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DS 'speech development this asd?

(10 Posts)
mysonben Mon 15-Jun-09 23:30:30

Hi , some of you may already know a bit about my ds who is 3 1/2 y old. He ias on the spectrum , the very able end or so it sems. Anyway, he is speech delayed, started putting 2 to 3 words together at age 3. Now he can say spontanously a few sentences of about 4-5 words, and learned or repeated ones of 5-6 words.
He understand what is said to him as long as it is about something he is familiar with. He struggles with open questions such as where did you just go? or what have you done at nursery this afternoon?,... he simply cannot give us an answer. Same thing about talking about a story we are reading, or a cartoon he is watching. Yet i know he does know the words necessary to answer, it seems he cannot link all the words to answer or just doesn't get the question we are asking. It is so frustrating , why does he have so much trouble using all the vocabulary he knows. He seems happy to stick to the same phrases to communicate with us , he will add new sentences but ever so slowly.

Yet earlier , he was watching a 3 episodes dvd of fifi with dd (13 months) and as the dvd was playing he was saying ALL the dialogue including the sounds that were played. I mean he was not repeating all the words but actually saying them on time to the dvd, kwim? I had seen him do that to a few jingles , or songs , but to do the WHOLE dvd!!! This is amazing in comparison to his strugle with conversation.

Is this asd related or simply a kid thing?

mysonben Mon 15-Jun-09 23:39:47

Forgot to mention ds has a big problem with his consonants, a lot of his consonants sound the same , like cat is said 'nat' , daddy is said 'nanny', his brother 's name thomas is said'mona' ... this makes it very hard for us to understand him. wink

Widemouthfrog Tue 16-Jun-09 07:09:25

Sounds like an ASD thing to me. My DS could not answer open questions until he was around 5, and still struggles. We had to guide him to the answer. eg. rather than saying 'Where did you just go?' We would say 'Did you just go to the **?' but saying the wrong place. he would invariably respond with the place that he did go.
memorising DVDs is very common. My DS still does this with DVDs and books.

misscutandstick Tue 16-Jun-09 07:15:02

Echolalia is very common in children with a language impairment and ASD. Im not very up on it as my ASD children dont tend to do it, hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along soon.

Does Ben have a SALT?

coppertop Tue 16-Jun-09 07:15:17

Both of mine found 'question' words very difficult to understand. So any sentences beginning with who/where/what/why were no use to them.

They also found it hard to understand measurement of time. My 6yr-old still has difficulties with this and will, for example, refer to 'the day after tomorrow' as "tomorrow's tomorrow". Anything in the past is "yesterday".

So a question like "Where did you just go?" would be interpreted as "you go" or later "Where you go?" - neither of which would get you the answer you wanted.

At this stage I found it helped to keep language simple and questions closed. So instead of "What did you do at nursery this afternoon?" I would ask something like "<Ds> ride scooter at nursery?"

I think it can be fairly common with ASD to have better spoken language than understanding of language. I was always advised to keep language very simple with my two, so instead of "Let's go to the shops" I would say "<Ds> go shops>". Basically get rid of any unnecessary words in each sentence where possible.

misscutandstick Tue 16-Jun-09 07:17:38

forgot to mention, DS4 (ASD and SLI 4.2y) really struggles with WH? questions, and he has to be guided too. And he can only really talk about the here and now, unless he instigates a memory he has, but its still impossible to chat about that too because of his lack of language understanding.

mysonben Tue 16-Jun-09 10:59:45

Thanks for your replies. Yes ben has a SALT who tells me to keep asking him open questions to expand /open up the opportunities for a conversation. hmm Very well but we are getting nowwhere all ds will do is pick up on a word from the question and repeat it or give us his catch all fave answer 'this way!'

Ds doesn't understand yet about time , days,... he does get however 'in a minute' , which he regularly say to us! wink He understand here and now, and things that he can see , struggles with the rest really.

I just couldn't believe it yesterday when he recited all the words and sounds of the dvd. It's puzzling that he knows all the sentences but doesn't know what they mean half of the time , although i'm sure the images played at the same time help a lot.

sphil Tue 16-Jun-09 11:15:16

DS2(6)can only answer 'Who's/what's that' questions (and still needs lots of prompting). But I remember DS1 at 3 had real problems with questions - if someone asked
'How are you?' he'd say 'DS1'and most questions he would just ignore. He hasn't any definite dx but hovers on the edge of the spectrum somewhere. Even now he still occasionally replies to a question in a very off-track way! He also had an incredible memory for books, songs and videos at that age - this seems to have lessened as he's got older.

TotalChaos Tue 16-Jun-09 12:40:24

My DS is like that, he supposedly is on the not ASD side of the spectrum, just language delayed. I have a theory - you know how you use a different part of your brain to sing than to speak - I think it's the same sort of thing with the "telly talk" - that the kids memorises the words like it's a song but without understandign them - like when you learn the words to a song in a foreign language.

I still sometimes have to do what Coppertop does with my DS (aged 5) with questions - if I am not getting a sensible answer, to simplify things. Alternatively you could try a visual support or a sign when asking questions. (SALT recommended using the sign for the question word). DS's language when he has time to articulate his views is so much better than when put on the spot to give a quick answer - so he has difficulty forming a proper answer to "what did you do at school today" - stock answer being - I had lunch or nothing(!), but e.g. las week he said to DH - "when we go back to the caravan I want to go on the blue and yellow slides" - there were blue and yellow slides at the swimming pool there!

btw Hanen advises mixing comments,closed questions and open questions to keep the conversation going, am a bit hmm about your SALT focusing on the one thing your DS has difficulty with.

lingle Tue 16-Jun-09 13:02:20


First closed quesions (just two alternatives)
then halfway questions (what did you have for lunch)
then completely open (what did you do?)

is the way to go

I have the same problem so know how you feel.

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