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mamashark

reading push-back (both instruction and read-alouds)

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I am trying to figure out what might be underneath my 6 yo son's dislike of listening to me read aloud anything other than picture books, because I feel like it's bleeding into reading instruction too. The professionals I've discussed with with tell me that the intense dislike (often leading to panic attacks) of watching movies (anything with a "bad guy" or tension - veggie tales, animated hero classics, even peter pan's opening scene with peter trying to get his shadow back...) has to do with what they say is a hyper-awareness of emotions in others, but that his dislike of books would be auditory processing issues. 

The thing is, his auditory processing is excellent. I know that's not the issue. I wondered if it was again a hyper-awareness of social tension in the plot-line, which is kept much more minimal in picture books, but I keep getting behaviors with reading instruction too, so I wonder if it's something else.

He learned how to blend cvc words together really quickly a full year ago now, but progressed really slowly from there. He flipped out when I tried to have him read 2-3 word sentences and when I couldn't get past that I took him to the eye dr. The eye dr. said he had a mild eye tracking issue that he considered developmental and average for his age but that otherwise his sight was perfect. I have spent tons of time on tracking exercises (mazes, dot to dot, tracking across lines to circle all the ..... shapes. etc.). He seemed to improve, but I am still getting these behaviors, and we are regressing to where he's even giving me behaviors for isolated single words again. 

He has very little frustration tolerance, and is a perfectionist. but I am getting literally NO pushback on math instruction, or handwriting, or language (therapy stuff), or science. History he doesn't like me to read the books aloud, he'll literally leave the room and go somewhere he can't hear us for history or throw a major fit if I try to get him to stay. And I can't get him to do reading. I've tried every trick that's worked in the past - incorporating reading words into obstacle courses, only read the words he writes, as he writes them...etc. I hate to increase the candy motivators again just for reading alone when he's not requiring anything but a picture schedule to follow for everything else. So what am I missing here? 

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Yeah, time to back up and review what evals you've had. 

39 minutes ago, mamashark said:

language (therapy stuff)

Who's doing that, with what materials, based on what testing?

43 minutes ago, mamashark said:

dislike of listening to me read aloud anything other than picture books

Picture books have the pictures to support comprehension. Who told you the issue was auditory processing? If you talk to an SLP, auditory processing is largely a language issue. It's not some mysterious voodoo thing but right back to the language problems you apparently already have diagnosed. So sure screen for APD and have his hearing checked. I took my ds to a university and had it done at 6, yes. They couldn't run all the screening, but they ran some. But if he has language issues, he has language issues. 

46 minutes ago, mamashark said:

dislike (often leading to panic attacks) of watching movies

Again, what evals has he had? My ds got up and walked away from movies, but he wasn't following the plot due to narrative language deficits. You really need thorough evals here. If a dc is having panic attacks over Peter Pan, it's time. Now it's actually true that a kid who's not going to get any other diagnoses can have that kind of emotional reaction to movies, yes!!!!! But you've got a larger picture that needs to be addressed with evals.

The conclusion does not have to be one thing. I would see what your options are for evals. Because I had a university nearby that would do that audiology for free, I was like fine, lets do that and take it off the table, kwim? If he does flag in there (which really most won't screen for APD till 7), then you have bigger issues. Retained reflexes will affect language development, vision development, etc. Some kids will have language SURGES when they get retained reflexes integrated and have their auditory processing improve. 

So I would just start evaling the begeeminies out till you get a more thorough picture.

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2 minutes ago, mamashark said:

asd

Ok, I always assumed that but I hadn't heard if they actually got there. And what was the support level?

So when are you beginning ABA? I mean, like not to state the obvious, but you've got stuff that would respond well to the behavioral supports of ABA. I'm not talking like DTT but someone who is naturalistic, who would come in your home and help you create structure and get the supports up and help him calm down, use strategies, and be able to do tasks together that he's ready to do but maybe doesn't have the self-regulation to do. They should be integrating strategies for emotional regulation. So bringing in a behaviorist, a BCBA, someone to help you on that front could give you a big picture approach to pull everything else into. They'd help you coordinate all his care and see how it all fits and help you problem solve whether in the moment something is behavioral or needing another therapy or what.

So yes, with ASD we're expecting language issues, behavior issues, emotional regulation issues, retained reflexes, and just glitches everywhere. When they say auditory processing in the context of ASD, well go to a speech therapy site and see. It's all language. These therapists kind of talk past each other. We assume they mean the kid needs to go to Able Kids for a filter, that it's "APD" but they mean that he's trouble processing language. So more language. Language is the NEVER-ENDING PIT.

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If it's any encouragement, you're dealing with stuff we dealt with at 6 and you're doing better at it. :smile:  You'll get there. Just take deep breaths and sort it out. 

Sometimes what a behaviorist will do or what you can do is look for what's pivotal. Like if you were tackling one or two things now that would unlock the rest, what would they be? It sounds like the anxiety (getting some strategies or effective treatments for that) and the language issues are both really pivotal right now and holding back a lot of areas. 

I'll just tell you that if you work the decoding and DON'T work the language adequately, he'll just end up hyper-lexic. The fact that he could learn parts really quickly shows how bright he is. The pushback, if it's language, is probably protective in a way. Ds basically ended up hyperlexic, so we've spent WAY more time trying to work on the language issues behind that than we EVER had to spend on decoding, despite his dyslexia diagnosis. With ds sometimes I have to alternate what I'm focusing on, and that's ok. Getting him decoding might not result in him reading and it's ok to pause that and work intentionally on something else. The world will not end. 

So they diagnosed the ASD but didn't do thorough testing for IQ, achievement, etc.? It happens. And really, getting that testing right now wouldn't show you a lot. DSM diagnoses for SLDs are sort of in the moment, not absolute. So today it really shows, but next semester or year it doesn't and the following year it does again. My ds track record on that is so screwy. And some psychs will just say of course he has troubles, he has ASD. Now for the ps IEP process, they don't really care. Once that label says ASD, they maintain all his supports and specialized instruction for every area where he is having issues, irrespective of whether it's called an SLD or not. So if he seems to need specialized instruction for areas, he does and it's not your imagination. 

What WOULD make a big difference is one the mental health (that anxiety piece, getting medical care, genetics, strategies strategies strategies, whatever you want) and even deeper language testing. What language testing have you had? Take it deeper. Psychs around here tend to screen with a CELF and stop. Misses lots of kids because of sensitivity and specificity issues. What finally was detailed enough for us was getting the SPELT (structured photographic expressive language test) and the TNL (test of narrative language). The SPELT was mind-boggling on him, because he literally failed even the preschool version. And that was at age 9!!!!! He seemed to have tons of language btw, but it was all memorized. He had learned language top-down, whole to parts, and his poor brain, bright as it is, could not break the parts down further.

So for ds making every word have meaning was an issue. He was only comprehending at the paragraph and usually sentence level. You could see the scores drop as the size went down. So then what happens if you recombine the sentence a different way? Suddenly no comprehension. So comprehension is affected and ability to get out thoughts in original sentences is affected. If he could use a pre-memorized piece, then his sentence might be complex for syntax. But if it was just off the cuff, the syntax dropped. And people saw these patterns but had no clue WHY. It was the autism and the echolalia and the whole to parts learning he had done.

So yeah, thorough testing that doesn't use models busts through, because suddenly it becomes obvious they can't build the construction in a normal way. 

The BCBAs and their verbal behavior approach will tackle language too, and they're working on the same things with different labels. I sat there pouring over books, trying to resolve it in my mind. My ds needed to back up and work on things the behaviorists didn't expect, because he had memorized so much, masking the issues. We ended up using SLP materials instead of something like the VB-MAPP. The VB-MAPP would be fine too. They're using different terms for a lot of the same things. If you found an SLP who is also BCBA (these do exist!), it might blow the lid off things for you. For that most complex presentation, where you know deficits are happening but it's hard to identify what they are, that's a type of professional to look for.

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7 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Who told you the issue was auditory processing? If you talk to an SLP, auditory processing is largely a language issue.

