semantic pragmatic disorder?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
semantic pragmatic disorder?
5
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 12:01pm
Still doing IEP research and trying to figure out why Cait doesn't seem to understand, yet does okish in school.

Well, since Cait was first going through diagnosis I had read about SPD and always thought it fit Cait to a T. However, it is not used much here in the states as a diagnostic classification and the few times I have heard of it, it is as a specific language impairment. I am beginning to think that it is these problems that are causing Cait's difficulties in school. Here is the problem, I know she is extraordinarliy bright. I know she is not getting the material as she should. However, her fabulous visual skills are holding up the verbal skills and as such she is able to maintain classwork mostly in the average range.

An example, last night in homework, there was a question "How many more children are wearing shoes than boots?" with a graph. She could not get the meaning of that question for her life. Then the asperger's part was ticked that there were 2 different kinds of shoes, boots and sandals. She just couldn't get her brain around adding the 2 kinds of shoes together. One was sneakers and the other loafers. Either they are all shoes (boots and sandals included) or none of them are. Then the language part of just not understanding the "more than" question made for a great experience (sarcasm here).

Cait had speech/language evals done 2 years ago. We had a private speech friend come observe her. This SLP noted that all Cait's tests were "10 ways to say she has a good vocabulary". I am thinking of pushing the language issue again. Thinking of bringing up the SPD thing as a way of getting help in this area. I need somehow to make them realize she is missing information. She does average work, participates and such, so they just think there is no problem to address.

So what do any of you think of SPD? I think Cait still has the "triad" of autistic difficulties, it just isn't as obvious as it is with some kids. When I read articles on Gifted asperger's kids it is Mike to a T, but not Cait. I think this fits her better, but I am not sure bringing it up will help our situation. It may give them an excuse to say she is not "autistic" and therefor doesn't qualify for an IEP under this. UGH. (her teacher has given us a hard time all year over the classification. Even though Cait has a significant problem with social language and social skills.)

Guess I am just rambling trying to get my thoughts in order for Tuesday.

Renee

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 12:49pm
I don't know about the disorder per se, but I do know that much of my son's "speech" therapy really is about pragmatic language use. His therapist works on concepts (between, around, most, etc.), reciprocal language skills (ask/answer, ask/answer), and stuff like sequencing. We find, with him, that he might learn a concept (say, between) in a particular context (put the plate between the fork and knife) but still have a hard time generalizing that idea to a worksheet or play situation. So - even if you don't get a diagnosis, you might request pragmatic speech therapy. Also, FYI, the Boehm Scale is the tool used to check out kids' grasp of some of these concepts.

Lisa

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 2:31pm
I agree with Lisa here. Caitlin's speech therapy is quite basic. Once a month, they come to teach her how to say "Red ball, Blue Ball" etc. And then tell me to influence her to speak when spoken to, make eye contact, etc.

But i dont see that she is actually "getting it". Therefor, this has really started a new problem of "scripted language". If i ask her a question, she will say yes. But she doesnt understand the question. Which is VERY frustrating. She is very scripted.

Sometimes i think that a wire isnt connected in her brain. Everytime someone brings something like this up, i make a note, and look it up and see if it applies to Caitlin.

Dont have any advice, but i am sure listening! Sorry!

Helen

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 2:28am
Renee,

My 9 year old son, Jordan has semantic/pragmatic speech problems. We just had his child study team eval thru the local children's specialized hospital (our district believes all kids are normal unless they are a behavior problem in the classroom) because his dr. felt they could do a better job at pin pointing his problems than the school. I'm trying to get an IEP conference but am not having much success (I'll probably have to stand in front of the LD to get her attention). The speech eval said he has great difficulty with these issues even though he is extraordinarly bright. For example last year he hurt his leg at camp, moaning and groaning being very dramatic, and the counselor said to him "Jordan do you want me to cut off your. Maybe it will feel better then." Jordan said to him "You're not a surgeon". These type of responses happen all the time. The children's hospital recommended semantic/pragmatic speech therapy for him with a group of other kids with the same issues. I have to tell people who deal with Jordan when they make a joke using pragmatic/semantic speech they have to say to him before they say anything "I'm joking", "I'm being sarcastic", "I'm teasing you". Stating the obvious to us, but it really works with him. This was one of the recommendations from the speech eval.

Hope this helps.

Leenie

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 12:32pm
We purposely will use sarcasm, idoms, figures of speech frequently with both Cait and Mike. Then we check in. "Am I being serious or joking?", "Is that a figure of speech, or do I really mean 'break a leg'?" etc. I started by using a really exagerated "sarcastic" tone of voice, but don't usually even have to do that anymore with Cait anyway. Cait is getting really good at regognizing sarcasm and such. She is still working on idioms but she gets a whole bunch of them now. She is often ask if she doesn't know "Mom is that a figure of speech" if something sounds really crazy to her. Mike is just starting to get it.

Of course, we have discovered that they will never be able to tell a good joke, but that's ok. We have actually taught them a number of jokes. We even teach why they are funny. If Cait laugh's at a joke, we will ask her to explain why it is funny. She is getting better at that. But usually they try to expand on the joke and it is so not funny. THey try to make up their own too. Or they say the same one over and over..... Just this morning my dh told them a joke and again they tried to expand on it and we realized they are just not getting humor. Geeks are us! LOL

Renee

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 3:13pm
I think many aspies have trouble with the feeling behind an expression (sarcasm, kind teasing vs. mean teasing, etc.). With Tom, tho, it's more basic: grasping the meanings of abstractions that are used constantly, like between, more, better, edge, etc. He sometimes seems to get it, but then, when tested, can't give the right answer... sigh...