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Does/did your autistic or hyperlexic toddler...

(34 Posts)
TrucksAndDinosaurs Tue 07-May-13 04:10:17

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 Tue 07-May-13 06:42:23

My ds is 8 now and has a severe language disorder and is unusual wink but has no dx.

He didn't do the running going backward but much of what you describe. Echolalia (repeating scripts) was certainly exactly as you describe.

There are lots of "us" on the board with a variety pack of zany dc.

You are not alone. grin

chocjunkie Tue 07-May-13 06:47:24

yes, dd has autism and does it. thouout the day but also worse at night when we put her to bed. its called

ilikemysleep Tue 07-May-13 07:44:17

One of my main issues with the triad is that it describes 'impoverishment' whereas autism encompasses more manifestations than this. Our team use the triad but with 'unusual in intensity, scope or duration' as descriptors rather than 'impoverishment in'. See if that helps. My preferred model of autism is the SPATS model, which says that children with autism have a different (ie not necessarily inferior) set of SPATS, that is senses, perceptions, abilities, and thinking systems. This model of autism may better include your son, who, as you say, does not sound NT, but does sound fabulous :-)

Strongecoffeeismydrug Tue 07-May-13 08:32:01

DS is almost nine and doesn't have much to say during the day,but put him to bed and I'm sure he transforms in to mr tumble smile
I don't get to hear him talk often but I do love to hear his echolalia at bedtime smile

Oh yes! DS2 (with ASD) could recite whole chunks of Harry Potter films, Cat in the Hat, all sorts. He didn't speak at all until nearly 4 and when he did it was lots of delayed echolalia, sometimes in the right sort of context, but often just for fun. It was the start of his verbal communication, really. He loved the sounds he could make. He is 13 now, in MS school and now recites YouTube videos all the bloody time which is annoying, but fairly age appropriate. Think of the nerds who used to recite Monty Python sketches. grin

zzzzz Tue 07-May-13 08:49:08

Ooh top tip from the HE zzzzz's, reluctant writers find echolalia favourite scripts almost irresistible for handwriting practice. <whistles innocently>

I like it, zzzzz! You really are evil. wink

PS, how are you?

zzzzz Tue 07-May-13 09:31:40

I am gifted! grin.

Finally had stent in last night and should be home this afternoon. So all great and pain soon to be a distant memory. MN has kept me brilliantly distracted but children will be bonkers by now!

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.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Tue 07-May-13 13:15:04

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?

TrucksAndDinosaurs Tue 07-May-13 13:17:47

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.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Tue 07-May-13 13:18:56

Ps. Love SPATS. Maybe I should stop pathologising.

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.

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

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

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)

TrucksAndDinosaurs Tue 07-May-13 16:46:57

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...

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?

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!)

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.

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

TrucksAndDinosaurs Tue 07-May-13 21:27:51

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.

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

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

TrucksAndDinosaurs Tue 07-May-13 21:45:10

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.

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