Phrasal Future

Sorry for not posting yesterday – things just got way, way too hectic at work, and I just ran out of time to get something scribbled up here.

One of our biggest frustrations with the Monster’s verbal ability is a lack of narrative tone.  He’s very good at descriptive, literal use of language, and has been known to burst out with an observation about his surroundings – what’s in his view, what’s where, describing things… but he’s not much for telling the story of his day.

For instance, asking him what he did at school gets you a blank look.  Asking him what he’s going to be doing this weekend is equally futile.  And clearly, it’s not really a lack of knowledge of what’s happening, but rather a lack perhaps of the ability to convey the thoughts.

What he has started to demonstrate is what can be best called the most basic “phrasal future” tense – simple futures using present tense verbs.

The Monster has gymnastics on Thursday afternoons – I leave work early to go pick him up and take him there, so it’s a clear deviation from his normal schedule.  Gymnastics is very quickly turning into one of his favorite things to do besides eating/drinking, and it seems as if it would be good motivation to have something to fix ‘dates’ on.  We’ve tried to start teaching him cognizance of the day of the week based on this (“[Monster], tomorrow is Gymnastics.  What day is tomorrow?”) and that’s been somewhat hit-or-miss.  Even yesterday morning, he’d tried to assert that it was “Saturday”… even though he was already clearly aware that it was gymnastics day.

So, that would seem like a failure, thus far.  No clear correspondance between “Thursday” and “gymnastics”.

I showed up at the school at 3:30 to get him, and came walking inside to find the aides already getting the kids ready for dismissal to the buses, with the Monster running around with his jacket on upside-down.  One of the aides spotted me, and called for him to come to the door to go.

“Gymanstics!” he yelled, jumping up and down.  “Time for going to gymnastics!”

I think that was the best part of the afternoon, the twenty minutes in the car on the way over to the gymnastics center, listening to “Going to gymnastics!” in the back seat…

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