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Teaching conversational pragmatics - where to start? Blossomhill?

(39 Posts)
roisin Thu 30-Dec-04 19:15:41

We have been advised that ds1 (7.5) would benefit if we (or others) "verbally teach strategies for the skills of conversational pragmatics" ... starting/ending conversations, when/how to change subject, non-verbal body-language, etc.

I just don't know where to start on this - I am contacting the EP for further advice, and will also see what his SALT and school can offer, but I also thought I would ask you wonderful folk.

Does anyone know of a good resource/book/website which would be a good starting place for me to learn about this?

Thank you in anticipation!

Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 19:23:24

Hi Roisin

This is an excellent site that has loads of ideas to help with pragmatics. That is the area my daughter finds difficulties with too.
The site is for parents whose children have Semantic Pragmatic language disorder but the site has so much helpful info
Any other queries or questions I am more than happy to talk to you
If I can think of anything else I will let you know but that was off the top of my head as it is a site I visit a lot!

Yorkiegirl Thu 30-Dec-04 19:26:25

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Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 19:30:49

Oh tell me more Yorkiegirl. Although the school have said with dd it is too young to test for pragmatics (she is 5) and that we should really avoid doing table top activites with her and work on her social skills by taking her to the park, swimming, after school clubs etc. She does have such intensive therapy at school taht she needs a break at home!

roisin Thu 30-Dec-04 19:47:37

Thank you both.

Just for inf. we are not currently seeking a diagnosis. We saw the EP (who was fantastic) and discussed - among other things - the possibility of seeking a dx for AS and/or Dyspraxia at some point in the future. Atm he feels ds1's profile is "best understood as representing an extreme end of the continuum of normal human abilities and behaviours" with a major mismatch between his cognitive abilities and his social-emotional abilities. But that strategies which are helpful for children diagnosed with these conditions will be helpful for him.

Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 19:50:30

Sorry Roisin So the Ep wants to see how ds develops before making a diagnosis, is that right?

JaysMumWantsaSilentNight Thu 30-Dec-04 20:01:26

The Black Sheep Press do loads of really good work sheets and games for help with pragmatics. Your SALT should have copies that you can use....if not I have loads here. I could photocopy them for you and pop them in the post.

Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 20:02:02

Have you Jaysmum. I could do with some of those. can you let me know where you got them from x

roisin Thu 30-Dec-04 20:05:16

Well a diagnosis wouldn't come from him anyway. Atm ds1's AS indicators are fairly mild, and don't seem to cause him too many disadvantages. He copes well at school (it's a fantastic school), and is extremely able academically, but struggles with social/behavioural stuff, especially out of school. His school treat every child as an individual according to their strengths and needs, so I am quite happy he will get what he needs there with or without a dx. When he gets older if the problems increase, or he starts to feel 'different' or isolated, then we would re-visit the dx issue.

Blossomhill - I've had a brief look at that site, and it's not quite what I'm looking for (unless I've missed the right bit!). Ds1 is fine (amazing in fact) on semantics, but it's the pragmatics he just can't do at all ... not interrupting, noticing when someone is getting bored, just having a normal two-way conversation!!!

Yorkiegirl - those cards sound very interesting Are you enjoying your Christmas (Chicken Pox permitting)? The boys don't go back until Thursday. How about you?

Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 20:08:34

If you look under the articles section there are things on pragmatics there. My dd is fine with semantics too, pragmatics being the main problem.
Your ds sounds very much like dd in the descriptions that you give. My dd has a very high IQ, amazing reading skills and even her writing has come on. Try having a two way conversation, especially when it's something she isn't interested in and you hit a brick wall!

roisin Thu 30-Dec-04 20:12:22

I knew I must have missed something , because I thought your dd was similar too. I'll go back and look again. Thanks!

roisin Thu 30-Dec-04 20:15:12

I love the SN board on here - even though I feel I don't quite belong - it's so friendly and welcoming!

Jaysmum - Thanks for the offer. I will ask SALT about them, and come back to you if necessary.

He's actually only ever had SALT for his articulation problems, because his 'language' - i.e. vocab/semantics - was fine. He's almost discharged as far as the speech sounds are concerned, but I'm going to ask about the pragmatics, and see what they can offer.

Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 20:16:56

The thing is Roisin that dd has social skills with the SALT. Pragmatcis is one of the areas they are highly trained in. In dd's unit half of the children in there have pragmatic difficulties!

