do you know of a program/workbook that focuses on the concept of context and information sequence in conversation?

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Sorry, that was a long title!  I'm looking for something that helps teach the concept of context and information sequence in a conversation so that the listener can follow you and understand.

For example, if you saw a statue of a famous Spanish soldier from the 1500's at a park yesterday and you wanted to tell someone, you wouldn't begin the conversation with:

"He was famous in Spain."

Instead, you need to begin with more context.

Next attempt might be:

"NAME OF PERSON was famous in Spain."

or even:

"NAME OF PERSON was a famous soldier in Spain."

Still not enough information for the listener to understand what you're getting at.  You need to back up even more and provide even more context.  (And even the name is kind of irrelevant as a conversation starter, because it's not a name that anyone would be familiar with.)

So a better way of saying it might be:

"Yesterday at the park, I saw a statue of a famous Spanish soldier from the 1500's.  His name was NAME OF PERSON."

 

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Wouldn't this fall under the concept of narration? I'm still working this through in my own head and how it applies to life, but the ability to explain character (yourself), setting (where you were) and actions (what you saw and why it was important). So narration focused products could help.

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Usually when my ds does that, using a vague pronoun with no referent, it's because he didn't remember the name. If you have a social disability, the names kinda might not be important to you. He might have found something else more interesting. It sounds like it was really important to him the dude was famous, so maybe he spent his time looking at something else on the statue like the horse, the sword, or whatever struck him that connected with being famous. The name was then useless data. You can't narrate it if you don't have it.

Does he use names when they're interesting/useful enough to him that he notices them, or does he always use pronouns without referents?

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12 hours ago, J-rap said:

So a better way of saying it might be:

How about following up by asking what he liked about it? Then at least you'd know what he was thinking and what he found interesting.

Personally, I'm in the hate history camp, so I wouldn't have asked at all and probably wouldn't have cared about the answer to your question. I would have looked at whether the metal was changing to green, how it was fastened, whether there were spiders on it, and possibly how it affected the flow of traffic in that location. I've gotten dragged to a lot of history stuff over the years, so I have experience with this. There's this dude in Cincinnati, just off the square a few blocks. I can tell you how the promenade is landscaped 7 years later, but I have no idea who the guy was. He might have been standing. He *might* have had something to do with founding the downtown but I don't know and certainly don't know his NAME, lol.

If you want a history narration, better tell him ahead of time the parameters. If you want a conversation, then that really kinda matters what he was thinking. If you want a NT companion to talk history, maybe take someone else, lol.

So I would follow up on the idea of using a pronoun with an referent, sure. But look at me. I'm 42 and the names are so utterly unimportant, so quickly dropped (except for the name of the architect of the visitor stops at the Grand Canyon, but she was a WOMAN), that I'm gonna say something really vague like DUDE. I know better than to use a pronoun without a referent, but I still don't have sensible data to put there.

Edited by PeterPan
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If your concern is flow in conversation,                                             Talk With Me: A Step-by-step Conversation Framework for Teaching Conversational Balance and Fluency                                       this book is what you want. I'm finally looking through it here, got my lazy butt up to look at it. It's pretty sophisticated, way beyond the Color My Conversation (entry level) stuff we're doing. This has all your nuances and details, like male vs. female for that type of conversation, bridging, weight, etc. Page 108 has conversations on informational topics and a rubric. First criteria is of course did it MAKE SENSE, which what your ds said did not.

So then I was going backward in the book, trying to find how they teach "makes sense" (which is your point) and they have lessons on things like identifying the topic, the inferences, etc. So I think by working on that overall flow in conversation, you'd get that sense of rightness that would correct it. It wasn't on topic because maybe you hadn't really TOLD them the topic. So then doing the earlier exercises would naturally correct it, sorta like handling real money to realize the fake. 

