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Does/did your autistic or hyperlexic toddler...

(34 Posts)

Recite stories, especially rhyming ones, and chunks of Peppa Pig dialogue (or whatever DVD they like) in bed, after being put down for the night?

DS does this, not just in bed ( but in bed he declaims away for up to an hour to his teddies in the dark). He also breaks into scripting and reciting stories in the day. Or counting to 10 as fast as he can with the same sing song intonation.

He has functional expressive language as well and talks a lot. Has started to narrate play scenarios. Example 'owl climbs up a ladder. Oh dear! Owl fall down! Bang head! Poor owl, panda kiss owl, never mind, try again...'
And on and on. Running commentary on himself too.
'Baba push Hoover! Oh dear! Not work. Mummy help! [shriek of dismay as toy vacuum cleaner catches on rug]

Will play same thing over and over but also incorporate new motifs. Is now using favourite toys to act out and coming up with new scenarios all by himself. Although often plays out same story over and over.

Will start scripting as a game and look for validation/ attempt shared attention eg: will be offered milk and say

'We'll float on a boat on a milk White Sea
With a dipper and a cup
We'll sip it up,
Creamy and white
We'll sip, sip, sip
To our heart's delight'
(Which is from a book he likes. Then he will recite another six pages)

It's kind of freaky, but charming. He's 2.5. Two months ago, he was diagnosed with autism.

Sometimes he kisses us with joy. Other times he doesn't greet us. He looks backwards when running, shakes head back and forth, recites and has a crazy memory for books - after reading 3 times he can say the missing word if you stop mid sentence- he's not NT.

He loves, loves language and is playful and creative with it. I'm not in denial and agree with the DX but he doesn't match the children in all the autism parenting help books I'm reading and I am having a hard time reading up on it and trying to apply the learnings as - that's just not Ds.

Sorry. Embarrassingly long. Nobody to talk to about this.

zzzzz Wed 08-May-13 23:47:43

Don't worry you'll start talking nonsense everywhere....there is no escape, 'cos they need it!

I always said "ds says" in one tone then what I wanted him to say in another. Later I could prompt him to think about what he was saying by squeaking "ds says" at him blush. C'est la vie, he is a gorgeous little talker now. grin. I rarely say "ds says" now but did notice I say the much more mainstream "what do you say" to prompt him to say "thank you" the other day. You grow out of these things without noticing.

Buddy bear apps are great for some language things if you have an iPad.

I remember from teaching English as a foreign language many years ago that pronouns can be a bitch for some students but never really clocked why.., thanks for link! (Mareeya)

Also thanks for biscuit idea zzzzz...

Spent day attracting strange looks trying to teach pronouns
'I, Mummy, am eating a biscuit. Do you want a biscuit, Ds? Yes, I want a biscuit Mummy. Yum.'

Basically narrating for him and speaking as if I am him. He says something in third person and I echo but in first person.
'Baba want apple!'
'I want an apple mummy'
Then hand him the apple saying 'here you are'
Everyone including DS looking bemused.
Hanen book suggests it but I feel an arse.

MareeyaDolores Wed 08-May-13 23:02:19

Following the pronoun reversals, we got lots of he/she/it mix-ups. And I then noticed an adult doing the same, cos their English was limited, then I discovered their first language simply didn't have the 3 separate pronouns.

So I googled it and got totally confused. No wonder ds1 had trouble cracking the code!

MareeyaDolores Wed 08-May-13 22:55:51

Couthy, the minute ds3 is formally diagnosed, you become 'a family at high risk of ASD'. So it'll be much easier to say 'can we have a second opinion on ds2 please' without being fobbed off.

When his diagnosis is in place, you take dd (by then 16y) and have her say, "can you test me, mum and I think I'm similar to my brothers"

Saves face for the services, you see. Doing it in that order, they can make a different judgement 'because of the strong family history' without being forced to admit they should have managed it earlier.

insanityscratching Wed 08-May-13 21:26:04

Dd used to recite books from memory and could sing any song word perfect even if she only heard it once. She would draw a crowd in Waterstones when sat in her pushchair at two she would drag books from the shelves and seemingly read them. She has always been tiny too so looked like a baby reading the Hairy Maclary series and the Little Princess books word perfect. She lost the ability as she gained more of her own speech but now she reads avidly instead so never lost her look of books.

