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calling MN language experts - Lingle et al - receptive language 'programme'

(11 Posts)
sphil Thu 09-Jun-11 23:21:36

I have come to realise recently that my huge desire for DS2 to talk has led to me neglecting his receptive language needs blush. He is 8.5, severely autistic with SLD (so very different, I know, from the children talked about on the language delay threads). He uses single words and the occasional phrase (usually learnt as a phrase and not put together creatively) mainly to request. He is beginning to use language to comment, but this is still very infrequent. He understands language about familiar domestic routines, knows the names of the people he sees often and can follow instructions like ' Give the keys to Daddy'. He understands 'sad', 'happy' and 'angry', but very few other concepts at all. Still can't recognise the names of colours (though he can match colour to colour), or reliably pick out 'big' and 'small' and doesn't show a firm grasp of 'on, under, over' etc. Has no apparent understanding of time, though he does know the order of events in a school day, for example. He understands questions like ' Who's/what's that?' but not 'what', 'why' or how questions. 'I think he knows what 'Where is...?' means, but doesn't respond by looking for the item!

So my question to those of you who have helped your children to make progress in understanding language is - where would you start? What was most useful for your children?
TIA

sphil Fri 10-Jun-11 07:50:43

Bump - posted this too late last night.

TotalChaos Fri 10-Jun-11 16:03:48

I didn't have a receptive language programme as such, but stripped back language as much as possible, assumed DS understood v. little, so backed up as much as possible with gesture/visual/object/pointing etc.

why/how are the hardest questions. I would focus on the easier wh? questions first, and for the "where" questions model it massively - where's the chocolate - "HERES' THE CHOCOLATE" (or for choc, substitute something that motivates him) you know, mugging it up in what I call the SALT/Mommy voice.

there are v useful handouts on superduperinc.com, you need to register but it's free,private SALT recommended the website to me. Also worth you searching the MN archives for Lingle's posts on the Teach Me To Talk and Obey DVD.

sphil Fri 10-Jun-11 17:18:56

Thanks TC - will look at those links later.

moondog Fri 10-Jun-11 17:29:47

Have you seen my past recommendations on using a calendar?
If you stick to it it will really help with language of sequence/tim/order.

Ask your s/lt to do a TALC (Test of Language Comprehension) on him asnd to tell you at which of the 4 possible levels he is at and how his understanding of language can be developed.

You could even buy and administer yourself.
It's not difficult. Costs £45
Part of the stable of ELKLAN products which are very good and user friendly. A lot of these resources would be useful to read.

sphil Fri 10-Jun-11 23:39:29

Having looked at the description of the first part of that test Moondog, I doubt he'd be able to do it. He wouldn't understand an instruction to put things in order and he can't sequence pictures of events yet (except possibly for his school day). But I may be underestimating him - will ask his SLT (we have a good one now!) Will look at your calendar posts - have read them before but need to refresh memory!

One thing I've done tonight is to look at the receptive language section of ABLLS and list the things he's on the verge of doing but isn't yet reliable at (or wasn't when I last assessed him). We're going to look at these over the weekend. When we were doing a formal ABA programme he progressed quite quickly in this area at the table, but it wasn't always generalised (our fault I know). We have been stuck for AGES on adjectives, but I've realised that we've been focusing on colours and sizes, which he seems to find very difficult to grasp, whereas he understands wet/dry, happy/sad, loud/quiet, fast/slow etc. He can also do things further up the assessment chart - like naming actions for example. He can also identify objects by function, but not feature or class.

working9while5 Sat 11-Jun-11 00:42:30

I have been searching for a nice handout I got off line on the Blank Language scheme which relates to the TALC assessment moondog mentioned but I can't find the stupid thing! I wonder if it's been moved, actually? If you pm me an email address I can forward it.

It sounds like he is understanding language in the here and now, very concrete stuff is that right?

Does he use any gesture? I ask because gesture is often a good aid to comprehension at this level of language understanding but it can be difficult for kids with autism as I'm sure you know.. but not all (kind of in the same way not all kids with ASD are visual learners). So if was using/receptive to gesture use, you might want to consider this.. did you do any when doing ABA? Was there a VB component? I know that VB people are keen on sign...

You are thinking a lot about concept development in the vocab selection you are mentioning.. what about expanding general vocabulary e.g. labels beyond what he already knows? Do you know what types of sentence he can understand? How many key words in a sentence he can understand e.g.
give daddy the cup
give mum the fork
with dad and mum and cup and fork as options?
(rubbish example, but it is nearly 1 am!)

Any recent assessments? Might be worth looking into where things are at now?

sphil Sat 11-Jun-11 07:47:26

Yes, that is absolutely right - his understanding is rooted in the concrete and present.

He uses very little gesture. He points to things sometimes if I don't know what he means. However, he is quite good at following gestures from us - come here, sit down, pick it up etc. He understands quite a few signs but only uses a few himself, very sketchily, and then only to back up speech. There was a VB component to our programme, but we didn't do anything on sign or gesture formally - and thinking about it, it would be a good idea. Do you have any ideas about how we could go about it?

The example you give is one of his language targets atm. He is probably 80% reliable, as long as the objects are VERY familiar ones, otherwise he just grabs and guesses. I have also tried
Give me the fork AND the cup
but he will give me the fork and then need a prompt. I know that I'm not being rigorous enough about my prompting technique and need to get on top of this again.

He has just had his termly SLT visit but I think she only assessed him on the targets she set last term - two key word instructions, understanding verbs (doing v well on this) and understanding adjectives (v little progress). I haven't had the report yet though.

Thanks so much for responding so late at night! It's really helped to clarify my thinking. Will pm you for that document.

moondog Sat 11-Jun-11 08:07:36

Of course he won't be able to do all the TALC Sphil!
That's the point!
It will show where breakdow occurs and give you targets to work on.

I love the TALC as it conveys to parents and educational staff the level of a child's language so easily and clearly.

I don't often throw out blanket recommendations but I would strongly encourage you to look at my calendar posts again. Getting a chgild to understand where they are in time in a way that allows them to review the past, anchor themsleves in the present and look to plannig for the future is THE single most important thing.

Then you have somethnig visual to 'pin' complex iudeas such as tense and the language of sequencing to.

Colour and size are pretty hard concepts actually, size in particular as it is realtive.

Your posts and needs scream 'Precision Teaching' to me. You could tackle tese areas so fast and efficiently with this ABA based strategy.

sphil Sat 11-Jun-11 17:23:45

I didnt expect him to be able to do all of it! I meant that I wasnt sure he could even access the very start. But I will ask his SALT to show me a copy as I was admittedly only looking at the general description of the assessment.

Will look up your calendar posts now.

sphil Sat 11-Jun-11 17:51:38

Done it! Can see that working very well, so thanks. Off to order my Organised Mum calendar now...

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