The OT told me auditory processing, so it's not her wheel house. The SLP told me no auditory processing issue, but refused to do anything other than the CELF test. I see the connection between behaviors and language - I asked him a question yesterday and recognized his grumpy refusal to answer was related to the difficulty with verb choices that I've seen in language therapy stuff and that he simply can't come up with the right word and so he got grumpy and refused to answer. I'm doing the language myself because I can't afford the lady who would do the right stuff with him (working on possibility of a grant). I'm using 100%vocab and am considering other linguisystem products to support and reinforce weak areas I find but haven't purchased yet. 

Regarding the asd diagnosis - we got there, but she didn't give us a support level. She had other issues too, like, refusing to give us answers on the evals she ran for literally months until we left the practice and demanding a written report, that again took MONTHS to receive, but in the end we got the diagnosis in the mail as part of the report. 

I have mixed emotions on the behavior support stuff here... The other moms I've spoken to who use them are like, it's great, they push my kiddo until they break and then dial it back and teach them how to manage next time and I'm thinking, no thanks, that's not gonna work for me. I had access to ABA with a different company but it's a long wait list (6+months) and I don't know how they function because I don't know anyone who works with them, so...

Anyway, I was just trying to think through what COULD be behind this, because rarely do behaviors show up in isolation for pure behavior reasons, I've found. There's always something driving it - whether anxiety, OCD issues, rigidity in thought, sensory discomfort, language, etc.

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14 minutes ago, mamashark said:

The SLP told me no auditory processing issue, but refused to do anything other than the CELF test.

So you need a new SLP.

15 minutes ago, mamashark said:

his grumpy refusal to answer was related to the difficulty with verb choices

Ok, tip of the day. Slow down, spend more time. Like when I did 100% vocab Rothstein, I didn't go fast. I was working 3-4 hours a day (I'm not joking) and I was spending an entire day expanding a lesson. So it wasn't like boom boom boom forward progress. It was more like deep sea diving. 

We don't want it to be hard, or at least my ds shuts down at hard. My ds needs sort of the Saxon of language intervention. It has to be SO BACKED UP, with steps SO SMALL that he's like oh yeah I can do that. Like that bull-lifting story where you lift a bull by lifting the calf. Only with ds you start with the sperm, haha. 

So I kid you not. You look for the sperm of the language skill (the teeniest, tiniest, absolutely easiest piece) and you do that till he flips out like this is boring, I've got this. Then you do the embryo of the concept. Eventually that grows and you birth it into a little calf. And in a few years that calf grows into a bull.

So my big trick, when in doubt, is to use pictures. Chop out pictures from magazines and glue them on index cards. Pull pictures from a game like Pickles to Penguins. I use pictures anywhere I find them. When I don't know what to do, I pull out pictures.

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21 minutes ago, mamashark said:

The OT told me auditory processing,

That's fine! So she's telling you that the way he's processing info is glitched. And if you look at something like FFW, it's basically what you're trying to do with your 100% vocab intervention. Same stuff. Now if you can get access to FFW, sure do it. It's basically tons of language intervention, looks like great stuff. I've talked with people who got it through their ps and if you can, do it mercy.

It's a rabbit trail, but where is he with retained reflexes?

https://greatideasforteaching.com/product/auditory-processing-super-pack/  Here's an example, just so you can see what I mean. Sometimes when people say auditory processing, they don't mean APD like go to Able Kids for a filter. If you look at what this book covers, it's stuff you expect with ASD like inferences, wh-questions, etc. 

My ds ability to understand the parts of words went up as his language comprehension went up. There was this weird point where we were memorizing spellings for Barton and I'm like but something is wrong, can't nail it. It was like he didn't get it, didn't need it, didn't understand it. He was memorizing jibberish!! Once we did our language work and individual words started having meaning, then the PARTS OF WORDS started having meaning.

Think about that. So we're saying someone with language delays isn't looking at the parts of words to decode them and isn't noticing them or finding meaning and we're shocked. I'm not saying my ds didn't need intervention, because he did. But I think there was this larger context. 

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27 minutes ago, mamashark said:

I have mixed emotions on the behavior support stuff here... The other moms I've spoken to who use them are like, it's great, they push my kiddo until they break and then dial it back and teach them how to manage next time and I'm thinking, no thanks, that's not gonna work for me. I had access to ABA with a different company but it's a long wait list (6+months) and I don't know how they function because I don't know anyone who works with them, so...

I found our behaviorist by a miracle, by word of mouth. I totally agree with you that a "hard core" ABA approach is probably not what you're looking for. But if you found the right person, you might find them helpful. Ours works with a lot of homeschoolers, a lot of gifted kids, and she's not "hard core" as she puts it. She looks at all the factors of the child and is very sensitive to what is really working. She does a lot of play with him.

Have you looked into play therapy or Play Project? That might be another way to get in the loop and find someone. It's just something to watch for. But I totally agree. Now maybe you'd luck out and get a BCBA who was fab. 

30 minutes ago, mamashark said:

Anyway, I was just trying to think through what COULD be behind this, because rarely do behaviors show up in isolation for pure behavior reasons, I've found. There's always something driving it - whether anxiety, OCD issues, rigidity in thought, sensory discomfort, language, etc.

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that's why a pure, hard-core ABA thing is bugging you, because there's sort of that implication. It's why I didn't enroll my ds in an autism school, even though there are literally 5 within an hour drive of me. I was not willing to say everything was behavior and that we ABA modify out every bit of opposition and compel compliance when it isn't rational and based on a level of support the dc can understand is adequate.

My ds SEES THROUGH manipulation. If supports are not adequate he gets it and is frustrated. He's highly compliant when supports are adequate and the tasks are within reach. I bring in behavioral methods and behavioral supports to get him the rest of the way there. So yes, I'm with you that these high IQ kids have to see that they're being worked with in integrity. They outgrow their workers if the workers aren't mentally ready to step up and provide that. I am very careful now who I have working with him. I have a fab in-home worker, but she's a doctoral student in an OT program and late-20s, not a novice, not young. I have a MT in her 50s who is the head of the program. Now at age 6, that didn't matter quite so much, but maybe for your ds it does! The readiness of the person to step in and really think and engage with him, to help him understand, to use their language and help him think and co-regulate, it's really huge. Your basic level people are often pretty low, young, inexperienced, low skill. Even like at the ASD school, the paras tend to be really flat, low verbal levels. Does it matter for most of those kids? Nope. Does it matter for MY kid? Yes. You put him with the right person and he blossoms. And it doesn't have to be a genius but it's someone who is ready to use their language and engage with him.

Someone shared this article with me on FB, and it has been blowing my mind. See what you think. It pulls together what we're talking about, about the need to TEACH. And not everything can be verbal, because that's another thing to just dump on them to process. We had to make a small space for my ds to work, a bedroom we turned into an office. There was no amount of TALKING that was going to get him there, no motivator or token board. He actually needed physical, environmental controls. Those environmental controls can lower stress and make clear what the plan is. So you've got a whole picture. And it sounds really obvious in hindsite we needed that, but it was our behaviorist who pushed it. I was getting pushback like oh that's not normal, he shouldn't need that, you can't do that... 

Anyways, here's the article. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/03/13/685533353/a-playful-way-to-teach-kids-to-control-their-anger?fbclid=IwAR21B6z6hqp6RzkhwMQdWX0tJaifPBcMvCmMSwGofbD0sDz7W4MEg8s_NoU

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42 minutes ago, mamashark said:

they push my kiddo until they break

Yeah, I don't know who that's appropriate for, but that's not what we're doing here. We pair, bring in small demands, and help him get there. He is motivated by relationship (maintaining the relationship) to do things that are hard. If he needs a break (elopes, whatever) we try to predict those and head that off and help him learn to self-advocate. Our behaviorist has some pretty strong feelings on the need to help kids think and understand, and I think it fits the higher IQ kids. Remember, there's a pretty broad range of kids falling under that ABA umbrella. 

 

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1 hour ago, mamashark said:

trying to think through what COULD be behind this, because rarely do behaviors show up in isolation for pure behavior reasons, I've found. There's always something driving it - whether anxiety, OCD issues, rigidity in thought, sensory discomfort, language, etc.