Ellenora5 Wed 08-May-13 10:53:16

Ds2 has done this from a young age, harry potter, spiderman and various other shows, will recite them start to finish, he has a set time for it now, half an hour and that's it. I honestly can't listen to it after that. He is 11 so he understands, but will ask can he have another half hour later. Yesterday he recited a whole part of the karate kid in chinese. When he has enough of watching certain dvds he will change the language, put on the subtitles and learn it that way. He recently started quoting scenes from harry potter in different languages too.

ouryve Wed 08-May-13 10:08:25

Yes, the pronoun reversal is part of imitating speech from others but not being able to turn it around to refer to them. It has corrected itself in both of my boys. Ds2 has very limited speech but can say I appropriately.

Ds1 doesn't echo any,ore but he has questions he asks over and over and statements that he makes over and over, so he still perseverates, more so when he is stressed. He has a pheno,inal memory for little details, too, sometimes from years ago.

zzzzz Tue 07-May-13 23:26:20

I think the pronoun thing is often seen in language disordered children and in autistic children with communication disorders (ie lots of autistic children do it but I don't think it's definitive). The over under thing is more difficult to spot. Get something like three plates and three biscuits, lay them out in a row, one biscuit "on" one biscuit "under" one "behind". Say "show me biscuit is....ON....plate" he points, "show me biscuit is ....BEHIND.....plate" etc. see how many he can get right.

And yes nt do it all too just they don't get stuck IYKWIM its just a fleeting part of language acquisition

You sound like you are doing lots.

My ds still has a good memory for language but he used to be able to play tunes on he piano from just listening to the TV and I don't know if he can do that anymore. I suspect he is less interested I music and more interested in chatting now he can talk more fluently.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Tue 07-May-13 22:50:58

I'm in the UK, and DS3 has his ADOS at some point this month. He is currently 27mo.

Not sure how I managed that when my 15yo DD still doesn't have a formal dx, nor does my 9yo DS2...confused

Signs are all the same, extreme sensory seeking, speech delay, social skills issues, yet only my 2yo is going to have been formally assessed. Considering I feel that my 9yo is far more Autistic than my 2yo (not that my 2yo isn't, IYSWIM, but that it's even more apparent in my 9yo, and drastically so if you compare them at age 2), I'm baffled!

I don't live in UK.
I threw money at the problem; it's all private healthcare here and insurance won't pay for it. It cost 1200 GBP for dx inc ADOS etc and we got 20 page PDF with all the scores from clinical psych.

He is now starting 3 hours a week of Denver Model and 9 hours SALT playgroup using Pivotal Response techniques inc 3 hours speech and language one to one, plus I'm reading Hanen and doing 2 days of ABA parent training. It's costing a fortune. But at least we can access it and we have savings.

ChazDingle Tue 07-May-13 21:38:01

trucksanddinosaurs how did you manage to get him diagnosed so young?

It's really interesting to hear people saying yes my DC does/did this.
When they got older did they continue to have good memories and enjoy scripting to relax? Or did the grow out of it, or does it turn into monologues on special interests or other, more written-about ASD traits?

zzzzz, his non copied speechis fluent, for a 2.5 year old. He does prepositions 'under the sofa', 'side by side', 'on top of' etc. Pronouns bit of a mess - refers to himself as 'Baba' (which is not his name!) in 3rd person, says 'you/yours/here you are! not 'me/Mine/here I am!'.

Pronoun reversal is an ASD thing, isnt it? Or is just a learning to speak thing and NT kids do it too?

Verbs fine,knows and uses loads, and can do past tense and future tense although its a bit hit and miss. 'We went to the canal, we saw a woodpecker and a man with a leaf blower' etc. It is copied phrases though, borrowed off me - he has not tried to construct past tense verbs himself by saying 'we sitted' or 'we eated' the way I have seen NT preschoolers do.

It's a bit tricky because at SALT playgroup they want him to say 'I Want truck!' And other typically NT toddler phrases. And he will say 'Baba wants that one, you [meaning 'I'] want the yellow tracked excavator' and they don't always understand him.

MareeyaDolores Tue 07-May-13 21:02:28

Ds1 did this. And it was really cute. And like Beemom, it turned out to be contagious; sometimes we all do it simultaneously now grin.

In my doziness, I assumed no child with such a gift for language could have autism blush

MummytoMog Tue 07-May-13 19:17:24

DD does this, especially at night (she's three and a half). She is undiagnosed, but quirky is a good way to describe her. She will echo anything. At the moment YouTube videos of Meg and Mog are her favourite thing and she and DS quote whole episodes at me. She is less adventurous in her language from the sounds of things but is another early reader/writer.

