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DS2 (3.10) said "why?"! a bit proud mummy, a bit question.

(15 Posts)
lingle Tue 30-Jun-09 09:37:14

DS2 (3.10) couldn't understand visually-presented choices or two-step sequences six months ago so I hope no-one will mind me being chuffed that this morning, after calling me with no effect, he came into my bedroom and said "why you stay in bed?". The other day he saw we'd tidied up his jigsaws and said "why you break my jigsaw?"

It took about six months to move from first "rehearsing" and "playing with "where?" questions ("where's DS1? DS1's at school!") to really "owning" the questions IYSWIM (ie he can now ask where something is because he wants to know, not because it's a game). And he's just started to be able to answer questions like "what are you wearing on your feet?"

DH and I have been religiously avoiding "why?" for so long that it will be quite hard to get it back in our vocabulary I think! I am hopeful that DS2 has made a more fundamental step of understanding the whole concept of a question (which he didn't understand at 3.4, just like he didn't understand the concept of choice, or what was happening nextsad) which may speed things up.

Anyone else out there with receptive language problems who has got to "why?" or is getting there? How did you encourage it? I'm thinking I might try the "game" approach again with things I know he has grasped cognitively like "why do we need the umbrella? because it's raining!". Explaining "why" he needs haircuts or short sleeves with any effect still seems a long long way away!

It's my hope that he'll (1)really understand and use "why?" questions and (2) be able to tell adults when he hasn't understood something, before he starts school in a year's time. oh, and that he'll do more than parallel play by that time too. Still - took him for a walk with best friend yesterday and although he still can't converse, he was attempting to respond to lots of the comments that best friend made smile.

magso Tue 30-Jun-09 10:45:35

Wow! Well done!

sphil Tue 30-Jun-09 10:59:12

I think the game approach is a really good one. We're only at the early stages of 'where' with DS2, but are using the same approach - lots of hiding games - and he has now said 'where ball?' independently a few times.

I really hope that we can get to 'why' one day - it's one of the most frustrating gaps in DS2's language/thinking. 'Why are you crying?' would be a great one for him to be able to answer. He sometimes says 'sad' when I ask him, which is good I know, but it would be useful to know why!

I think your DS2 sounds as if he is doing very well - DS1 (who sounds a bit like your DS1)- struggled with 'wh' questions until he was over 4, and now has no language issues.

mum2fredandpudding Tue 30-Jun-09 10:59:59

grin grin grin grin

amazing. go ds! im sure it will come on more nad more. no doubt he'll get there in the next year.

well done lingle!

lingle Tue 30-Jun-09 11:13:01

Sphil, our lads seem to respond to the same sorts of techniques don't they? there is clearly some similarity either in their make-up or their needs or both.

thanks for the kind responses. It's only a fragile and shaky start but it was spontaneous and in context so I think I'll dare to consider it a start smile. When he answers a why? question then I'll crack open a bottle of bubbly.

sphil Tue 30-Jun-09 11:19:49

Yes, I agree. It's odd because DS2's language is so much more limited than your DS2's - but I like reading your posts because I can see that DS2 eventually getting to that point (hopefully) and the techniques you use will be usefulsmile.

lingle Tue 30-Jun-09 11:36:45

Sphil, does your DS2 learn language in the same way as your DS1 also?

Nearly all DS2's problems are familiar to me from DS1's days though DS1 could respond to choices throughout his 2s, even for discipline purposes. Poor DS2 being unable to do so sad. DS2's receptive language must have stalled at an earlier more basic 18-month level.

sphil Tue 30-Jun-09 13:05:03

When DS2 was between 2-3 his development was spookily similar to DS1's - in fact, we were reassured for much longer than we should have been by this, as we were pretty sure that DS1 wasn't autistic. But since then their paths have diverged sharply - after an early delay, DS1's language has developed very well (though it can still be syntactically a little different at times - but no-one except me ever seems to notice!) and he has a few problems with processing which mean that although he has a huge vocabulary he can be rather slow to respond and make his point.