JaysMumWantsaSilentNight Thu 30-Dec-04 20:27:06

If you go to you can get the worksheets for pragmatics for free.

sorry not worked out how to do links yet!!!!!!

roisin Thu 30-Dec-04 20:43:58

Thanks Jaysmum - I will try it now.

Blossomhill - I've just been reading some of your posts for the last few months - so sorry to hear you've been having such a challenging time with your dd. The more I read, the more she sounds like ds1.

In the last few months I've had someone say to me they really relate to ds1 because they have a grandson "who has AS too"!
I've had an acquaintance say they think he has ADHD.
And countless 'looks' from strangers and friends.
This afternoon we had a friend over with her two girls, and ds1 was extremely odd. She clearly thought he was completely bonkers!
But other days I am convinced he's nt, (albeit a rather unusual variety of 'typical'!)

I don't know where I'm going with this, but I have a feeling we will still be chatting to each other on here for months/years to come!

Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 20:54:08

Roisin - we do seem to have things in common don't we?
Well dd is the same. At the moment she is having lots of normal moments and then she'll do something really quirky and then we think em! Even ds (7) said yesterday that sometimes he doesn't think that dd has special needs. I think it's because when she is at home she can truly be herself without any pressure. When dd goes back to school next week that's when the manic, hyperness comes back and she will act like a child with Adhd. At the moment I would say there is no way you would describe her as Adhd as she is so calm. As I have said many times before dd is a complex little girl. Even the school have said they don't we will ever get a real dx for her. they believe that some children just do not sit in any particular box and that makes sense.
I have had a really hard few years, cried many tears. Recently I came to a turning point that although dd's "problems" will not disappear overnight I have to do all I can to help her. So we are going to Bibic in march to have a 3 day assessment. After the assessment they give you a home programme of thinsg you can do to help, such as dietary and sensory things. I am really excited as I know they will help me realise the reason dd does the things she does.
Anyway sorry for rambling but you are more than welcome to e-mail me if you would prefer that as I know how hard it can all be. Hugs Blossomhillxxx

Yorkiegirl Thu 30-Dec-04 21:11:51

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Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 21:16:50

Hi Yorkiegirl
Well I wanted to know about the conversational cards as haven't heard of them before. Do you work with children with pragmatic difficulties the YG? Thanks

Yorkiegirl Thu 30-Dec-04 21:24:05

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Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 21:25:40

I know it is such a hard world to live in when you have communication difficulties. I really feel for dd about how hard everyday things most people take for granted are for her

Yorkiegirl Thu 30-Dec-04 21:27:32

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Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 21:33:12

I know Yorkiegirl, thanks. Infact as dd is in a unit and there are 52 other children in the unit she is more accepted as she isn't the only one. The mainstream children seem to really like dd but I know there will always be the odd one. Then children bully children for so many different reasons and according to the school dd doesn't take any c**p from anyone. Infact I have seen it when someone has tried to take soemthing from her and she really stands her ground. She is just like her mum

Yorkiegirl Thu 30-Dec-04 21:34:25

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roisin Thu 30-Dec-04 21:46:18

I hope you have a positive experience at Bibic Blossomhill - I'm sure you will.

Thanks for the offer, I will CAT you, then you can email me.

Until recently DS1 did have a boy, X, with HFA in his class - bright but very autistic isyswim. I did find it encouraging when his teacher told me that although ds1 is decidedly weird and quirky at times his classmates did not regard him in the same way as they regarded X.

We recently paid for an independent Ed Psych assessment of ds1 - which has been an extremely positive experience. Among the referral forms I tongue-in-cheek mentioned we wanted to know what the future would hold But I was actually surprised by the extent to which the EP attempted to answer that Q. His view was that although ds1 has significant difficulties in certain areas, given his cognitive abilities, and given the right 'therapies', there is every possibility that he will mostly be able to overcome these difficulties.

Having read that through I've just realised how many qualifiers there are in that sentence! Anyway, it has made me feel more positive, so I'm clinging to it nonetheless!

But I guess in the end there are two ways it can go - either he will become more or less 'normal' with time. I just have to keep telling myself that what matters is to concentrate on now, on doing what we can now to maintain his high self-esteem, and not worry about the future until it arrives!

jollymum Thu 30-Dec-04 21:47:11

can i ask a dumb question ,especially dumb because this is a brand new keyboard and i've just dropped a bit of lamb chop in it I have a friend who has her child agd 9 diagnosed with aspergers after years of being the 'naughty' boy at school. help is on its way but he still has no idea of social stuf, shouting in class and laying in the road is fun not dangerous etc.. help plase. everyone at school knows him, 'cos he's smat, funny and odd

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