Wednesday, October 26, 2011

language and gadgets

Ipads computers and smart phones are the all time obsession around here...
I really do let myself get lazy thinking of reinforcers these things are just so handy.
Though not exactly fulfilling the social part.
I have been waiting for other obsessions to emerge but nope this is it....
Angry birds and that alltime horrible niam niam cat.
Have you seen it .... repetition par excellence.
I am striving to increase other interests and though he exceeds all expectations in playing computer games I am already thinking... how will he be independant and make a living...
I refuse to look the other option in the eye...
I am also presuming we will overcome at least this great obstacle ...language
and hopefully make some social gains as well.
Music is a possibility... computers... perhaps if he will learn other things than playing games.

But I always come back to language.... and abstract thinking .... and understanding abstract concepts.
What sometimes lifts my otherwise too often gloomy mood is that I have noticed how my students...grown up people with ordinary and normal language skills struggle to understand those concepts as well when there is no middle language to explain it in (like english).
It can take a few days or up to weeks to get the meaning of some concepts even though they already have a name for it in their own language.

A student who can tell me he likes coffe and chocholate cake in the classroom... is not always able to do so at the coffee house.
Generalisation is hard for grown ups too.

Sturla learns language very much like a foreigner would do... except he does not already have a idea for those abstract concepts I am teaching him... and we have no middle language to refer to... we are stuck with this one...
He has to create an abstract idea in his mind and label it.... this is a true feat for a child whose innate language system is broken.

This goes so slowly....
and for time concepts that I am trying to teach, it seem to drag out forever and ever.
I realised the other day that he has a very limited understanding of the verb ...know...
He can answear I do not know in certain situation but still he does nor understand it fully.
Do you know what is in the box? He answears randomly yes or no.
Showing him closets and drawers of which he actually knows the content and i still get random yes and no... sigh
So make a list of verbs with rather abstract meaning and teach it one by one... I guess....
one teaspoon at a time


  1. I watched a show a few days ago on tv about the late Steve Jobs and then afterwards were stories about the ipad (and apps for autistic kids) as well as brain differences of some autistic individuals (their example was Temple Grandin.) It was wasn't a scientific program, per se, but discussed similar issues that your kiddo has.

  2. I know what you mean about feeling that progress goes slowly.. :( But I think in a way, they also make more progress than we notice sometimes. Like you know how it's easier for you to find more flaws in your reflection because you know your face better, or see things that they don't see? Because then sometimes they always end up surprising us, don't they? Stay strong!! And I totally get the thing with the iPad. I think Taz could play on his all day if I let him.