Just published this week on the American Speech-Language Association website:
The Healthy Communication and Popular Technology Initiative is an effort led by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to safeguard healthy communication in a technology-driven world. We’re a force for moderate tech use that encourages conversation, human interaction and practicing safe listening.
We are texting, emailing and posting more than ever – but are we truly communicating?
The technology we use every day has helped us accomplish great things, but it’s also had a profound impact on how we communicate. If current habits continue, experts are concerned overuse of popular technology could lead to diminished speech, language and hearing abilities”.
Within the context of home care intervention, I may walk into a family’s home with a child who has a diagnosis of receptive and expressive language delay. Apparent are different scenarios related to this phenomenon
*****I am not trying to be critical of any parent or parenting style, but merely pointing out what has been observed
a parent on the phone and a child pulling at their clothes, but the parent ignores them.
the parent is on the phone and the child is playing on a tablet or phone and neither acknowledges each other or after opening the door – a newcomer in the home.
While speaking to a parent all of a sudden Elmo across the room starts to dance. When asking how that happened, the parent pointed out that their daughter had learned to push a red button on a cell phone that then activates Elmo. That’s what happened. Inquiring as to whether or not the child could actually manipulate the toy and make that happen or request help in doing so, you could feel the tension in the room. I never got the answer.
Like many a scholar before and since, Bertrand Russell confidently asserts that certain traits—“speech, fire, agriculture, writing, tools, and large-scale cooperation”—set humans apart from animals. Although we appear to excel in many domains, such claims are not typically founded in any thorough comparison. In fact, if you set the bar low, you can conclude that parrots can speak, ants have agriculture, crows make tools, and bees cooperate on a large scale. We need to dig deeper to understand to what we owe our unique success—what separates us from other animals in the domains of language, mental time travel, the theory of mind, intelligence, culture, and morality. In each domain, various nonhuman species have competences, but the human ability is special in some respects—and they have much in common.
Only time will tell if this continues to be the case.
The frustration of not able to communicate or express their wants can have a negative effect on individuals with autism. They may tend to stay aloof, throw tantrum and indulge in negative behavior For autism, assistive technology can benefit individuals (of all age groups) in promoting communication and social interactions. Assistive technology refers to hand-held gadgets such […]
Functional language is exactly that. Functional language is the communication that is used in order to effectively obtain what you want or need. It is purposeful. Without its use, language has no true meaning so this is a goal that we want to see achieved in anyone who is learning to speak one fluently. If you were to learn a foreign language in an online course, here is an idea of how it might be taught and learned. https://www.netlanguages.com/blog/index.php/2017/08/28/what-is-functional-language/
Scripted Language may not be as familiar a term to you:
Scripted language can manifest itself in the repetition of words, phrases, intonation, or sounds of the speech of others, sometimes taken from movies, but also sometimes taken from other sources such as favorite books or something someone else has said.
People with Autism often display scripting in the process of learning to talk and I mention it because if you are a parent who is reading this or a professional interacting with a person who is “scripting” you want to understand it and not necessarily become neither irritated nor confused by this type of behavior. There are different types of scripting: echolalic and social. Consider the following resource: http://www.thespeechmama.com/2011/10/07/how-to-teach-a-child-with-autism-to-talk/
For those who see that all in their child with Autism is bleak – please see a light of strength that they may possess. The challenge to consider is how to use this productively:
“Visual memory for some types of material has been found to be an area of strength for children with autism but complexity of the stimuli appears to affect memory function in this modality as well. Interestingly, the right hemisphere may compensate for Visual memory for some types of material that has been found to be an area of strength for children with autism but the complexity of the stimuli appears to affect memory function” (Prior & Chen, 1976).
The post brought to mind my first cousin. Jerry was diagnosed with autism at a very young age and at a point when not much was known about the disorder. He would memorize calendars and could tell you what day of the week you were born on, for example, four or even five years ago. How remarkable, I thought. I wondered why – perhaps research now is answering that question.
What Is Declarative Memory? This is an area of strength in those who are autistic. \
Your ability to recall addresses, locations of parking garages, intersection names, phone numbers, and an experience that you had at a restaurant are all a part of declarative memory. Declarative memory, also referred to as explicit memory, is the memory of facts, data, and events. For example, let’s say that you know that your favorite restaurant is only open until 6 PM on Sundays. The time that the restaurant closes is stored as a declarative memory. We can consciously recall declarative memory. Declarative memory is a type of long-term memory. Here is a functional strategy that may be useful for daily activities that require this:
Declarative memory seems to help individuals with autism compensate for social deficits by memorizing scripts for navigating social situations. It supports the learning of strategies to overcome language or reading difficulties not only in autism, but also in SLI and dyslexia. And it appears to help people with OCD or Tourette syndrome learn to control compulsions and tics.
Lindsay Strachan Fofana Thank you for this! My almost 4 year old son is receptive and expressive language delayed but loves to learn and seemingly has photographic memory. Yesterday he spelled his name backwards. I explained to him what he had done and he was tickled! It’s very promising and always exciting.