DS2's language just stopped developing at about 15 months - and didn't get going again until he was almost 4 and we started PECS. It was as if he suddenly realised that language was an instrument and he could use it to get what he wanted (something that DS1 had taken a long time to learn as well, but at 2 rather than 4 - and he didn't need any specific interventions). Tbh, DS2 still really only uses speech regularly to request - and he uses the minimum amount to get what he wants! We are getting the occasional comment ("Hat on! Wet" when I was wearing a towel turban the other day) but it's VERY occasional. DS1, on the other hand, never stops talking!

lou031205 Tue 30-Jun-09 13:46:16

Well done lingle's DS!

DD1 (3.6) regularly asks "Why?", but I think in truth, she rarely truly understands the answers, regardless of how simple the answer is.

But she can't really answer a "Why?" question at all, yet. She will say "Because....." but then either freeze, or say something completely unrelated.

TotalChaos Tue 30-Jun-09 14:10:11

This is very interesting - my DS can sometimes answer why/because questions, but doesn't often ask why questions, and still at 5.4 has never gone through the "why" phase(!). I have some spare why/because SALT sheets with little pictures - boy with ball/then broken window etc I can send you if you want to work on this.

lingle Tue 30-Jun-09 20:22:29

lou - yes, there's saying the word "why" and then there's genuinely asking "why"? and we are not at the second one yet that's for sure!

total - DS1 has never done the "why phase" in the irritating way that NT little 3 year old girlsones do either. He does regularly ask "why" now when talking about things like science, and can use both it and "because" in the way that you or I might (this is one of the main reasons I no longer consider him language-delayed even though he still uses things like incorrect verb forms). I will not take up your kind offer just at the moment thank you very much because I think there are still many more basic things DS2 has to master (he still doesn't understand the meaning of the verb "to like" for instance sad). It's interesting to me though that this "why" question has coincided with a huge breakthrough in hairwashing - DS1 and I recently explained (more in hope than expectation) that DS1 doesn't get water in his eyes because he leans back and Ds2 suddenly "got" what we were saying and now asks me to wash his hair saying "wash me! I lean back!".

Sphil - yes, we too were complacent about the extent of DS2's language delay for exactly the same reason. It was when I realised DS2 didn't understand choices at 3.0 (though he could make requests at 2.0 onwards) that I realised we had a Houston-we-have-a-problem situation on our hands (and thankfully found this board). DS2's language set off again at about 3.1 so sounds like he stalled roughly between the levels of your two boys and then took off again roughly midway between them too which is interesting.
Has your DS2's progress been pretty steady ever since the PECS started him off again? Interesting again - it was visuals that got my DS2 over the choices "hump" and set him going again. Do you use "More than Words" at all? If so would you call your DS2 a "requester" or "early communicator"?

5inthebed Tue 30-Jun-09 20:29:10

Well done mini Lingle! (mingle?)

DS2 started using Why a few months ago, was a big breakthrough.

sphil Tue 30-Jun-09 20:51:42

Lingle - it's been steady but very slow! He only really adds words for things he really, really wants - and if he wants it badly enough he'll pick up and consolidate the word very quickly - but because he's so contented and flexible, as well as being uninterested in toys, there aren't that many opportunities for him to add requests. It's probably what I spend most of my time doing - trying to find new things he can learn to request!

He is at the Early Communicator stage in Hanen - does all the things on the checklist, though he doesn't share attention verbally. The gap between this and Partner stage seems vast though!

lingle Tue 30-Jun-09 21:57:03

"It's probably what I spend most of my time doing - trying to find new things he can learn to request"

have just read your new thread about the flood! maybe things are going to change in that regard!

mysonben Tue 30-Jun-09 22:13:28

Well done! [simle] i'm sure more questions will come soon then you 'll want him to be quiet! wink

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