Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Autism as a Second Language

I’ve often heard English is one of the hardest languages to learn.  Having received my first “D” in Grade 9 French…I’m not so sure?!?! 

One of Riley’s biggest challenges is in the area of language/communication which in turn challenges MY language/communication skills.  Oish.    

We were at a playground and I’m thinking R was probably around 4 when we had a conversation that went (as best as I can remember) something like this: 

*Warning: The following conversation contains language which is inconsistent with any therapy.  Use only as an example of what not to say/do. *

Me:       “What are you doing up there?”
R:         “What am I doing up there?”
Me (thinking to myself):  Hmmm…let’s forget about the What and try doing up and down.

Me:       “You’re up there.  I’m down here.”
R:         “I’m up there.  You’re down here.”
Me:       OK…so he seems to have up and down and you and I...just having a little trouble with here and there.

Me:       “Riley can say ‘I’m up here. You’re down there.”
R:         “I’m up here.  You’re down there.”
Me:       Good job Riley!  (YES!  Now let’s switch places and try it again.) 

Me:       “Look Riley.  I’m up here.  Where are you?”
R: (Beaming and looking very proud of himself)    “I’m down there!” 

Thank goodness for SLPs (Speech Language Pathologists)!!!

Think about it...D


  1. When my youngest was diagnosed with profound expressive speech delays and not making any progress with early intervention services we were able to find an SLP our insurance would partially cover. I was AMAZED and in awe with his progress. I seriously considered going back to school to become an SLP but I am too old and it was too much time and money.

    1. R started back again about 2 years ago with an SLP. He absolutely adores her and I have noticed a positive change. "We" still have challenges (not unlike above) but it's definitely helped his ability to express his emotions. Fortunately our funding helps with costs.

      YOU are never too old! Me, on the other hand...old, cranky and unable to retain any new information. =D