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6 yo never asking for help, never asking questions, never replying in a conversation

(15 Posts)
joburg Wed 15-Jul-09 11:45:59

.... i think i said it all, DD 6yo never asks anything, never asks questions; we talk and she says 'yes mummy' if i insist on her remembering what we talked about, but otherwise, no sign of listening to what she has just heard. I tried for months now to teach her about what kind of questions she should ask, since she never came with her own. What can i do more????? She walks around the house 'experimenting' things which always go wrong (breaking everything around!!!) and i try to teach her about asking for help, asking questions, how, why, when. It doesn't work. We try to learn new words, she never asks anything when she doesn't understand those words. We talk and she never seems to relate to anything we say to her because her next replica has nothing to do with what she has heard from us. She changes the subject randomly, she just can't follow a dialogue. Anybody had any experience like this????????

buy1get1free Wed 15-Jul-09 14:35:34

What does her teacher say about her ? She may just be a quiet, laid back child, but I think it's normal for most children to ask 'why' and 'where' questions. Is this the only thing about her behaviour that you are concerned about? Is her hearing ok? Does she have friends? Try posting on the Special Needs Children section, someone there may have a similar experience. Keep an open mind about some replies you may get.

Wallace Wed 15-Jul-09 14:46:30

IIRC you have had concerns for a while (as soon as I saw the thread title I thought it was you)

Good idea to post in special needs section. Has she had any developmental assessmants?

joburg Wed 15-Jul-09 15:22:40

hi, wallace, i posted before as you well guessed, but i am still hoping to get some 'tips to do at home'. we already do OT therapy with her but things don't seem to advance at all. i'm not expecting mirracles, of course not.... but i would like to hear that there are things that i can still do at home, help her myself .... i will post in the special needs section, thanks for the advice, i'm just afraid that i will receive the usual 'go to a psychologist' (which we are going to do anyway)... i just wish i could get some more advice, something o could do myself ...

buy1get1free Wed 15-Jul-09 17:52:35

Can I ask why your dd had OT therapy ?

Wallace Wed 15-Jul-09 20:53:28

It sounds like you are doing everything you can - your dd is lucky to have you as a mum

TotalChaos Wed 15-Jul-09 21:01:56

if you have a look at this thread, I've done a few posts suggesting exercises to do to encourage asking questions:-

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/special_needs/789479-quot-gestalt-quot-style-of-learning-language-how-to-break

also bear in mind that how/why/when questions are harder than who/where/what questions.

apols but have forgotten from previous threads - have you ever had dd seen by a speech therapist to work on any of these concerns?

You might also find the Hanen "Talkability" book useful (order from winslow publications, it's pricey though). It's geared towards verbal kids who either have ASD or have social difficulties.

coppertop Wed 15-Jul-09 21:12:47

The issues are similar to the ones I've had with my ds2 (6) in the past. He has disordered language development (as part of his autism) which means that his spoken language is better than his understanding of language. It can be hard to spot sometimes because when a child has fairly good spoken language you tend to assume that they can understand too.

The question words (who/what/where/why etc) are particularly difficult to understand. Part of the problem is that they are usually at the beginning of a sentence and can be easily missed, even if the child understands them in the first place.

It might be worth asking for a referral to a Speech and Language Therapist.

joburg Thu 16-Jul-09 06:23:03

Thank you all ... DD has sensory integration problems (that's why the OT), has been diagnosed with speech delay (we haven't yet started the speech therapy but we will) but in the end, i feel it's more than just a speech problem. I do agree that those why, when questions are maybe due to her condition, but she never asks for any HELP, she doesn't seem curious about anything that happens around her. She does talk a lot! I mean A LOT! but it's never related to anything real around her, to anything we talk to her. She does ask the why questions but they are just made up, more like a game, i am not sure i make much sense right now .... something like 'why is my shirt pink (when her shirt is in fact green) ... just being desperate and screaming out here instead of screaming at her when she keeps breaking everything around just because she insists on experimenting by herself

lou031205 Thu 16-Jul-09 08:09:10

Has she been referred to a developmental paediatrician, Joburg?

daisysue2 Thu 16-Jul-09 16:01:50

I am always asking my daughter questions and realised that I really don't tell her much about what I have been doing in the day. So now I try and talk about what I have been doing so she understands how a converation works. We go back and forth I ask her who she has played with and she asks me who I have seen today. It's very formulaic but it helps her to understand about forming conversations and the need to interact. She is in main stream and with sensory intergration problems and speach and langue delays. She is very destructive as well! She doesn't ask questions either or very few such as why can't I stay up late. The best thing is Speech and Langue therapy ASAP. It works very well with OT, also do the school have measures in place to make sure she understands and is paying attention or actually taking stuff in. Very easy to find out two years later that the quite child in the class hasn't actually being paying any attention at all.

DesperateHousewifeToo Thu 16-Jul-09 16:35:14

Many children with language disorders have difficulty asking for help.

I think they get used to going through life not always understanding what is said to them (if I had to sit through a physics or chemistry lecture, I would not expect to understand and so I would not ask questions). Many develop strategies to cope with this - maybe watching what others do and copying, messing around, switching off.

I did a summer group once specifically aimed at this. We had 12 children attend everday for a week. One of the aims was for them all to be recognising when they did not understand and then to be able to ask for help.

This is a huge area to work on. Reasons for not understanding could vary from - not hearing what was said, not understanding a word that was used, not remembering the whole sentence, etc.

So, in the group, we talked about what you could say if you wanted someone to help you, brainstormed sentences you could use and then set up situations, throughout the week, where they would not be able to do something we asked and so would have to ask us for help e.g. asking them to draw a picture and giving them no paper, telling them to go into another room when they would not be able to reach the door handle, giving them broken pencils, telling them to help themselves to a biscuit but giving a tin that was almost impossible to open.

By the end of the week, they were all able to ask for help in our sessions.

So, in a situation where you think she could/should have asked for help, try stopping her and modelling to her what she could have said to you e.g. ''mummy please will you open the biscuits'. Get her to repeat it to you, you then open the biscuits.

Try role playing situations as a game and you can model questions she could ask. Either play the roles yourselves or use little dolls to be the people.

Sorry for the ramble but I hope it is of some help.

I'm sure your slt will give you other suggestions.

ohbabygivemeonemorechance Thu 16-Jul-09 23:26:55

very helpful post desperatehousewife.

It's odd but I have this experience with my ds recently~I can't catch his attention/have a proper conversation ,he wanders off,watches tv,talks to himself etc and I find I'm repeating myself.

he concentrates hard on story tapes,tv stories so wonder if he is just thinking all the time but feel a bithmm about it esp if he's tired it is very noticeable

ohbabygivemeonemorechance Thu 16-Jul-09 23:32:26

out of interest joburg,does she ask for a drink,to play a game and does she make eye contact?

KTNoo Fri 17-Jul-09 16:23:56

Just to repeat what others have said really - I think you should push for a SALT appointment. I am a SALT, not working at the moment. Children can have great difficulties with understanding and social use of language even if the speech they produce is clear and sentences are well-formed etc. A good SALT would be able to tell you specifically what your dd is having trouble with. There are some great language resources for practising social communication, usually based around group work. A SALT would be able to give you advice on helping your dd at home and in other social situations. As well as ideas to encourage asking questions etc, you should also get some advice on altering your own communication to take into account the kind of langauge she does/doesn't understand.

Hope this helps.

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