Best speech delay treatments for visual learners?

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Rotter
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15 Dec 2021, 11:14 am

Would any parents here like to post some summaries of which speech delay treatments for children delivered the best results? It'd be great to read some tips. What was helpful? And what was a waste of time?

In particular, I'm most interested in the techniques that work best for visual learners, which I think is the majority of children with autistic traits. Elsewhere I've seen some techniques that may succeed for neurotypicals, but function poorly for visual children where the speech and vision needs to be connected to have any chance of success.



magz
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15 Dec 2021, 11:21 am

Meaningful communication first - whatever works, drawing, flash cards, sign language, reading and writing before speech. The important part is that communication is meaningful and goes both ways.
Once the child learns communication and why it matters (that's why it has to be meaningful! It's a big effort so it has to be worth it), speech will follow - unless there is a major physiological issue of course but that's a topic separate from visual thinking.


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kraftiekortie
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15 Dec 2021, 11:31 am

I was nonverbal until age 5. That was back in the 1960s.

My mother used to use flash cards, primarily, to try to get me to talk. She must have used other methods that I don't remember. She also looked thoroughly for a good therapist, and I succeeded with a good therapist, eventually.

I feel one key is to not overwhelm the kid with input from "all sides."

PECS tiles are very good for people who are visual, rather than verbal, by nature.

Doing research on "augmentative and alternative communication" might prove useful, too. This method is very visual by its nature.

Does the person whom you are writing about have "special interests"? If so, emphasize those in your communication.



Rotter
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15 Dec 2021, 7:57 pm

magz wrote:
The important part is that communication is meaningful and goes both ways. Once the child learns communication and why it matters

meaningful - Is that, for example, helping the child to understand the benefit of saying "I want a drink" when the child is thirsty?
Can you give some further examples beyond food and drink?
What else can be done to make the communication meaningful and increase motivation to speak?
A speech therapist said to play board games with rules, but it seemed to bring no improvements at all. I guess this is an example of non-meaningful communication in the viewpoint of the child.



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15 Dec 2021, 8:44 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I was nonverbal until age 5.

Did you make baby-babbling sounds prior to age 5 or just silent? After age 5, how long did it take to speak complete sentences, not only individual words?

Are PECS tiles basically the same as flash cards -- cards with a picture and a word or two?

In my family, speech is something we need to continue working on, but actually the largest difficulty out of everything is the number of other people (people outside my family) who seem to be locked into thinking of only 2 extremes. Black or white but never a shade of gray. In person, in one minute, myself or another member of my family is viewed as a retard, but then one minute later as a genius, then a few minutes later as a retard again, then later as a genius again, then later a superman with magic powers, then later back to a retard again. Obviously neither extreme is true, but trying to teach some people to understand a middle-point position seems to be impossibly difficult.

Obviously, just because a child can read before speaking, it doesn't mean the child is a genius, but try explaining this to some people and it's like talking to a brick wall. The bullying/discrimination has already started.



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15 Dec 2021, 9:00 pm

TenMinutes -- I agree with that article, and thanks for posting it, but that's actually a different topic. I know it seems like the same thing, but it's not. In my family, we have concrete evidence of the fact that we learn speech faster when it's connected with reading/visual.

To make an extreme example, if a child is 80% deaf, then clearly it would be beneficial to use visual aids. This doesn't mean the article ("The Stubborn Myth of Learning Styles") is wrong. It just means it's a different topic that looks like the same topic at first glance.



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16 Dec 2021, 3:53 am

Rotter wrote:
magz wrote:
The important part is that communication is meaningful and goes both ways. Once the child learns communication and why it matters

meaningful - Is that, for example, helping the child to understand the benefit of saying "I want a drink" when the child is thirsty?
Can you give some further examples beyond food and drink?
What else can be done to make the communication meaningful and increase motivation to speak?
A speech therapist said to play board games with rules, but it seemed to bring no improvements at all. I guess this is an example of non-meaningful communication in the viewpoint of the child.