Here's where the right behaviorist would be such a help. Ours came in and talked about choice and what choices HE was making. Your job is to support, but you're trying to get him able to see choices, make choices, realize what his body is feeling and make choices, etc. It's not about punitive or you made a bad choice, but more helping him realize he HAS choices and is making a choice. 

We do a lot of pre-teaching and pre-thinking through situations. Like when we work together, you're going to get tired or frustrated and want a break. What are your choices, how can you tell me? Do I want you to leave the room or ASK for a break first? So in those early stages we were taking super super frequent breaks because he wasn't ready to ask for breaks. We were writing out the plan and putting *2* breaks on for every *1* bit of work. For real. And a bin or list of break choices. Lots of empowerment. Lots of showing him he had the power to make choices, choices to be here, choices to use the break space in the office and not just leave, choices to come back after he was calm if he did leave, choices not to hit but to do something else like take a walk or go to his quiet closet.

I'm reading a really good book right now                                             The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child                                      It talks a lot about power dynamics and how to help the dc have power without giving up your power. It seems like sometimes ABA is sort of one-directional, or at least maybe that's our perception of it. And yes, if you get into that kind of dynamic it's about breaking. And we haven't done that. It's really convenient or pragmatic or efficient and it's what schools expect frankly. But going more two-way street, where each person has power, is where it has to go for some kids. 

Anyways, I don't know if your ds has that power dynamic. Mine does. Either way, it's not all on you. He has choices and your goal is to help him understand himself, what he's feeling (interoception) and his choices and self-advocate. That's like a 15 year process, lol.

Edited by PeterPan

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

It's a rabbit trail, but where is he with retained reflexes?

The OT identified a couple in January, but we haven't gone looking specifically for any. Those that she saw are now integrated .

 

1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Have you looked into play therapy or Play Project?

He's doing play therapy. But the therapist isn't good at sharing opinions on anything - she shares themes that he's working on and says it could be developmental or something he's working through, and her only suggestion for further therapy was for me to learn how to do the play therapy and she'd train me to do it. I'm not sure she's had much training with ASD either, so that could be part of the problem, but my son loves going to her.

1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

He's highly compliant when supports are adequate and the tasks are within reach.

I think this is why the reading thing has me boggled right now - the other stuff I've been able to provide proper supports and the tasks are within reach and we're in a good place with those things. But I can't figure the reading thing out and it's both auditory (listening to read-alouds) and phonetic - reading instruction. I never considered dyslexia becuase of how quickly he picked up letter sounds and cvc words. My dd8 with dyslexia took 2 years to just match letter sounds to letter shapes and her progress has been slow and painfully obviously dyslexia. 

1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

We do a lot of pre-teaching and pre-thinking through situations. Like when we work together, you're going to get tired or frustrated and want a break. What are your choices, how can you tell me? Do I want you to leave the room or ASK for a break first? So in those early stages we were taking super super frequent breaks because he wasn't ready to ask for breaks. We were writing out the plan and putting *2* breaks on for every *1* bit of work. For real. And a bin or list of break choices. Lots of empowerment. Lots of showing him he had the power to make choices, choices to be here, choices to use the break space in the office and not just leave, choices to come back after he was calm if he did leave, choices not to hit but to do something else like take a walk or go to his quiet closet.

We've worked part of this into our routine, but I love how you spell this out and it gives me some great ideas for tweaking the reading issue, building in the supports and self-advocacy and helping support what is obviously still a difficult thing for him.

 

1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

it's what schools expect frankly. But going more two-way street, where each person has power, is where it has to go for some kids. 

Yes. This is my kid. We figured out from really really early on that we had to have his buy-in for something before we could do it with him. If not-  major behaviors. BUT this is where I am struggling right now because it's not just school that has this expectation - it's society. Society expects me to get a behaviorist, to break him and teach him to comply. To do this or that or the other thing and their assumption feels much like dog training. Well that doesn't work for my kid.

I love the baby-steps idea, for this. The other day I texted my husband and told him that we were having a rough morning but that my win of the day was the fact that my son sat and listened to a picture book about immigration for history. HUGE win for us even if it looks like this tiny insignificant baby step. But that's my life. I keep a binder of baby-step goals. What I'm looking for in every-day life. Then I come here to post and process things with the big picture to see where I'm going, which direction to head, what path to walk. 

Thanks for the article and book recs.

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19 minutes ago, mamashark said:

But the therapist isn't good at sharing opinions on anything

Yeah, I think the bar to get in the door on that is lower. It's hard to get somebody who has big picture perspective, sigh. Our behaviorist does that for us. But she has a masters in social work and is a big thinker like that.

21 minutes ago, mamashark said:

We've worked part of this into our routine, but I love how you spell this out and it gives me some great ideas for tweaking the reading issue, building in the supports and self-advocacy and helping support what is obviously still a difficult thing for him.

this is the stuff our behaviorist helps us with. It was her, and it was how she implements ABA. It can be sort of an umbrella term and when you get people who have their heads screwed on straight about gifted kids, that's what it can look like. I'll tell her how I'm doing something, like I was saying that on the worksheets we do 10 tasks and have to stop, even if it means doing half a worksheet or 1/3 and taking a break. She's like yup, that's your ABA/DTT thing. But we're doing it in a way that makes sense for him. It doesn't have to look like you think (DTT and flashcards and graphs of data collection), but it's still that need for high support and breaks to do hard tasks. It's the same deficit, same concepts on how to work with it, just maybe with a tweak on what you're doing. 

I always make sure my work with him is very interesting. We have to respect that he's super bright, super creative! I always break the work up into chunks. 

If you can get this book through the library, you might like it.                                  Stuck! Strategies                              It's so brief you'll be like why'd I pay for this? No, it's a really fabulous book, sort of affirming what you already knew and letting you know you're not crazy for thinking you needed to do that. It really stepped up my game on how I talk with him.

I think what I'm saying how we talk with our kids matters as much as what the task is. It really makes a difference. Slight changes in the pronoun I use or how I put something can make a big difference.

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25 minutes ago, mamashark said:

Society expects me to get a behaviorist, to break him and teach him to comply. To do this or that or the other thing and their assumption feels much like dog training. Well that doesn't work for my kid.

You need some new friends. Like serioiusly, you're hanging with the wrong crowd. And it's not about whether that was or was not the right choice for them. What's really going on is that your paths are about to split. Their kids needed one thing and yours needs another. So it's not healthy to hang with a crowd who's constantly like well hard core ABA would solve everything if what you need is a more collaborative, IQ-appropriate, language-driven approach. You need to find people who don't tear you down or leave you conflicted. If you're researching and you're getting positive results and your data shows he's improving, then you're on the right path. 

Sometimes friends are right for a season and then you grow apart, going different directions. And that has to be ok. There are more people out there. You can like each other, but on therapy stuff we have to make our paths and go where the evidence and best practice indicates for our child. That's why I use a behaviorist, one who's experienced with gifted kids, one who is naturalistic, because she SUPPORTS me and helps me think straight.

Like yesterday, she was in my home and I was telling her what we're doing and a problem we were having. She knew *why* we were having that problem, and so I was like thanks, now that I realize I can bring in supports for that!! It was a mind shift thing, where we were doing one type of activity and he needed to shift mentally to this other type of task. So fine, that's cool, now that I see the issue I can break and say ok now we're going to put on our thinking caps and do this other type of detective work, get out your thinking cap, let's go. We can transition. I just wasn't seeing it. No one sees EVERYTHING, kwim?

The higher the IQ, the more potential there is for the dc to outthink the worker. Someone can say they don't like that, fine. But I'm just telling you it happens. So it's not like oh the person has a phd or is a bcba or whatever. That kid is thinking about justice and what seemed right and we have to step up to the plate to deal with the complexity of his thinking and meet him where he is with that need to understand and be understood. 

It's not this way everywhere, really it's not, but in our area BCBAs are a dime a dozen. Literally. No way, no way, would I let some random BCBA work with my kid just because they have the paper. Experience varies. I think you'll know if you find someone who would be helpful to you. Are they helpful? Do they help you problem solve or think through things in new ways? Or are they good at helping your ds understand or make better choices or feel more calm? To me that's where it starts. You're not even in ready to learn if those things aren't happening. 