It drives me nuts that people/professionals just want to talk about her limitations and delays and not her strengths. Yes, her receptive and expressive language is odd and delayed, but she can read and do simple sums damnit, and has perfect pitch and a beautiful singing voice. And she can play tunes on the piano. I was a freakishly talented three year old, and couldn't do that.

ouryve Tue 07-May-13 18:55:54

DS1 was a hero at school for his ability to read at a young age. Other kids, older ones especially, thought he was awesome! The shine has worn off now that he is taller and much less cute (he's 9!) but most kids are still very accepting of difference. (The ones who aren't are jerks without discrimination, anyhow!)

zzzzz Tue 07-May-13 17:21:27

I wish diversity in DC was something to be enjoyed not scared by.

It is.

He is highly unlikely to be bullied for being a good reader in my experience. Both of my older girls are bookaholics (as am I) and both read exceptionally early. They are doing fine. Ds1 taught himself letters and numbers at about 16 to 18 months and was forming words by 2/3. He chatters all the time but the non echolalic parts of his speech are clumsy and limited (less so now).

Is his non copied speech fluent? Does he use pronouns? Verbs? Behind, on top of, under, correctly?

Thank you all so much. So many of the books, sites etc are about getting DC to talk but DS never stops. His talking is different though. He has just started 3 morning sessions at SALT playgroup where the other children are not v verbal. And then he sits there reciting books and talking in sentences, almost drunk and giddy on language. He also recites to calm himself when stressed. It's lovely and I want to celebrate it but at same time I worry because he is so different.

V interesting about loving language and patterns in words and asd. As a child I read nonstop, used to tremble with excitement in libraries and bookshops, had high reading age and am now a writer. I can understand DS joy in words/books so much. But don't want him to be bullied for being different and escape into books and blank out the world, which was my childhood. I wish diversity in DC was something to be enjoyed not scared by.

Off to look up more on SPAT...

ouryve Tue 07-May-13 14:35:55

Just enjoy, while it is cute! He is who he is and even if you could suppress the unusual, it wouldn't make way for any other more "normal" behaviours and might actually be detrimental to his development. Kids with ASD (as that is my own experience) often develop along very different paths to the accepted "normal" (not I'm putting that in quotes, as, where kids' development is concerned, "normal" is usually in the eye of the observer and nothing to do with the child)

zzzzz Tue 07-May-13 14:11:09

I think you should celebrate ALL his gifts (and also say "tell me later" if it is interrupting something or inappropriate).

My son is language disordered not delayed, he could recognise and say all his shapes colours alphabet and numbers, count to 100 with comprehension and read cvc words under 2, but names didn't come till much later.

My advice would be to work to his strengths, and be proud of them.

I pulled back on the reading when ds started nursery because I thought he was looking like such an oddball already (I was very silly about all sorts of things), in hindsight reading would have come easier whe he was so engaged with it, helped his spoken language develop, and demonstrated how bright he was.

You are unlikely to offend any of us with any questions or thoughts, we mumble in to each other all the time. grin

BeeMom Tue 07-May-13 13:52:04

Bee recites entire videos - 30 minutes at a time. On the road to appointments (we travel 2h+ each way for specialists), in bed, while she is bored...

The worst part, however, is that I have heard them so often that I frequently find myself taking a part and joining in.

Oops. confused

devilinside Tue 07-May-13 13:41:05

My asd son makes up poems all the time. He is very creative with language. My mother has aspergers and is a poet. I think it is quite common. Those of us on the spectrum are attracted to rhythms and patterns, whether that is music, language or mathmatical patterns

SPATS sounds great, I have just been diagnosed with high aspergers traits as I score high for imagination. (thus lowering my oversall score for aspergers) Seems that those of us who are attracted to patterns in language (rather than maths) may be missing out on a full diagnosis.

Ps. Love SPATS. Maybe I should stop pathologising.

Feel a bit bad for asking because I know others here have children who don't talk or are delayed. I love DS talking, I feel blessed he can communicate and am worrying I'm worrying too much because its a bit quirky.

Thanks for all the replies!
It's v interesting...all the stuff on echolalia I have seen in asd books ( not much) says it often happens when speech starts and is good sign, but thing is DS can talk and understand. He just likes or needs to recite/script as well. Is that something you found? He's capable of saying 'baba wants milk, more milk please!' And 'mmm, nice milk! Delicious!' And then offering panda milk. But then he will quote poem about milk and look to us for applause. Very cute but should I stop smiling and laughing when he shares his recitations ( on topic and v funny) with us? Or just enjoy it?

ouryve Tue 07-May-13 09:50:25

Yep. Ds1 communicated using one liners from peppa pig when he was that age! And he would sit and casually recite large chunks of tv program's and, later, conversations he'd heard at nursery.

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