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Anyone used Shape Coding?

(18 Posts)
kyz1981 Mon 09-Dec-13 19:59:05

My Ds has ASD/Lang Disorder with word retrieval difficulties and his SALT mentioned she wanted to try shape coding with him, he is only 3 1/5 and has mainly learnt/scripted speech. His Salt feels as he is so visual and has good attention to detail that he may learn well through shape coding, she briefly explained it to me but I am completely lost as to how it can work and can only find complex articles on google.

I would be really interested to hear from others who have used/using or tried it. My biggest concern is my DS is very literal and would focus on the shape rather than the meaning but his SALT thinks in time he could possibly get passed this, she also said it had be aimed at older children but that they are seeing some success in younger children ( not the grammar, that is not the focus for the younger ones but more sentence structure and verbs I think) .

Any thoughts welcomed

Donki Mon 09-Dec-13 20:14:59

We use a simplified form of shape coding to support literacy and simple sentence structure with HI students with additional needs.

Donki Mon 09-Dec-13 20:16:36

It has been really useful for helping students to remember that a sentence needs a verb for instance.

Donki Mon 09-Dec-13 20:41:31

Mind you, all our students are a bit older than your DS

lougle Mon 09-Dec-13 21:53:14

This introduction to Shape Coding is quite practical and seems very interesting.

zzzzz Mon 09-Dec-13 23:26:08

Montessori did something similar with solid shapes. Google "montessori parts of speech". Ds would respond better to physical shapes than symbols.

Personally I wouldn't be keen. iPad apps like buddy bear etc are IMO better at prompting development of verbs/prepositions etc. shape coding seems a bazaar (almost as though she's experimenting) jump for a languag disordered child.

Why not teach him to read? He will gain focus and practice and also it's quite hard to dismiss a small child who can read as "daft" even if he can't talk well.

At 3 the most useful SALT focuses on language that is helpful in school/home and language that draws attention to the child's ability.

moondog Mon 09-Dec-13 23:49:43

Agree whole heatedly with lougle. I'm an s/lt and reading is one of my top priorities. Why expend all that energy-however well meant in teaching shapes/ symbols/ pictures when we can teach kids to read? Text, unlike speech, is a permanent product thus the child can take the time to 'decipher ' meaning.
When reading taught you hit all targets-speech sounds too. Again gave no idea why s/lts link sounds to pictures (eg /t/ sound to pic of dripping tap when you might as well just teach that the sound matches the letter.

kyz1981 Tue 10-Dec-13 09:41:50

Thanks for the replies - TBH when she was explaining it to me and got out all these bits of shaped paper, I was lost!

I think when DS can read he will be so much better off and his SALT did say he may read early due to his attention.

He is learning action words at the moment and can only just follow three step instructions 60% of the time, she said it may help him attribute male/female, his & hers and other words, Ds will call any adult either mummy or daddy depending on gender and SALT seems to think he has big word retrieval issues which it could help.

Zzzz I felt she was wanting to champion it and that she had maybe been on a training course or something. Will look at getting that app.

Lougle Thanks for that, will have a read later.

Thanks for the replies.

zzzzz Tue 10-Dec-13 10:50:01

I regret not pursuing reading harder with ds at 3/4. He has huge language issues but learnt letters reading early flash cards really easily. At the same time he learnt the piano and his nursery teacher was quite negative about it. I remember he used to read the alphabet backwards on their wall and telling her that he had just started playing the piano spontaneously. She put up a and said " zzzzz no more shock " and I decided his "gifts" were marking him out as different as much as his deficits. I decided to rein in a little on the reading and not share so much about the other stuff.

It was a big mistake. Reading can only reinforce and focus language. Just because other children find talking and sentence structure easier to learn first and then use as a crutch to teach them to read doesn't mean it's the only way. It works well in reverse.

zzzzz Tue 10-Dec-13 10:55:02

Nb there are tons of apps out there "SALT geek" (an app about apps!) have quite a good collection. Ds responded well to the Buddy bear ones because he struggled with on/behind/beside and doing words (verbs) a that stage. He loves iPad so hat helps too.

There are some lovely apps for recording progress "Language builder" is a good bedtime activity. You get a picture and have to invent a sentence about it. It records and plays back. Very helpful for seeing progress and sharing with Dh and teachers.

moondog Tue 10-Dec-13 15:55:29

Brilliantly put zzzz. These are my clinical findings over and over again with scores of children.

'Reading can only reinforce and focus language. Just because other children find talking and sentence structure easier to learn first and then use as a crutch to teach them to read doesn't mean it's the only way. It works well in reverse.'

zzzzz Tue 10-Dec-13 16:53:45

You are very kind moondog given the atrocious typos. I have saved up for a keyboard for Xmas, so if nothing else breaks (please god a month without disaster) I promise to type more carefully in the new year!

In the mean time apologies. blush

moondog Tue 10-Dec-13 17:03:25


Sillylass79 Tue 20-May-14 05:40:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

she9572 Fri 29-Aug-14 15:10:25

try watching this vodcast for an idea of how Shape Coding works,AAAAPmbRRLk~,C5G7jhYNtiefqbodph9K7nzSW_zsUUiE&bctid=2206019732001

zboukoura Sun 26-Feb-17 22:18:04

hi, kyz 1981
I am a Teaching Assistant in Primary School I run a Speech and Language intervention in my school and I teach shape coding since 2013 it has a positive impact in children's learning. Children do not learn just shapes but they learn through shapes grammar rules such as pronouns, verbs, nouns, prepositions, connectives, tenses, it is a visual resources. At this moment my children are using shape coding in the classroom so far it is turning well.

notgivingin789 Mon 27-Feb-17 00:03:25

DS does shape coding at his school though he goes to a language specialist school so I guess it's common for them to use that method there. It seems ok but yes yes to reading and zzzz I too wish I started teaching DS to read much earlier (though he did not have the interest then) but he is reading now and it's helped so much with his language.

Why are they suggesting to use shape coding for a three year old anyway ? DS wasn't introduced to it till he was in year 1 as it gets very grammatically/Englishy then .

notgivingin789 Mon 27-Feb-17 00:04:28

This is a zombie thread hmm.

Why are people posting on zombie threads ! Please start a new thread.

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