Yes, I've had people who wanted to break my kid, sigh. My theory right now is to get my ds strong enough, calm enough, etc. that he can understand and doesn't have to be subject to that to work with them. If my kid didn't have the deficits, they'd just work and not be needing/wanting to come in with that strong approach. What it doesn't help me to do (and this is just me) is say well the problem is them. No the problem is my kid can't work without some kind of significant support. If he was like happy go lucky, working without that support, they wouldn't be using that support. So that's the flipside, realizing where the real problem is. 

Our behaviorist has kind of a long-term view. There are things that are pragmatic. There are also kids for whom approaches (that work for the majority) backfire. So we have a very long-term view with my ds because we know that he's already prone to aggression and looking at power dynamics. We're not going to get calm, compassionate behavior by playing the power card that way. His OT had him making bracelets and giving them around the office. I kid you not. And we're like see, YOU BRING PEOPLE JOY!!! That's in that LaVoie book by the way on motivation strategies. Or maybe that was the Disrupting Reading people? It was both, pair the thoughts. Think about our kids who are maybe harder and they're on the receiving end and they don't really don't get this experience where they bring someone joy? But think about how that changes his picture of himself at the therapy office? Why should he act up when he's the one who brings people joy? It's a total shift, another way to motivate. This OT is serious gold, lol.

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ok so in the absence of a behaviorist to help me at the moment... here's what I've got for reading:

Narrative difficulties,

emotional tension within the plot, (and perhaps the difficulty realizing that just because someone else in the story feels upset, tired, angry, scared doesn't mean I have to feel that way too...)

anxiety over not knowing what the words say and they MIGHT prove to be that emotional tension that he doesn't like,

difficulty with word parts due to not understanding the language piece

and dyslexia

Any other ideas that fall into the possible issues I'm seeing?

 

The article on inuit parents was fascinating, I am going to have to ponder it some, lots of thought provoking ideas in it.

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5 minutes ago, mamashark said:

The article on inuit parents was fascinating,

I know, wasn't it? It made me think about our children's literature and whether what we're reading together is getting him quite there. Like it all has messages, but does it have the message he NEEDS?

6 minutes ago, mamashark said:

emotional tension within the plot, (and perhaps the difficulty realizing that just because someone else in the story feels upset, tired, angry, scared doesn't mean I have to feel that way too...)

Ok, so my ds is not so emotional as your ds. Maybe he was when he was younger? And sometimes it varies. Like I can hardly stand I Love Lucy now, because I identify with it so much it's painful, lol. But I know I watched it when I was a kid and was fine. 

I think that's the convergence of giftedness and the sensory and the self-regulation. You might start a thread, just on Chat even, and just let people share what they've done for kids who are hypersensitive like that. I know we've had threads and it's not so much a disability thing as a gifted thing. Now what they do with it, how aware they are of their responses, that's your interoception and self-regulation. But having the responses to me is more the giftedness and hyper-sensitivity and stuff anybody could speak to.

9 minutes ago, mamashark said:

anxiety over not knowing what the words say and they MIGHT prove to be that emotional tension that he doesn't like,

That's a really hard piece. That's that anxiety. Have you gone through AAPC looking for everything they have for anxiety? There are a number of evidence-based approaches, so I think for you to have the words and then make a plan and see if it works... You might end up with a combo of strategies.

10 minutes ago, mamashark said:

difficulty with word parts due to not understanding the language piece

Yes, this goes together with the narrative language. And it's hard because it's understandable that he would shut down or have behaviors when things are too hard!!! So on our end, we're constantly monitoring to make sure tasks are within reach. My ds honestly has to stay on the easier side. Like if he has the content ability to do x by the language drop would make it less stressful, I'm going to drop the level, go more quickly, and slide him into that higher level with time. We're not going to make a lot of stretch with my ds. Most is at/below instructional level. Below. Because we're working on language and self-regulation. I do bring in things that are stretch, but it depends on the amount of stretch as to how much that is. Like a little stretch, maybe it's 2-3 pages.  A lot of stretch, that's one page with one problem on the page. 

It's back to that DTT idea and knowing how big the ask is, how much support he needs to get there, how we surround that with breaks, etc. to keep it totally positive and successful.

There's no letting down my guard with my ds. At least right now, that doesn't end. That's a level of support he needs to learn and function, and it's not like oh we did that and now he's mainstream and typical, lol. Nope, he's 10 1/2 and I still control all those factors, for every single thing, all school day. Only now we're trying to do more, so it kinda feels crazy sometimes. Then I have meltdowns and get frantic and have to find ways to stay sane, lol. It's why I buy a lot, because if I'm super careful about what I buy sometimes I can make it feel like everything is not so custom. Otherwise I lose my mind. So then at least it's 20 eclectic pieces for a custom approach. I lose my mind a lot, lol. I have lots of grand dreams. I'm sorta the King and I. (a thousand dreams that won't come true, lol)

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Does he have any underlying anxiety dx's? 

Sometimes anxiety stuff, even OCD particularly when mostly internal, show in weird ways that aren't obvious at first. 

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4 minutes ago, sbgrace said:

Does he have any underlying anxiety dx's? 

Sometimes anxiety stuff, even OCD particularly when mostly internal, show in weird ways that aren't obvious at first. 

Yes. He does. That's true - asd is the top diagnosis and then anxiety, then toileting issues, but we've resolved those during the day with the OT work. The psych said OCD but the diagnosis is generalized anxiety because it was just so pervasive. And we've toned it down CONSIDERABLY with supplements, but it's still a big piece of the puzzle. 

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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Did you see the OCD/inositol threads over on Chat?

no I missed that! I'll go check it out... inositol is one of the things we're using that is helping!

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Perfect! Then, with the body more under control, you can bring in some of the cognitive strategies they're talking about. They had a book and some methodologies I think.

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I would probably stick with picture books for now, personally.  There are so many wonderful picture books, old and new.  

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25 minutes ago, Pen said:

I would probably stick with picture books for now, personally.  There are so many wonderful picture books, old and new.  

Agreed. And you can look up the lexile index of a book that is working and use a lexile engine like this https://fab.lexile.com  to find more. Then you can get fiction, non-fiction, etc. what is most important (syntactic complexity, picture support, length, etc.).

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I'm wondering what chapter books you have tried.  My younger daughter struggled with what I call "narrative tension" for the longest time.  Honestly, she still does, but it's better.  But she could not, would not listen to, read, or watch anything with any kind of emotional or interpersonal conflict.  So all the Ramona books that I loved from my childhood?  Absolutely not.  Dora the Explorer?  Nope.  Too scary.  Complex, violent nature documentaries?  Sure!  No problem!  I have a long list of chapter books that worked with her, but there were also a lot that did not.  She has passed the ADOS a couple of times, but is probably on the spectrum.  But anxiety is her biggest diagnosis and really affects day to day functioning more than anything else.  But....I think we try to push kids to listen to chapter books over picture books too young, a lot of the time.  There are so many wonderful picture books.  

The reading was hard here, too, but she was also dyslexic.  Very atypical, so I didn't suspect it for a long time, because she had mastered all the early reading components very young and very easily.  She got easily overwhelmed by text.  And we did do things like candy.  And used computer programs like Headsprout.  But reading instruction felt a lot like bullying.  I'm still not sure if it was the right thing to do, but she did wind up an excellent reader.  

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I think you need to return to the auditory processing thing. The CELF test is for language, not auditory processing, from what I can find about it. My DD with dyslexia, who also picked up CVC words fairly well, had no stamina for read alouds, at all for the longest time. Her hearing was perfect, but she has a breakdown in the phonological awareness part of her brain and despite people saying that SHOULDN"T effect read alouds/audio books, it DOES. At least for her. And for some other people I've talked to. As her reading got better her stamina for read alouds got better too, it went hand in hand. 

Or it could just be a language issue, not auditory processing, and he needs the pictures to understand. 