Listening and caring. The whole active listening skill.
Using communication to discuss discomforts and interests. I haven't yet met a child who wouldn't be lively interested in something.

My perspective: My older daughter, now 10, on the spectrum, is super-visual. That means, it's often easier for her to draw a detailed picture than to say a few words. When she's distressed, she stops talking at all. Then I bring her a pencil and some paper - this way she can explain her distress (so I can offer some practical help with the original problem) and calms down to talk again.
Her speech development was behind the schedule but it didn't come into arrest until a rigid teacher in second grade started trying to make her "be normal". It was quite a lot of hard work to repair the damage done then.

How old is your child?


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kraftiekortie
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16 Dec 2021, 7:15 am

In answer to OPs question to me:

I probably babbled. I’m not actually sure.

It took a very short time for me to speak “normally.” A few months.

PECS is not just flash cards. Google PECS.

Does your child have a special interest—like dinosaurs or something like that?



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16 Dec 2021, 8:21 am

Many people use ASL sign language.



magz
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16 Dec 2021, 8:52 am

Rotter wrote:
kraftiekortie wrote:
I was nonverbal until age 5.

Did you make baby-babbling sounds prior to age 5 or just silent? After age 5, how long did it take to speak complete sentences, not only individual words?

Are PECS tiles basically the same as flash cards -- cards with a picture and a word or two?

In my family, speech is something we need to continue working on, but actually the largest difficulty out of everything is the number of other people (people outside my family) who seem to be locked into thinking of only 2 extremes. Black or white but never a shade of gray. In person, in one minute, myself or another member of my family is viewed as a retard, but then one minute later as a genius, then a few minutes later as a retard again, then later as a genius again, then later a superman with magic powers, then later back to a retard again. Obviously neither extreme is true, but trying to teach some people to understand a middle-point position seems to be impossibly difficult.

Obviously, just because a child can read before speaking, it doesn't mean the child is a genius, but try explaining this to some people and it's like talking to a brick wall. The bullying/discrimination has already started.

Spiky ability profiles are typical on the spectrum and very confusing to NTs seeing it. It seems like people tend to imagine others on some linear scale of general ability - while being super strong in something and hopeless in another thing does not fit into this model. Many WP users have it this or the other way - highly intelligent verbally but very low spacially or the opposite...
Thus, the "savant" phenomenon. It's often more about how people interpret ability and disability than about the "savants" themselves.


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Rotter
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16 Dec 2021, 5:32 pm

magz wrote:
Her speech development was behind the schedule but it didn't come into arrest until a rigid teacher in second grade started trying to make her "be normal". It was quite a lot of hard work to repair the damage done then.

Interesting. In that case, I believe we made the right decision when we withdrew our child from a kindergarten that appeared to be doing more harm than good. It was a bizarre situation because we chose the kindergarten because it explicitly advertised special acceptance of differences in children, but every time our child wasn't hungry and declined to eat at the exact same time as the group did, the kindergarten reacted every day as if it was a severe problem in our child that was very important to "fix" ASAP. And then worse things happened. Shockingly intolerant of differences, despite explicitly advertising tolerance.

I think when children are forced/abused to some degree in a school or kindergarten, it can trigger them to refuse to talk (and/or retreat into themselves), and then the refusal to talk (or the inner retreat to escape abuse) is falsely viewed as an inability to talk.

kraftiekortie wrote:
Does your child have a special interest—like dinosaurs or something like that?

magz wrote:
Using communication to discuss discomforts and interests. I haven't yet met a child who wouldn't be lively interested in something.

You both suggest focusing on the interests. I think it's good advice. We'll try it as the next step. Thank you.

What you're both saying contradicts what one particular speech therapist wanted to continue doing for our child. This therapist insisted that the therapist or parent should choose the topic, and the child should learn to follow the adult's choice of topic, whereas you're both recommending the opposite: The topic should be the child's special interest. We already cancelled that particular therapist some time ago.

magz wrote:
Spiky ability profiles are typical on the spectrum and very confusing to NTs seeing it.

