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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New words

I am trying to introduce Janey to a new word each day, by saying it over and over again in conversation and trying to really emphasize it. I am starting with feelings words---yesterday was "worried" and today is "excited". I don't know if it will work---I haven't heard either word used by her yet---but I think she could really use some feelings words. The only thing she says now about her feelings is once in a while when she is crying like crazy she says "I'm pretty sad, Mama" which I think came from me saying "You're pretty sad".

Last night I was half asleep and Janey wanted me to read a book. By that she means actually don't read her the book, don't even look at it, or she will freak out, just listen to her talk about the book. So I did, and she talked and talked about it, with all kinds of word variety and sentences, I can't remember anything exactly but things like "and then the bunny hid and no one could find him"---with the sound of a child's book. I wish I could unlock the kind of talking she does when singing or when talking to herself once in a while.


christinemm said...

ALL children learn many new words by hearing them used in context.

They learn them and understand them but don't necessarily use them immediately. Even kids who do not have Autism do that in the early years and even in middle school. Even adults learn new words by reading them or hearing them said on TV or by another person but we may not think to use it right away (or ever).

You are lucky your little girl is speaking. I can't wait for the day when my 8.5 year old nephew with Autism can say words and sentences. For now we have to rely on pre-programmed statements on his communication device.

christinemm said...

One more thing. Applies to all children. If you talk aloud a lot and say what you are thinking and what you are doing and feeling as you go through your day your child will learn it.

I did that with my non-Autistic children and it worked to develop their vocabulary. Later I read in a book about homeschooling that it really helps when parents do that instead of staying silent a lot of the time.

Last month I read the new book by Temple Grandin (a Vine book) "The Way I See It" and saw in there that she recommended the same exact thing for parents of children on the Autism Spectrum.

Example: Oh, this bowl is too small, I guess I need a bigger one, I'll open the door and find a bigger bowl. Oh here it is, this is working now.

Example in grocery store: Next I need the pasta. I really wanted some ziti. Now where is the ziti? Here is our favorite brand Barilla. Wow there are a lot of different kinds of pasta. Oh! Here is the ziti. We need three boxes. (Put them in the cart.)

Example: Ow! I just banged my knee on the table leg! It really hurts! Some ice might help this pain go away, I'll get some ice. It does still hurt but it is getting better now. Wow did that hurt!

That may sound silly but it works to develop language in all children.

I used to get stared at when speaking to my baby and toddlers in public but I didn't care. Now I see other parents of young kids doing it and smile.