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14 hours ago, Terabith said:

I'm wondering what chapter books you have tried.  My younger daughter struggled with what I call "narrative tension" for the longest time.  Honestly, she still does, but it's better.  But she could not, would not listen to, read, or watch anything with any kind of emotional or interpersonal conflict.  So all the Ramona books that I loved from my childhood?  Absolutely not.  Dora the Explorer?  Nope.  Too scary.  Complex, violent nature documentaries?  Sure!  No problem!  I have a long list of chapter books that worked with her, but there were also a lot that did not.  She has passed the ADOS a couple of times, but is probably on the spectrum.  But anxiety is her biggest diagnosis and really affects day to day functioning more than anything else.  But....I think we try to push kids to listen to chapter books over picture books too young, a lot of the time.  There are so many wonderful picture books.  

The reading was hard here, too, but she was also dyslexic.  Very atypical, so I didn't suspect it for a long time, because she had mastered all the early reading components very young and very easily.  She got easily overwhelmed by text.  And we did do things like candy.  And used computer programs like Headsprout.  But reading instruction felt a lot like bullying.  I'm still not sure if it was the right thing to do, but she did wind up an excellent reader.  

I've never tried a nature documentary like that, what an interesting thought.

 

8 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

I think you need to return to the auditory processing thing. The CELF test is for language, not auditory processing, from what I can find about it. My DD with dyslexia, who also picked up CVC words fairly well, had no stamina for read alouds, at all for the longest time. Her hearing was perfect, but she has a breakdown in the phonological awareness part of her brain and despite people saying that SHOULDN"T effect read alouds/audio books, it DOES. At least for her. And for some other people I've talked to. As her reading got better her stamina for read alouds got better too, it went hand in hand. 

Or it could just be a language issue, not auditory processing, and he needs the pictures to understand. 

I gave him the barton screening for kicks and he couldn't pass the first task. He pulled tiles down for each syllable, rather than words. but for syllables, he was 100%. For the third task, isolating sounds, he was 100%. Not even hard. Does make me wonder if he is literally having trouble with word-level language and with pictures and context understands but stripped of those supports with read-alouds (stuff like trumpet of the swan, peter rabbit, etc.) and phonics instruction, he just has trouble with understanding.

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the more I think about this idea the more I'm excited that I figured out the issue... he plays rhyming games and is excellent at rhyming words, but he can do that without word-level comprehension. In play, he only plays the cartoons he watches. Chuggington games when playing with trains, car patrol when playing with cars, robo car poli when playing with bikes, terrific trucks when playing in the dirt in the backyard. And my 11 year old explained it to me as "we have to play those games or he refuses to play with us". So I'm thinking that he has memorized all the large chunks of language from those shows. 

That also explains why when doing science (interoception) that I put together, he gave me huge behaviors (I was using interoceptive feeling words but the pictures I used were body part pictures - like a color the various parts of the heart type thing, and he hated doing the activities with me). NOW I'm using the interoceptive curriculum and they use icons that SHOW the feeling words ON the body part, so it's giving a specific picture cue on the word level and all of a sudden he's not fighting it and is actually excited about which body part we will do next each week.

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Definitely sounds like language. Also, the books you mention have pretty complex language at that. How is he with something simpler, like The Boxcar Children?

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1 hour ago, mamashark said:

I gave him the barton screening for kicks and he couldn't pass the first task. He pulled tiles down for each syllable, rather than words. but for syllables, he was 100%.

That is fascinating! I'm comparing it to my ds, who had deficits at all the levels (sound bits, word, sentence, paragraph, lol). He is diagnosed with dyslexia on top of his ASD, but I wondered what portion of the sound level was due to the language disability. There's data on that I think showing co-occurrence of DLD and phonological processing issues. Anyways, I think you're right to tease these things apart and deal with whatever you find.

The rigidity on the play starts as an ASD thing but then would be reinforced by any language deficits, sure. Fwiw, it sounds like his play is coming along nicely and like the work the therapist is doing there is helping! So yes, if he's scripting in his play (using memorized language), then you could work on that. 

1 hour ago, mamashark said:

He pulled tiles down for each syllable, rather than words.

I wanted to go back to this, because it's so interesting. When he reads aloud, does he read like that? I once saw some text that simulated how language SOUNDS if you were just to transcribe it. Think about it, how many words overlap. There are swanky terms for it, but you can just imagine. So if he scripted heavily or has a lot of memorized language, then yes his brain might have broken down to syllables (which would be utterly brilliant btw) and not really gotten individual words as individual words. And you'll nail that with things like the SPARC books, where it will become apparent that working with individual words is hard for him. I don't know if it is. I'm just saying that's the kind of "wow that was way harder than I expected" that happened with ds. 

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The op is going to end up going through materials and learning about syntax. Then she'll see patterns, because she'll be controlling the syntax in the read alouds. So some picture books have very complex syntax, but I'll bet he's understanding less of them than she thinks, even with the pictures. He probably will struggle to retell them, for instance. 

I don't know to what degree the lexiles factor in syntax and syntactical complexity, but they *seem* to be working for me with ds as a reliable way to find books. They've allowed me to stretch from something with high picture support to less pictures while maintaining comprehension. I already linked a search engine to use to find books by lexile index.

On my ds, if you rearrange the sentence at all, his comprehension drops. Syntactical complexity for him is a huge thing. Adding in clauses is a big deal. It's a later step in intervention, once she has gone through all the word level materials, but one of the things they do for intervention for syntax is working on adding more clauses and having comprehension. There are a lot of factors there.

In other words, once a dc has this level of language issues, if the dc has this level of language issues, it's really kind of shocking how much you have to do. I basically taught EVERYTHING. And what I haven't taught, he isn't really comprehending and using. He might get some vague impression because his bright little mind pulls it together, but it's not there for him to use as his own. So it has been a journey figuring out how to build all this syntax and build his ability both to comprehend it and use it. The op will know when she has that for words, for syntactical structures. She'll know. She'll see the lightbulb.

And it's not that I don't read my ds things that are way over his head! But I've been trying to do more with reading things that are right at his syntactical level, to see if the little bits of stretch in the book help his brain get there. I don't know. You kind of feel like you can't do it all. 

I do know that most people with kids with my ds' level of issues do seem to be saying their reading level plateaus, and I think that plateau is directly correlated to where the language stops. So I don't know how well I can succeed, but I think whatever I do is what's going to happen. All the things I've heard about some other kids, how the parents waited and shazam the kid was suddenly reading Don Quixote, do NOT seem to be my dc's developmental path. Wish it was. Would have been nice, sigh.

Fwiw, my plan is for him to have a happy life no matter what level of comprehension we get to. I'm not convinced we'll nail everything, and I'm really reluctant to see that as failing. My perfectionist side wants to do it all and nail it all, and I haven't figured it out. I don't think anyone else I could hire would do it better, so my plan is to do what I can for as long as I can and call it good enough. 

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Ok, total rabbit trail. It's REALLY TEMPTING to want to stick with one type of intervention (word level, whatever), but I want to tell you that sentence complexity is present in typically developing SIX YEAR OLDS. 

Chew on that. 

That means you would be wise to find a list of structures, make a plan, and begin a little dribble of syntax, focusing on sentence complexity, as you go. Doesn't have to be perfect or profound, but something. Even your VB-MAPP is probably going to have something, like maybe some conjunctions. Don't put it on the back burner. 

Edited by PeterPan
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Picture books show up in that lexile search engine btw. https://fab.lexile.com  Play with it. You can filter by theme. So like if he's really into automobiles, then you use the lexile from a book you know works for him (230, whatever, I don't know) and search by that and limit to transportation. I just did it and got 19 books. They look really adorable!!! Then you say wow, let's chain to Health or Animals or whatever. You'll get fiction, non-fiction, and at this level they'll all have pictures. 

Edited by PeterPan

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Total aside, but there's data on the ability to repeat a sentence being correlated to language level. It's a quick way for you to go ok we're making progress or wow... Like for my ds, to memorize a Bible verse, I had to divide it into parts. He was basically memorizing jibberish. As his language improved, his ability to repeat a chunk he was told improved. And there's statistical correlation there, so you're not crazy if you're seeing that.

