Talk It Out

Another thing we’re working on with the Monster is expressive verbal skills.

The Monster is very good with descriptions of his environment – he’ll tell you, happily, what any of a number of objects are, answer simple qualitative and quantitative questions about the items, etc.  Narrative language, he’s not so good at – he’s not very good at coming up with a description (even prompted) of what happened before, and what will happen in a short while.  Ongoing actions, he’s not so bad at telling you about.  (IE, we’re in the car on the way to the wife’s parents’, and he’ll happily tell you that we’re “going to gramma and grampa’s house”, present-tense continuing to near-future.)

One of his IEP goals is to work on the ‘wh’ questions and to see if he can’t hold the concept of an ongoing narrative.

We know that he certainly can follow a narrative structure, as he has favorite stories that he knows by heart.  Whether there’s actually a concept for him of narration, or if he’s just memorizing it in sequence is debatable.  Further, it’s very rare that he will just dive into description on his own, unless he’s directly asked a question.

On the other hand, there’s sparks of brilliance every once in a while.  I was watching something with him the other day (and I have to think it was probably on PBS Kids), when he started – on his own – narrating the actions on the screen.  They were simple phrases, but they were distinct, unsolicited and absolutely correct to the action going on.  This is more in the vein of the occasional flashes we see, when he gets near a window and declares that it’s raining/sunny outside, or that there’s a dog/bird/squirrel.  I don’t have anything that points to it being more frequent since he started school in August, but I’m thinking perhaps that it’s more a matter of not noticing since I’m with him all the time, and I’ll have a better way to judge when we next visit my family.

I would love if he started telling us what he did earlier in the day or what he’s going to do tomorrow.  (Or heck, even what today is.)  But any progress is good progress.

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