Welcome to a new decade! Where have you been and where you will go this year. I hope my readers will be able to increase their connectivity to others and opportunities to engage with those in many different venues. As you do so- pause and think about how we are doing so. My question to you is where did talking face-to-face vs. FaceTime go?
Changes Over a Decade in How We Talk:
Absolutely fascinating how it seems that social media has taken over so much of our means of communicating with one another! Take a look at the statistics https://www.oberlo.com/blog/social-media-marketing-statistics and recall that social media only became a phenomenon of the late 1900s. Remember the movie “Social Network” and how famous Mark Zuckerberg became as a result?
Regardless of how it has affected us, the use of technology has changed communication, the way that we think and live our lives each day. There are positive ways in which we can use technology at home and the guidelines posted by the American Academy of Pediatrics indicate that the key is to use it in moderation and with parental supervision.
The Truth about Fussy Eating by by Claire Gillespie shared from The Week It’s no big secret that a lot of kids don’t like vegetables. Or they think they don’t like them, because they don’t really know — they won’t try them. Another non-secret is that one of the most exhausting aspects of parenting isKeep…
Changes in routine can affect children and think about how it affects you as well. All the excitement of the upcoming weeks is upon us and perhaps an overlooked thought is how to deal with your special needs family member. Maybe it is foremost in your mind. It may be in that of your child as school holiday gatherings occur this or next week before school vacations.
PRE-PLANNING: With credit to the Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support Group which can be reached at the link below, I noted that although labeled for Xmas that many of the ideas could be adapted to suit your own family’s holiday celebrations.
The speech-language pathologist in me ran across a video in an e-journal disseminated to professional members of the national organization regarding the noise-factor produced by some of those toys that you might select
The advantage of a sensory-friendly gift packaging with a novel and eco-friendly packaging options.
Parents ask – what can I get for my special needs child for the holidays. The gift of sharing time and allowing for this experience is probably one of the most important. This is well documented in the literature and even pediatricians have weighed in on the subject of play with children.
The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds Author: Kenneth R. Ginsburg Publication: Pediatrics
Recognize that for children – anything can become a toy. The box collection (by age) of 52 quick and creative idea cards is great for easy ones which can be a guide for fun activities. If money is an issue for you – take a look. All the materials can be found at home:
To me, a traditional toy is one that is not battery operated. I remember using these as a child. For example lincoln logs, building blocks, board puzzles, board games such as Monopoly, CandyLand, Pick Up Sticks or numerous doll teal parties with a tea set, balls, frisbees. There are many others and this site offers
Continuing from the theme of earlier this week in terms of preparing for the holidays, part of doing so is to think about meals and what will be served, how many people are coming, what ingredients you will need and then cooking. If you have a child who can’t tolerate eating different foods then YOU have an additional layer that is so emotionally ridden. If you have a child who cannot tolerate the smell of foods cooking or the site of those which you have on the counter how will you prepare them? Food is such a basic thing that we need for every day. Working with parents each week with children who have feeding challenges reminds me of the emotional influence that problems in this area pose to families. Having taken Dr. Toomey’s training this past fall, I became aware of information that might be able to help you and I have already found its benefit during my daily practice. It is known as a sensory-based feeding therapy approach, building on each of them. http://autism.sesamestreet.org/daily-routine-cards/?fbclid=IwAR0VKcWb_ZAHzheWdgT7ekqhwG_NuW8JLOMtCHZyT4PnolRXeyq6oeXxLSw
“The SOS Approach to Feeding program was developed by and copyrighted by Dr. Kay Toomey. Please note, all materials, documents and forms taken from the SOS Approach to Feeding program are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced in any form without the written permission of Dr. Kay Toomey. For more information on the SOS Approach to Feeding program, please visit http://www.sosapproach.com.”
The SOS Feeding approach is appropriate for children that are “problem feeders” and not “picky eaters”, which can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between. Picky eaters are those that have a limited variety of foods and will not easily eat, but they often will reluctantly touch or taste a new food. Picky eaters do not need SOS feeding therapy. A problem feeder, however, has an even more restricted variety of foods with more severe reactions to interacting with non-preferred foods and is a candidate for SOS feeding therapy. Here are some questions to consider if you are concerned about your child’s eating:
Does your child have a decreased range or variety of foods (less than 20)?
If your child gets “burned out” on food and takes a break from it, will they refuse that food still, after the break?
Does your child refuse entire categories of food groups (proteins, vegetables, etc.) or texture groups (hard foods, soft cubes, puree textures)?
Does your child almost always eat different foods at a meal than the rest of the family?
Have you reported concerns about your child’s feeding across multiple well-child check-ups?
If you answered “yes” to several of the above questions, talk to your child’s pediatrician about a referral for an evaluation to determine if feeding therapy would be warranted for your child.
Please note, the term “problem feeder” is used by the SOS Feeding approach program to delineate children who are outside the normal range of age-appropriate feeding behaviors, i.e. only being a “picky eater”.
Is your child a red flag for a referral? Know that in this season of giving that you can be given the hope of improved ability to help your child enjoy eating!