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When people saying "auditory processing" in the context of autism, they're probably saying the kid is having trouble with wh-questions, inferences, basics of language. And the majority of APD testing is for processing language and the majority of intervention for APD is how the brain is processing language. We're talking affect in very close structures of the brain when we're discriminating dyslexia, APD, etc. But it's not beeps and weirdness. It's always in the context of language.

But op could ask the OT what she meant, like was she meaning sensory overload or language issues like wh-questions (which EVERY worker is going to be noticing, especially in a school setting because they're a BIG DEAL) or dichotic listening or what. Op could clarify that, sure. It's also possible to have APD issues without language issues if say it's just the dichotic listening like my dd. I've run her through the paces and I can't find significant language issues. But yeah she wears a filter from Able Kids for discrimination in noise. But for op the question is what the OT was seeing. It would be good to ask. If the dc is having issues with wh-questions and the op isn't clued in, then realizing that will be valuable. Sometimes we THINK we have something nailed, but when the dc gets to the next person the skill isn't there. So maybe he could do it with one person or one worksheet but now we know it hasn't generalized. So it's important to ask what she meant.

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If he likes math, and he likes cartoon type picture books, using some Beast Academy at a math level lower than he can do, could be a way to work on a little reading...maybe.  If it didn’t backfire and make maths negative.  Picture book encyclopedias might also be helpful.

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Also to add, Ive seen kids that age be scared of things in movies for reasons having nothing to do with story.  How is he on Mr.  Rogers Neighborhood? 

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I had one who LOVED Mr. Rogers and one who was ambivalent. If he won't watch Mr. Rogers, Peg+Cat is pretty great and that same kind value system, music, plus math. :biggrin:

On Pen's math idea, if you select Family, Childhood, & Education on that lexile finder it will crank out books that hit family (social skills, great stuff) and early math. I was searching with a 230 lexile, and they were really great. The challenge with math is that there's so much language. Sometimes kids with ASD are bang-up with computation and stumble at word problems, so bringing in the language of math and putting maths into contexts where he's hearing that language is really good. We've used books from living math lists, but they get complex pretty quickly. Searching by lexile will give you simpler stuff.

Ok, some people hate this, but I use worksheets to get my ds reading. I did NOT do that before I knew he could decode them and knew he could understand what was on the page. But yeah, we use an insane amount of workbooks that I buy as ebooks and print off, precisely because it allows me to get in reading in very brief quantities, one sheet at a time, with a purpose. So it's compliance, it's reading, and it's whatever the academic area is. 

So in your case you'd be looking for workbooks that are labeled K3, K4, or maybe K5. Let him read the directions at the top of the page or the single words for the word searches or matching or mazes, kwim? My favorite haunts for finding these ebooks are:

teachercreatedresources ***so adorable***

teachercreatedmaterials

evanmoor

carson-dellosa

He'd also be able to do file folder games, matching games, categorizing games. if the workbooks at those sites are too hard, look at Kumon. We did quite a few Kumon workbooks (mazes especially) before we started the other things. Kumon you could rip out, and you could put a double sided page on a clipboard to be his work while assigned to a buddy. You could rotate him through sibling buddies, so everybody does a page with him each day. In that way you could do a page of mazes, a page of dot to dots, a page of something else (fine motor, geography, whatever). It would be ABA homeschool style. :biggrin:

PS. These places run good sales, so you can get on their email lists and get notified. Sometimes they'll be 30-40% off, often in the spring as parents are buying for summer.

Edited by PeterPan

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I just popped in after being out of town for awhile, so I skimmed the answers instead of reading thoroughly.

I wonder if there is too large of a jump from the picture book level to the chapter books and other readalouds that you are doing. Very early chapter books written for first and second graders to read on their own tend to have straightforward plot lines  -- no flashbacks, few or simple inferences, more limited vocabulary, and static characters who don't have a lot of emotional complexity. Things happen, yes, but they are controlled and measured. Once you get to a third or fourth grade reading level, all of those elements increase in complexity.

Most books that parents might choose as a readaloud fall into that third grade and up level. So I suspect the books that you are choosing are too hard for him to comprehend, and he feels overwhelmed.

DS14 had a very hard time with inference, and it is very common for that to be the case for those with ASD. Once you hit real chapter books in third grade, there can be quite a bit of inference built in. How the characters interact is not spelled out explicitly but must be understood. When you don't understand social dynamics, this can make the story incomprehensible. The language is more complex. Words that multiple meanings can be a stumbling block. Figures of speech are not automatically understood. Vocabulary that has not been explicitly taught is embedded in the story, and so the sentences themselves might not make sense. Kid with ASD often also lack background knowledge that other children have picked up naturally just through living in this world.  So it's possible, even as a parent, to think that the child knows what is being talked about, when really the child has no clue.

Here are some things that I did when my kids were young that might help bridge the gap. Not solve the communication problems, but provide an easier step up toward being ready for chapter books.

1) I choose picture books that were in a series and read them as if they were chapter books. In other words, I would read one. Then the next reading session, I would say that we were going to learn more about the character, and I would read the next. And so on. The series that comes to mind right now is the Lyle Lyle Crocodile series. My kids loved these, but you should read them to judge whether they would be too upsetting (things happen, like Lyle being taken back to his original owner and away from his family). But there would be other choices like this, where picture books can be connected to each other, and the child can learn that you can hear many stories about the same characters over multiple reading sessions.

2) Then I would move up to the storybook level. Shirley Hughes books about Alfie come to mind. They are a little longer than a standard picture book and still include pictures. Alfie is an adorable little boy who has mild adventures, and there are several books about him, I would read Alfie for awhile and then some others like that.

3) Then I would move to something like the Russell books by Joanna Hurwitz. These are short and easy chapter books about a boy and his family. It's a logical step up from Alfie. There are quite a few of those.

4) Then I would move on to Stories that Julian Tells by Ann Cameron. These are about a 2.5 - 3 grade reading level for independent reading, so they are still very simple. Though meant to be read to self, they can be read aloud.

Now you are at the easy reading chapter book level, and there are tons of these available at the library. Hundreds and hundreds of different series. Find some series that he will listen to and just read them.

Now, this does not accomplish a read aloud goal of introducing a wide spectrum of literature. This is a kind of in between baby step that will hopefully one day lead to being able to read more complex literature out loud to him. You might stay at this stage for awhile, and that's okay. It's better than having him reject readalouds altogether.

I hope that helps a little.

ETA: I particularly recommend the titles I mentioned, but you could go to your children's library and tell them what you were looking for, using these books as examples, and get more ideas.

 

Edited by Storygirl
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Just my thoughts.... auditory processing is a term that means different things to different people.

It gets used interchangeably (to me lol) with listening comprehension.  

Pictures are a support for comprehension.

For one thing, they provide a visual instead of the child mentally doing that.

For another thing, they allow the child to “look” at the picture and have the work of “remembering” all of that detail, while also listening.  It can make it much easier to listen, when the child isn’t having to do all of that mental work and remembering, because some is off-loaded to the picture. 

For another thing, often key plot points are shown in pictures.  This makes it much easier to follow along with the main idea and plot.  

It could be that pictures are either helping with one particular aspect of comprehension, or that they are just reducing the mental load (cognitive load?) and reducing frustration/stress for that reason.  

I have also seen my kids pause/regroup from potential frustration by looking at pictures for a moment.  He could have some self-regulation related to looking at pictures.  

 

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Agree that the language is probably too complex. Simpler language is in the Boxcar Children (but the idea of orphans may be too sad for him). We also had great success with the Trixie Belden books...there IS quite a bit of suspense, but it resolves quickly and isn't as emotionally charged as say, a Disney movie or something. 

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Chapter books we liked around age seven:  Boxcar Children, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Ginger Pye and Pinkie Pye, The Penderwicks, Dragon of the Lost Sea series, Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher, James Herriott's Stories for Children, Follow My Leader, Oz books (but the movie was absolutely a no go), Five Children and It, Half Magic, The Railway Children, oddly Chronicles of Narnia were fine, How to Eat Fried Worms, Bunnicula books, Cricket in Times Square, The Birchbark House books, A Tarantula in My Purse, The Great Turkey Walk, Owls in the Family, Nurse Matilda, The Hobbit, The Phantom Tollbooth, oddly a bunch of Roald Dahl books like Matilda and James and the Giant Peach and Series of Unfortunate Events, which seems insane when she couldn't handle Dora the Explorer, but I think they were so over the top and ridiculous that it didn't get filed in the same part of the brain as interpersonal conflict.  The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks was a big hit.  She loved Gooney Bird Greene.  Sideways Stories from Wayside School.  Flora and Ulysses and Because of Winn Dixie were enjoyed.  