That's still not going to address the lack of referent, but that's a common grammar error. As far as editing his sentence into a more syntactically complex one, the real curiosity or thing to look for is whether he uses those structures already in his everyday speech. There are ways to transcribe utterances for a period of time and then count them for syntactic complexity. I've had SLPs do that on my ds informally using other tools and commenting on what they found to be rigidity of constructions, but they weren't up on expressive language enough to realize that it literally meant he had syntax deficits, sigh. Super hard to find materials for and super common. I've found a whopping one book that was half-way anything. I almost think SLPs end up making lists and winging it. So target a structure you want him to be able to use (intro adverbial phrase, whatever) and practice it in isolation, in sentences, and then in narrations. Rinse and repeat with the next structure. But to assume he could have made that construction, I wouldn't unless you already commonly hear him using it. But in that case, why didn't he? ;)

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4 hours ago, mamashark said:

Wouldn't this fall under the concept of narration? I'm still working this through in my own head and how it applies to life, but the ability to explain character (yourself), setting (where you were) and actions (what you saw and why it was important). So narration focused products could help.

That's a good point...  I had kind of been wondering that myself, so will check out those types of products.

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Usually when my ds does that, using a vague pronoun with no referent, it's because he didn't remember the name. If you have a social disability, the names kinda might not be important to you. He might have found something else more interesting. It sounds like it was really important to him the dude was famous, so maybe he spent his time looking at something else on the statue like the horse, the sword, or whatever struck him that connected with being famous. The name was then useless data. You can't narrate it if you don't have it.

Does he use names when they're interesting/useful enough to him that he notices them, or does he always use pronouns without referents?

Yes, names aren't generally a problem;  they just don't always pop up as important to the conversation.  (And sometimes they're not.)

3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

How about following up by asking what he liked about it? Then at least you'd know what he was thinking and what he found interesting.

Personally, I'm in the hate history camp, so I wouldn't have asked at all and probably wouldn't have cared about the answer to your question. I would have looked at whether the metal was changing to green, how it was fastened, whether there were spiders on it, and possibly how it affected the flow of traffic in that location. I've gotten dragged to a lot of history stuff over the years, so I have experience with this. There's this dude in Cincinnati, just off the square a few blocks. I can tell you how the promenade is landscaped 7 years later, but I have no idea who the guy was. He might have been standing. He *might* have had something to do with founding the downtown but I don't know and certainly don't know his NAME, lol.

If you want a history narration, better tell him ahead of time the parameters. If you want a conversation, then that really kinda matters what he was thinking. If you want a NT companion to talk history, maybe take someone else, lol.

So I would follow up on the idea of using a pronoun with an referent, sure. But look at me. I'm 42 and the names are so utterly unimportant, so quickly dropped (except for the name of the architect of the visitor stops at the Grand Canyon, but she was a WOMAN), that I'm gonna say something really vague like DUDE. I know better than to use a pronoun without a referent, but I still don't have sensible data to put there.

haha, I get what you mean about what's interesting!  The historical example was just an example though.  It could have been about any subject.

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

If your concern is flow in conversation,                                             Talk With Me: A Step-by-step Conversation Framework for Teaching Conversational Balance and Fluency                                       this book is what you want. I'm finally looking through it here, got my lazy butt up to look at it. It's pretty sophisticated, way beyond the Color My Conversation (entry level) stuff we're doing. This has all your nuances and details, like male vs. female for that type of conversation, bridging, weight, etc. Page 108 has conversations on informational topics and a rubric. First criteria is of course did it MAKE SENSE, which what your ds said did not.

So then I was going backward in the book, trying to find how they teach "makes sense" (which is your point) and they have lessons on things like identifying the topic, the inferences, etc. So I think by working on that overall flow in conversation, you'd get that sense of rightness that would correct it. It wasn't on topic because maybe you hadn't really TOLD them the topic. So then doing the earlier exercises would naturally correct it, sorta like handling real money to realize the fake. 

