Friday, May 14, 2010

Me again - Vocabulary, Language, Definitions, Etc Etc, Etc

Help! I'm blogging and I can't stop! ;)

Remember my discovery when beginning Madsen Method? I discovered that my daughter had a huge vocabulary of words she used for "talk" but she didn't understand all of the words, even though she can use them appropriately, in context. (For the full story, click on the Madsen Method link - it'll take you to that post.)

Two presentations in the online conference in the past couple of days shed light on this phenomenon for me. Andrew Pudewa from IEW and Kim Kautzer from Write Shop are two speakers who presented four different kinds of language/vocabulary for me in ways that I had not understood before. Can you imagine being able to use a term in context and not fully understand the concept of how that term fits into a developmental scheme? Ironic that I have an experience similar to my daughter's.

We have a listening vocabulary, a speaking vocabulary, a reading vocabulary and a writing vocabulary, and an individal can listen, speak, read, and write on four completely different levels. I know that my daughter's expressive and receptive vocab and comprehension differ, but I'd never thought of it more simply as listening and speaking. My guess is that individuals with different learning needs (autism, for example) can have more scattered levels than a typically developing individual. Based upon what I extrapolated from the presentations, I believe I was right to stop Madsen Method to allow some time to work on listening and speaking vocab. Pudewa and Kautzer bombarded me with practical ways to go about helping a child with scattered skills to grow the areas that are behind the others.

Here's some "Penny-ease" from what I am beginning to understand: I would add that children also have an experience bank or experience vocabulary that begins in the listening and speaking stages, and that children with autism often don't develop that experience bank to draw from. Children with autism are in the present, the here-and-now, and when taught in the land of splinter skills outside the course of development, require a lot of repetition to learn new skills. The repetition is required because of an empty experience bank. Listening and speaking, which involve interaction and reciprocity, are connected to that experience bank.

I want to hear those sessions again. I need those MP3 sessions *now*. (They're not going to be ready until May 31st.) I think the sessions are a bargain. The MP3 Expo To Go package offers all 28 sessions for $19.99. The company recording the big convention in Cincinnati in April sold 10 recordings on CD for $50. That was a good deal, I thought. I came home with a few CDs of sessions I didn't get to attend in person. (I do like that I can go to that company web site and order a CD from conventions all over the country if there's a topic or speaker I'd like to hear.)


Karen said...

This reminds me of myself when I was younger. I would hear people use a phrase in context and have no idea what it meant and then would repeat it. Once, in about 8th grade, my cousin said, "I'm not a slut or anything". I did not know what the word slut meant--had never heard it before (this was the early '70s and I was a parochial school kid). But I DO remember repeating in the car, "She's a slut" and the reaction from my parents! LOL! My dad asked if I knew what that meant. I told him I didn't and he went on to explain. I was SO embarrassed! This is why ABA is not as effective as people think--the kids can say the correct thing in context, but may not totally understand everything they are saying.

Penny said...

Karen, thanks for that illustration. That would help explain the, "Your outfit is soooooooo last year." comment my daughter made to a teenager (attempting to interact like tees do on "Hannah Montana") at the ball park, too.

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