Some of them we had to make sure to not stop at high tension places.  But this is my super sensitive kid.  She did better with conflicts in things that were clearly fantasy than things that were more realistic.  

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So then I'll contrast haha. We're just now reading our first chapter books together this year at age 10. We read the Little House series, which is what I read to my dd (stellar language, stellar everything) at age 4. That's a pretty big honkin difference. 

Now I'm reading him a different series (an older, oop series) and the sentence constructions (the syntax) are complex enough I stop to make sure he understood all the parts. A sentence might have 3-5 clauses, and he'll only basically get one of the points, not ALL the points from the sentence. So that's the syntax issue and we need to work on it, sigh. It's nice reading the series to him, but it's definitely a stretch. The Little House books were more spot-on for him. 

So my ds listened to all kinds of audiobooks, but he was memorizing them. Now, with the Little House books, he actually can understand them, bit by bit, word by word. He'll laugh, ask questions, stop me with social wondering. It's really great. 

Fwiw, when our reading is at that comfortable comprehension level, I'm then asking other questions to push narrative language. We've started working on characters having a PROBLEM anda PLAN and at first he was totally clueless and missing it. The series we're reading now has constant problems, haha, so that's very handy!

I always viewed exposure to higher language as a way to push language, but for my ds it meant memorizing. 

Edited by PeterPan
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On 3/29/2019 at 11:25 AM, mamashark said:

I think this is why the reading thing has me boggled right now - the other stuff I've been able to provide proper supports and the tasks are within reach and we're in a good place with those things. But I can't figure the reading thing out and it's both auditory (listening to read-alouds) and phonetic - reading instruction. I never considered dyslexia becuase of how quickly he picked up letter sounds and cvc words. My dd8 with dyslexia took 2 years to just match letter sounds to letter shapes and her progress has been slow and painfully obviously dyslexia. 

My dyslexic kiddo also picked up on that stuff pretty reasonably well also. 

On 3/29/2019 at 12:15 PM, mamashark said:

ok so in the absence of a behaviorist to help me at the moment... here's what I've got for reading:

Narrative difficulties,

emotional tension within the plot, (and perhaps the difficulty realizing that just because someone else in the story feels upset, tired, angry, scared doesn't mean I have to feel that way too...)

anxiety over not knowing what the words say and they MIGHT prove to be that emotional tension that he doesn't like,

difficulty with word parts due to not understanding the language piece

and dyslexia

Any other ideas that fall into the possible issues I'm seeing?

Are you using anything specifically for narrative language, such as Mindwing's Story Grammar stuff (they have autism-specific books too), or SKILL? They've been discussed a lot in the narrative language thread. 

Can your son sort and grade language words? My son could not do this. Everything was positive or negative, not neutral, and within positive and negative, he couldn't tell you what was a small emotion or a super intense emotion or anything in between. Then, he struggled with body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice to go along with all of that. Figuring some of that out was really freeing for him. He was able to actually go back and revise in his mind what people thought of him and what he thought of them. So, if someone had spoken to him sternly in the past (but not been mean), he thought that they were angry with him, when in reality one person that was frequently stern with him did so to actually clue him into where he was edging into trouble. He thought that person didn't like him. (All of this was LONG before an autism diagnosis, or it might have been somewhat preventable or something we could've watched for in the moment.)

On 3/29/2019 at 10:34 PM, Ktgrok said:

I think you need to return to the auditory processing thing. The CELF test is for language, not auditory processing, from what I can find about it. My DD with dyslexia, who also picked up CVC words fairly well, had no stamina for read alouds, at all for the longest time. Her hearing was perfect, but she has a breakdown in the phonological awareness part of her brain and despite people saying that SHOULDN"T effect read alouds/audio books, it DOES. At least for her. And for some other people I've talked to. As her reading got better her stamina for read alouds got better too, it went hand in hand. 

Or it could just be a language issue, not auditory processing, and he needs the pictures to understand. 

So, my ASD kiddo does not have auditory processing issues in the sense of what is tested by some audiologists and is screened for by SCAN-III testing. He passes all of that with flying colors. Great reading and phonological awareness with that one.

My other kiddo with dyslexia has APD issues. It's hard to know where one starts and the other stops, except that for APD, he has a measurable deficiency in the rate at which he processes languages. He takes in language comfortably at about 70% the normal speaking rate. That's equivalent to someone whose learning a new language but pretty functional with that language. His phonology doesn't test as poorly, BUT, he trained himself to start differentiating sounds when he realized they were different (which happened when he was learning to read). Someone, in spite of his difficulties, he's very much the little analyst, and he was able to notice what didn't match up and ask why it didn't match up. Or at least express what he understood so that the problem would be evident. Otherwise, he'd be a mess because his ability to comprehend spoken language has been pretty bad. As he's gotten older, he can tell us what it was like--he thought a lot of the music we listened to was in a foreign language, because he could rarely decipher any lyrics at all, even with something like Raffi that was meant for young listeners. 

It's a known thing that some kids with ASD have APD issues, and the same goes for dyslexia. He could have bits and symptoms of several things, but not enough to have risen to a diagnostic level yet. I would not discount your concerns, but I would watch for more signs that could help you parse it out.

On 3/30/2019 at 7:58 AM, mamashark said:

the more I think about this idea the more I'm excited that I figured out the issue... he plays rhyming games and is excellent at rhyming words, but he can do that without word-level comprehension. In play, he only plays the cartoons he watches. Chuggington games when playing with trains, car patrol when playing with cars, robo car poli when playing with bikes, terrific trucks when playing in the dirt in the backyard. And my 11 year old explained it to me as "we have to play those games or he refuses to play with us". So I'm thinking that he has memorized all the large chunks of language from those shows. 

That also explains why when doing science (interoception) that I put together, he gave me huge behaviors (I was using interoceptive feeling words but the pictures I used were body part pictures - like a color the various parts of the heart type thing, and he hated doing the activities with me). NOW I'm using the interoceptive curriculum and they use icons that SHOW the feeling words ON the body part, so it's giving a specific picture cue on the word level and all of a sudden he's not fighting it and is actually excited about which body part we will do next each week.

I hope this is the long and short of it! I am glad you found something definitive and helpful.

My ASD kiddo was pretty restricted about playing. I don't know if he had trouble with single word stuff (it didn't seem like it), but he often restricted his play to what he could control. It didn't matter if it was with other kids are solo play. I think he did a lot of troubleshooting--I think he tended to try new things in a familiar context first, and when he felt safe with that, he would tolerate novelty.

On 3/30/2019 at 9:55 AM, PeterPan said:

When people saying "auditory processing" in the context of autism, they're probably saying the kid is having trouble with wh-questions, inferences, basics of language. And the majority of APD testing is for processing language and the majority of intervention for APD is how the brain is processing language. We're talking affect in very close structures of the brain when we're discriminating dyslexia, APD, etc. But it's not beeps and weirdness. It's always in the context of language.

But op could ask the OT what she meant, like was she meaning sensory overload or language issues like wh-questions (which EVERY worker is going to be noticing, especially in a school setting because they're a BIG DEAL) or dichotic listening or what. Op could clarify that, sure. It's also possible to have APD issues without language issues if say it's just the dichotic listening like my dd. I've run her through the paces and I can't find significant language issues. But yeah she wears a filter from Able Kids for discrimination in noise. But for op the question is what the OT was seeing. It would be good to ask. If the dc is having issues with wh-questions and the op isn't clued in, then realizing that will be valuable. Sometimes we THINK we have something nailed, but when the dc gets to the next person the skill isn't there. So maybe he could do it with one person or one worksheet but now we know it hasn't generalized. So it's important to ask what she meant.

