Friday, July 30, 2010

On One Condition

I have sometimes compared the way my daughter (the one on the autism spectrum) is learning to speak to that of an individual learning a foreign language. English is our only language, yet, there are times when she seems to be learning English as a foreign language.

Sometimes, she memorizes sentences and phrases without comprehension and meaning, yet is able to use them in context. (Sometimes, it creates quite a pickle, too.)

This week, I encountered another example. Her brother was playing a video game that was unfamiliar to him, but familiar to her. He asked her a question about it, and she replied,

"I'll help you on one condition!"

Our question to her was, "What's the one condition?" She was stumped. (I wish you could have seen the expression on her face as she realized she didn't know what it means. Priceless. An ah-ha moment, for sure.) She told me, "I don't know what 'one condition' means, Mom! What does it mean?"

I gave her a couple of examples on the spot, but I'm not sure I defined it for her. I'll have to look for opportunities to use the term/phrase in context with her.

Use of words, "talk", and language is not an indicator of comprehension and understanding, and parents, teachers, professionals, and even stranger teens on the playground and their parents can misunderstand a child's level of understanding by using words, "talk", and language as a barometer. I wish more people understood that fact.

3 comments:

Erin said...

Me too, Penny. Me too.

Debbie said...

I LOVE reading about your insights into A's behavior and language. Sounds like she is making a lot of progress!

The Glasers said...

Oh how funny! What a great example of how echolalia can fool the unwashed masses!

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