When people think about the meaning of intelligence, I think each person adopts one of the following concepts of what intelligence means, but only one of these is correct:

(1) Dichotomy: Black or White ("genius" or "retard"). No shades of gray.

(2) One-dimensional (linear) scale like a ruler: Black, various shades of gray, and white. Ranging from "retard" to "normal" to "genius". This is what an IQ score is, but it's the wrong idea.

(3) 2D grid or map. The map is covered with a bunch of mountains and valleys. The mountains represent strengths. The valleys represent weaknesses.

#1 and #2 are wrong. #3 is surely the reality.

So I say the above to someone, and what reply do I hear?
"Wow, that makes sense. You must have a super high IQ! Are you a genius or something?"

*faceplant* then I think or say:
"Did you not listen to any word I just said??? My IQ is around 70!!"



Rotter
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16 Dec 2021, 6:01 pm

Here's a related question that interests us a lot:
What do you all think about how much speech an AS or ND child learns from other children of similar age? A lot or practically nothing or ...?

I mentioned in my previous message that we withdrew our child from the kindergarten, because of the shockingly intolerant attitude of this kindergarten. We wonder whether or not the lack of daily interaction with other children will significantly disadvantage our child's speech development.

(I'm just interested in approx opinions and anecdotal experiences -- I'm not expecting anyone to deliver proven expert knowledge.)



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17 Dec 2021, 3:30 am

Rotter wrote:
kraftiekortie wrote:
Does your child have a special interest—like dinosaurs or something like that?

magz wrote:
Using communication to discuss discomforts and interests. I haven't yet met a child who wouldn't be lively interested in something.

You both suggest focusing on the interests. I think it's good advice. We'll try it as the next step. Thank you.

What you're both saying contradicts what one particular speech therapist wanted to continue doing for our child. This therapist insisted that the therapist or parent should choose the topic, and the child should learn to follow the adult's choice of topic, whereas you're both recommending the opposite: The topic should be the child's special interest. We already cancelled that particular therapist some time ago.

Maybe because we're not "autism therapists" but autistic adults, so we know the problem from the inside? Inner interests are something to build on. That's how one can become successful long-term.

When it comes to other children - I haven't heard of much impact depending on weather adults or other children interact with the child. Just interaction matters. Based on my twin sisters, another child can even slow down the development of "normal" speech a tiny bit but it doesn't matter in the long run.
How old is your child again?


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17 Dec 2021, 6:05 am

Just one example of learning better speech through exposure to children with higher verbal skills.

When my foster daughter was about 6 years old, she could speak, but her sentence structure, vocabulary and articulation were not up to par. I did take her to speech therapy which she loved, but I saw little progress. (She is ADHD, and was just a hair line above what would qualify fo an IEP)

Then we took a week long vacation with my brother’s family. He has three children who are all bright, intelligent, social with extremely high verbal skills. They included my daughter in all their activities, including all the fun you can have at the beach, running around the camp ground under the redwoods, etc.

I observed an explosion of verbal skills. No other way to describe it. I was stunned, grateful, amazed and in awe.


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17 Dec 2021, 3:17 pm

blazingstar -- I wish we had an opportunity like that. Last time we tried, we were verbally attacked because my wife was following the WHO recommended guidelines for breastfeeding, which meant she breastfed X months longer than the other woman did. The other woman felt threatened simply by seeing the breastfeeding, even though we said nothing about it.

And now the coronavirus madness makes it even more difficult to organize social events for children. We (along with many other people) support vaccinations, but we're still persecuted like Jews anyway, and forbidden to travel on public transport unless we change our philosophy/beliefs, akin to pressuring a Jew to stop being Jewish. It's shocking to see this reign of terror occurring in so-called democratic first-world countries.