Clearly, multiple people have heard APD used this way, but that's news to me. When I hear APD around here, I mean stuff that an audiologist would test, stuff that has some known profiles, like trouble with dichotic listening. I've never heard someone use it in a language-y way at all. Interesting.

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On 3/29/2019 at 7:54 AM, mamashark said:

The eye dr. said he had a mild eye tracking issue that he considered developmental and average for his age but that otherwise his sight was perfect. I have spent tons of time on tracking exercises (mazes, dot to dot, tracking across lines to circle all the ..... shapes. etc.). He seemed to improve, but I am still getting these behaviors, and we are regressing to where he's even giving me behaviors for isolated single words again. 

I'm also going to point out that he might have developmental vision issues that are subtle and come out with fatigue. Both of my kids could compensate super well. They showed minor issues in the office, but when it finally hit the fan, the developmental optometrist was pretty shocked at how bad they were. She said she was surprised my older son learned to read AT ALL with his vision issues. He kept testing as borderline, and she suspected that reading demands, such as less white space for older kids' books, would trip more convergence issues, but she was really stunned at how bad it was when it crumbled. I guess kids can really hold it together sometimes. 

Second kiddo--kind of a different range of issues, but she had to fatigue him before his issues appeared. When fatigued, his issues were also very intense.

Both responded well to vision therapy, one for convergence and one for more general processing. 

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On 3/30/2019 at 9:20 AM, Ktgrok said:

Definitely sounds like language. Also, the books you mention have pretty complex language at that. How is he with something simpler, like The Boxcar Children?

 He doesn't like the Boxcar Children either, but some of his rigidity comes out in the inability to realize that things can be fluid and change from one time to the next - if he experiences something one way one time, then he expects every time in that activity to be the same, regardless of how much change there might be from one experience to the next. So if one book without pictures is disliked for any reason, he refuses all books without pictures, for example. 

On 3/30/2019 at 9:37 AM, PeterPan said:

reading level plateaus, and I think that plateau is directly correlated to where the language stops.

This makes sense, if you think about it, but how does that correspond to those kids who can read but struggle with comprehension?

On 3/30/2019 at 12:30 PM, Pen said:

How is he on Mr.  Rogers Neighborhood? 

Not a show we watch...I could try to find some episodes to show him and see. In general he watches similar shows that are "preschool" age, but that are animated. So the "tension" in the plot is limited to solving problems with creativity and flexible thinking. 

1 hour ago, kbutton said:

My dyslexic kiddo also picked up on that stuff pretty reasonably well also.

Ok so I've seen this refrain repeated a couple times now - so apart from the early obvious signs of dyslexia, what am I watching for??

1 hour ago, kbutton said:

Are you using anything specifically for narrative language, such as Mindwing's Story Grammar stuff (they have autism-specific books too), or SKILL? They've been discussed a lot in the narrative language thread.

Yes, I'm using Mindwing's preschool program with him - Braidy and have made huge progress with that. I allow him to pick the books we use, typically, and then I work on which ever concept fits that book best, so it's a lot of flexibility on my part, but it gives him the practice and allows me to work with it without push-back because they are his book choices.

1 hour ago, kbutton said:

Can your son sort and grade language words? My son could not do this. Everything was positive or negative, not neutral, and within positive and negative, he couldn't tell you what was a small emotion or a super intense emotion or anything in between.

I'm not entirely sure what you're asking here... 

1 hour ago, kbutton said:

I think he tended to try new things in a familiar context first, and when he felt safe with that, he would tolerate novelty.

I see this a lot. He will practice at home with siblings for weeks, sometimes months, before I'll see a new skill 'leave home' and one of the therapists will see the skill, or I'll see him use it in a different setting. I realized this recently when the OT noticed how great he was doing with ideation and self-advocating and I had been trying to tell her that he'd been working on that at home for over a month now. So he finally felt comfortable enough with the skill at home that he took it to OT and she was able to see the improvement.

Edited by mamashark

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5 minutes ago, mamashark said:

He doesn't like the Boxcar Children either, but some of his rigidity comes out in the inability to realize that things can be fluid and change from one time to the next - if he experiences something one way one time, then he expects every time in that activity to be the same, regardless of how much change there might be from one experience to the next. So if one book without pictures is disliked for any reason, he refuses all books without pictures, for example. 

I totally agree with your point about getting burnt and being rigid. I will say for as infamously b&w and imprecatory and whatever as my ds can be, he's also a good sport. He'll try the next thing and then get frustrated, but he will try. I think it's that IQ, the need to learn, the drive. And I think your ds has it and it's hard for him to SHOW it when the materials are constantly hard.

So now, go look up the lexile index on Boxcar. 580. https://fab.lexile.com/book/details/9780590426909/  And I was saying go search for the lexile of a book he has SUCCESSFULLY  used with you as a read aloud. Nuts, look up lexiles on 3-5 or even 10. Costs you nothing, but you'll probably see a pattern. So if where he is for language says a lexile of 280 and the Boxcar books are 580, IT DOES NOT MATTER THAT EVERYONE ELSE USES THEM WITH SIX YEAR OLDS.

Besides, I would like to suggest to you there is pleasure in doing something simple when their old. In a way, my ds enjoyed the Little House series MORE than my dd, because he brought more life experiences, more knowledge. We had such AMAZING discussions! I kid you not. We talked about debt and capitalism and behaviors and impulsivity and roles of parents and so, so many things. There was nothing wrong or bad about doing them later, when his language was ready.

You can do Boxcar later and enjoy them together. You're going to have this lovely experience you can't even begin to imagine. Reading to my ds these "easy" books later, when he's older and has more knowledge, is honestly such a delight. I've done the whole, advanced, crazy bright kid, and I'm saying don't be afraid to meet him right where he is. We have such a GREAT TIME now that we've learned that. 

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11 minutes ago, mamashark said:

This makes sense, if you think about it, but how does that correspond to those kids who can read but struggle with comprehension?

That's what I'm saying. The reading comprehension is plateauing at the level where most language intervention ends. Think about the level you're seeing in available materials and think about what's NOT out there. Unless the SLP is making it up herself, there isn't a lot of great stuff out there for kids with DLD who are able to continue working on syntactic complexity, etc. It's a niche thing too, as not all kids with DLD or ASD can. A huge chunk of your ASD2/3 kids have ID or language delays or even non-verbal issues to the point where working on sentence complexity isn't the plan. They aren't doing it.

So yes, if you have a dc who CAN go further, like I hope mine can sigh, then you're left scratching like a chicken, trying to find stuff. There's an SLP Balthazaar who's doing some research to develop an evidence-based approach for intervention in sentence complexity to bump reading comprehension. We're not crazy seeing the connection between syntax, reading comprehension, and writing. It's there. Just it's hard to find pre-made materials to do this. They're working on it or we innovate.

 

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What picture books does he like?

 

he’s doing some self-advocating at age 6? That’s wonderful!

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14 minutes ago, mamashark said:

Not a show we watch...

Try it and see what happens. I don't know, my mother had this thing about stuff that was fast-paced. Some of the stuff like Paw Patrol has some really gentle themes to it. Mr. Rogers is a real step up. You might try it, just to see what happens. My ds was pretty stuck on Paw Patrol through at least age 8. He was close to 9 when it faded. It makes sense that your dc is enjoying those preschool/k5 level shows, yes. 

Just a total, total aside, but he made this HUGE leap this year for watch he watches. He watched Tom & Jerry a lot after Paw Patrol, but now he's really into this Dragons of Berk series. I don't *know* the intended age, but they show it late enough at night and it's mature enough in style that I *assume* maybe junior high?? I really don't know. I just hadn't thought about the language work we did this year and the BIG tv jump there, lol. You're right though, it's very definite. 

Common Sense Media is saying 8+, kids on there say 9+. I'm just saying the characters are teens, living on their own island, riding their dragons and solving problems. The way they joke and talk and the themes are just a big step up. So at the very least maybe we could say ds is closer to watching age-typical tv now? There's still a lot he's missing with sentence complexity, and I know I have an issue there. But that's probably not impacting casual, conversation-driven tv, lol. 

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