Still Learning

November 21, 2014

After a break, we returned to studying together. Robert has less time now, as since the beginning of November, he goes to his Program four times a week. If you add swimming, horse riding, and one evening socializing with a friend, that doesn’t leave much time for studying.  Still, if he doesn’t study, he doesn’t do anything at all in his “free” time.  Robert’s fascination with Netflix, somehow evaporated.  Moreover, now, when he goes out a lot with his Program, he notices the importance of learning.  At least  learning some of the things that might be useful.

1. A lot of language exercises. Of course, pronunciation. I used two books to guide me through the process: Becoming Verbal and Intelligible and Functional Language  Walc 6.  I know that exercises in both books should be presented by speech pathologists.  The only thing I can do, is to type the words on Speak It  APPs on IPAD, listen and repeat. And that is what we are doing. I don’t believe I am helping a lot, but this is better than nothing.

2.Walc 6 Functional Language by Leslie Bilik Thompson addresses many other aspects of language development.  Sadly, Robert needs all of them. “Yes and no” answers, guessing what the characters are saying in simple drawings, following directions, concepts related to time and space, and so much more. The thing that bothers me is the fact that this book just like almost all other related to language do not sufficiently address lack of speech initiation. More teaching how to answer questions than how to ask them. And almost no room for spontaneous commenting.

3. 150 What’s Wrong With This Picture? Scenes provides opportunity for unprompted talking.  I simply open the book, and wait for Robert to point and name things that are wrong. After he uses one or two words to say what is wrong, I confirm his response by using a full sentence.

4. We have returned to Talking in Sentences and Teaching Kids of All Ages to Ask Questions.  But at this time I changed approach a little. For instance I ask only one question and wait for the answer, and then ask Robert to tell me about what he sees or deduces from the drawings.  That extends Robert’s speech production and forces him to use his own tools to go on without being “helped” or “interrupted” by my questions.  The second book I also use as a model to help Robert ask questions that relate to his surroundings and his experiences.  Yet, I wouldn’t know what to do, if I didn’t work with those books before.

5. We go on with Reasoning and Writing Part B. Yesterday, we finished lesson 38.  Last few lessons offer the opportunity to work on understanding issues related to pronouns in written texts.  Through the funny story of a writer, Mrs. Hudson, and an illustrator, Zelda,  Robert learned  what problems could arise with understanding of the sentences when pronouns could point in two different directions. For instance we could end up with children playing in the mud while the pigs are watching instead of other way around.  The last few lessons also address geographical directions.  Those Robert knows well, but it is still good to him to practice where one character is in RELATION to another.  Robert does well there. And of course, there is a little more writing.  The program offers a template sentence and then with the help of bank of picture-words Robert can make concrete sentences.

For instance, based on a sentence: “Someone is eating something.” Robert can write many other sentences by substituting words “something” and “someone” with appropriate nouns.

6. We still do math, but mostly we review, reteach,  and relearn old concepts. This time we support ourselves with Standard edition of Fourth Grade Singapore Math.

7. Results for Adults Cognition is a new book I am using to address old problems in a new way. I only use a part of each unit, and not everything even in that part.  Again, I am still figuring out ways to use this book in a way that would be relatively simple for Robert.  There is a lot about short memory exercises. For instance remembering the name of the person in the picture.  I know that if I would say that name only once, Robert would repeat it, but forgot it a few minutes later.  So after I present the name and Robert repeats it, I am asking another question about that person, for instance “Who is standing next to the wall?”.  Then every minute (that seems to be a very long time) I ask similar question about the same person.  As, I said, we just began working with that book, which luckily has many good topics related to a real life and that seems to be what Robert likes.

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