That's still not going to address the lack of referent, but that's a common grammar error. As far as editing his sentence into a more syntactically complex one, the real curiosity or thing to look for is whether he uses those structures already in his everyday speech. There are ways to transcribe utterances for a period of time and then count them for syntactic complexity. I've had SLPs do that on my ds informally using other tools and commenting on what they found to be rigidity of constructions, but they weren't up on expressive language enough to realize that it literally meant he had syntax deficits, sigh. Super hard to find materials for and super common. I've found a whopping one book that was half-way anything. I almost think SLPs end up making lists and winging it. So target a structure you want him to be able to use (intro adverbial phrase, whatever) and practice it in isolation, in sentences, and then in narrations. Rinse and repeat with the next structure. But to assume he could have made that construction, I wouldn't unless you already commonly hear him using it. But in that case, why didn't he? 😉

Thanks, I'll check it out!  I appreciate your looking through it.  Sounds like it might have some helpful info in it.  I'm not too concerned about accurate grammar/syntax (I know what not to expect -- and you're right, it's tricky).  It's more the idea of understanding how context and flow of information is necessary in order for it to make sense.

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I want to say that one of the We Thinkers (formerly Incredible Flexible You) books deals with this concept. It was definitely covered in the social skills group that used We Thinkers as the "spine".

How old is the child in question? We Thinkers is useful IMHO throughout elementary even if Michelle Garcia Winner touts it for ages 4-7. But if the child is older than about 10, he/she would likely find it too juvenile.

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Peter Pan, you could really make a bundle evaluating other kids and pinpointing next steps to work on.  Like, seriously, I would drive to Ohio to get your take on Cat.  You break things down into more practical chunks and give more holistic overviews than most official evaluators.  You would be a superb “where do I start” evaluation person.  Just throwing that out there for a few years down the road.  

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8 hours ago, Terabith said:

more holistic overviews

You're right that most of these professions are very pigeon-holed. It's how the system works. Fwiw, a behaviorist or BCBA is usually trying to be more big picture. Like our behaviorist has a degree in education (so she can have opinions on our homeschooling) and a degree in social work (so she can speak to our complex dynamics and the DSM) and she's into nutrition (who isn't?) and she has kids and gets people (so she's really practical and good at predicting) and she has done tons with the social work. So I find her perspective really helpful because she's so meta level, standing back, watching things happen.

Fwiw, the other thing that was epiphanal for me, besides of course the various workshops on social thinking, interoception, etc., was OCALICON. Like if you're just like oh let's take a trip, you could look into it. Everything, literally everything, was under one roof. It was where I saw I wasn't crazy, that all the pieces I thought I was seeing were pieces and that it literally was so complex that like one person specialized in this, another in this, another in this. 

So the only reason any of us goes forward is because we're pulling together that hard work from other people. When you get down to that hard work, it's really a specialty. So then they're not so hot at big picture, but it really takes years upon years to become an expert in that specialty. 

To me the thing is always just look really hard at your own kid. It's not going to help to say well this worked for some other person's kid. They're looking at 82 genes involved in "autism" as an umbrella label and kids who are like what umbrella, I have a raincoat. So to me just keep looking at your kid. What I'm working on now with ds is getting him to TELL us what he's feeling, TELL us what he's stressed about, and making that communication have meaning and power. That's his biggest challenge right now and what's either gonna sink or swim him. It sounds so blithe, but it's this convergence of so much work (self-regulation, thinking about the other person, interoception to know how you feel, all the language and articulation work, self-advocacy, depression vs. hope that making the effort will make a difference, etc.). But at its most simple it's about integrity, about relationship, about pairing and working together. But it was just more complicated because we had to work on like 18 broken pieces before we could get there, lol. But it was simple, oh yeah.

Nah, couldn't pay me enough. Or as one friend locally puts it, working with or trying to help newbies is hard. The emotions too much, the issues too complicated. It's flashbacks of our own experiences of trauma and stress. Nope, when I'm done with this I'm RETIRING. I'm gonna go sit around and sun my butt and do charity work. But thanks for the compliment. :)

Edited by PeterPan
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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Nope, when I'm done with this I'm RETIRING. I'm gonna go sit around and sun my butt and do charity work. But thanks for the compliment. 🙂

Too bad, I always thought you'd be a pro at giving other people direction, too!

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