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mamashark

An aside about language use

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I was reading through some old threads and Lecka said this: "Asking a question and responding to another person's language (reciprocal questions) are both things that would be considered their own language function.  And it's a different language function from "telling about something."  So iow -- being able to "tell about something" doesn't automatically transfer into being able to ask a question or respond to another person's language, even if all the same words would be used. "

I really wish the SLP who first tested my son understood this! Her exact words were "he's got all the language he needs to communicate in any situation - if he's not, it's a behavior issue and not something I can help with." 

It's an interesting thought process to ponder the difference in language function and the simple collection of words and ability to spit words out in an isolated environment. It's similar to the idea of assuming that since a child shows the ability to feel a variety of emotions, and maybe even can list the types of emotions there are in an isolated environment, they can obviously identify those emotions in ANY given setting. Obviously the identification of emotions will range in difficulty level based on the situation and function (ID in you, ID in me, ID in me when I'm reflecting vs. when I'm experiencing it), just as the ability to communicate will range as well, in the variety of functions that language can play.

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This is the basis of “verbal behavior” which is called VB sometimes or VB/ABA.

i don’t have a lot of time right now!  

But there is a book “the verbal behavior approach” for parents and the author has a website “Mary barbera.”

her website will seem like it’s more for kids with less language but ——- as you are seeing (maybe — anxiety can also be a factor for some kids more than this I think!) ———- kids with really obvious low language get recognized as needing this.

Kids who have some good language are more prone to get that “ he could say it if he wants” even if they are never asking questions etc. 

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Wow, gotta wonder about the audacity of an SLP who can say she administered one test and now boom, everything is behavior.

We had SO many tests done on my ds. Some would show this, some would show that, a lot would be sub-clinical. Sometimes it was that the person doing the test didn't realize the limitations of the test or things like sensitivity/specificity and cut scores. Some didn't realize what they were seeing EVEN WHEN THEY SAW IT. 

And no, SLPs aren't trained AT ALL in verbal behavior approaches or anything from the ASD-driven side of language intervention. So you ask how language develops and they're like WHO GIVES A FLIP??? And I'm like, hello because he has a developmental disorder and therefore the order matters. And they're like still who cares because we're just gonna go for an end product because we have a list!

Stupidest thing ever, totally pigeon-holed. Like I really hope every person going to every practitioner succeeds and thrives, but doggone at this point I think that right there, that pigeon holing and the turf wars and lunacy, explains all the kids who DON'T. There's a ceiling of low expectations in the autism community and there's not a lot of intervention happening once you get the most basic level done. Once you want sentence complexity, syntax, etc. a lot of these people keel over and blanche and are like oh no let me work on "social." As if social doesn't require sentence complexity, lol. They're mortal, I get it, but I'm jaded. 

So no, you can't define all of the language issues with one test, one hour, one session. Yes I think we have to read about language from ALL directions and not only pigeon hole ourselves one way. 

Fwiw, Zelda is the answer to everything. When they play Zelda they read, make conversations, and then they have to come ask you questions to look for stuff. They work on articulation to use Siri to find their answers. Zelda is all the speech language therapy you need. I'm joking, but really ds is playing today (he's sick with a cold) and it's impressive how much language he uses as a result of it. I got him onto the Wii originally to push reading in small, natural bits.

1 hour ago, mamashark said:

It's an interesting thought process to ponder the difference in language function and the simple collection of words and ability to spit words out in an isolated environment.

Ok, nobody is saying this, certainly not SLPs. They're going to want to get that language into contexts, into narratives too. I mean, all our work on narrative language, this really advanced stuff, is coming from the SLP community, not the autism community. What the VBA and ASD community are bringing to the table is to realize how nitpicky you have to be. We have to be able to use every structure, backward and forward, in all directions. The SLP community in general, because they're usually working with more typical kids, can make more assumptions about skills generalizing. Once we move over to ASD, we're going to have to make sure that skill is generalized. It's just reality. But there *are* speechie materials that do that nicely. The SPARC materials, for instance, are speechie and they do a great job of running a structure (concept words, syntax, whatever) through the paces. 

But think about that. How long is a SPARC book meant to last, a year? Seriously. You can see how they're set up. Like an SLP in school will have a very brief session and possibly do push-in. Private might have 30-45 minutes, and they're supposed to be hitting 3-4 goals. It's crazy. I did a SPARC book a MONTH. My capacity to effect rapid change was higher because I get the hours with him. I've seen posts where they basically lamented that they're the highest skilled but given the least amount of time. It's just the cost.

So, you know, be your own magic I guess. Be thorough.

1 hour ago, mamashark said:

Obviously the identification of emotions will range in difficulty level based on the situation and function (ID in you, ID in me, ID in me when I'm reflecting vs. when I'm experiencing it),

Yes, Mahler is setting you up for this in the phases of the Interoception materials. Yes, if your own emotions are heightened and the stress level is up and the heart rate and cortisol levels are up, the way you perceive and problem solve is going to be affected.

1 hour ago, mamashark said:

just as the ability to communicate will range as well, in the variety of functions that language can play.

Different settings offer different levels of support and make different demands. So like if you're with someone who makes conversation easy or who is giving prompts, obviously that's going to go better than with a peer who maybe is dropping the conversation and leaving it in disrepair themselves, lol. You also have the fatigue of the person and where they're starting. Good day, body going great, very engaged, maybe language goes well. Some days nothing goes well, lol. For my ds, sometimes a fresh person comes in with fresh energy and we get back on track. It's why I try to keep a team approach, because sometimes variety helps.

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Language is a never-ending pit.

The ONLY really major, major clue we had at 5/6 was the issue with asking questions. He wasn't doing it. Everything else was so subtle. I would say things I was concerned about, like that he didn't know his phone number, couldn't repeat a sentence, on and on, and THEY DIDN'T KNOW THEIR FIELD WELL ENOUGH TO REALIZE why these things mattered. I mean literally I was saying things that are on the developmental screeners for autism, and the school and the SLPs (I blame ALL of them) were like so??? Zero clue.

And WHY did this happen? He had memorized massive amounts of language and was breaking it down with his snazzy little brain. He had gone whole books to paragraphs to sentences, and he could crank them out. But once you got to the word level, he was SCREWED. We literally started with THE and IS and basics like this. When he had to make basic sentences from picture prompts in SPARC where he could no longer script, suddenly it was obvious. 

I'm way cynical. They get paid $100-140 an hour and I'm an idiot because I don't have letters behind my name. But they missed a lot on my ds because they didn't understand how the pieces fit together. 

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