Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Critical Difference Between LANGUAGE and COMMUNICATION

Dr James MacDonald from Communicating Partners posted another beautiful word picture for parents that illustrates the difference between language and communication. His words remind me of the picture that Barbara Rogoff paints in Apprenticeship in Thinking when she describes the rich communication between parent and youngster before words are a currency of communication. Communication comes first in development. We missed that in our first attempt at intervention (behavioral). Thank goodness for a developmental do-over.

The critical differences between LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION

One common problem I run into all the time is the difficulty in appreciating the difference between Language and Communication

Language refers to the words,,,,,, sentences, vocabulary and all that goes into knowing what words stand for what experiences. This a cognitive issue- like do you know what a 'dog' is?

Communication, however is a social event- it requires the persons to send or receive a message- the message can be words, or sounds or movements.

Communication is the source of language, consequently the more a child communicates and interacts the more langauge he will learn . Also the more cognitively developed he will be. We all learn much more in social interaction.

The problem is that when a child is very social and communicative he learns the langauge he needs to communicate from daily interactions.

But---if the child is not easily social and communicative, the child may learn langauge but not use it for communication.

Communication comes first.

And the children will communicate most when they learn langaue that is easy and frequent to communicate.

I met a boy on the autistic spectrum recently whose mother proudly showed me four pages of words that the boy knew. He could say them to pictures. For example he know the names of over 45 animal. 20 numbers, 10 colors and so on.

When I looked at the lists, I saw only about 10 words that he was likely to use in daily life to communicate, words like Mom ,Dad, the dog's name, TV

This boy had the serious problem of having a langauge but very little communication.

Be sure to ask yourself- does my child frequently use the wrods he has; if the answer is 'no' then begin communicating with him with words he can practice and use every day such as---me, bus comes here, grandma babysits me I want toast with cinnamon---

One good way to teach a COMMUNICATIVE LANGAUGE IS TO MAKE A PHOTO BOOK- it should have phots of every day activities and things he is experiencing.

Your child's firstmost useful wrods will not be school words like numbers, letters and shapes---they will be words for things the child does frequently, the opjects he deals with, the people and places important to ;him and theexperices he has.

I see our children who are late talking as learning mainly words for school not words for social life.

So everyone, make a photo book and update it with new events and make it you most important communicating book.


Anonymous said...

awesome, explain everything in such a good detail!!!

Anonymous said...

it explains everything awesomely, it really helped me.

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Created by OnePlusYou -

Stat Counter