1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

How to teach a child to speak and communicate. How to encourage a child to learn.

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by epath13, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,868
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Karma:
    +1,334
    I don't expect and help, but I thought I'll ask anyway. I feel if I don't find a way to help my son, nobody will. I feel not many people truly understand my son, and, it would be naive to expect them to. Do I understand him? He is my son and we are very similar in many ways, but his personality is different from mine... Plus... Well he's a boy. I guess gender does make a difference. I shouldn't compare myself with my kids, but sometimes I can't help myself. When I was a kid every "you can't" turned into a challenge. Even if "you can't" came from within. I always wanted to prove to myself (primarily) that I can accomplish anything I want... My younger son has this ability to persist until it's done, but I see how after 4 years of trying to learn the same things he started giving up. He doesn't give up on anything he knows he has a chance to become better at, but when he faces difficulties he doesn't want to press harder like I did when I was a kid. I feel he needs a different approach. But I can't quite figure out what it is. If I had tons of money I would just try many different systems to see what works, but I don't. I believe he has APD. There's a few reasons why I believe he may have it: the way he listens, the way he recognizes some words under one circumstances and doesn't recognize them under different circumstances, I believe I had APD and I feel, maybe, my son experiences similar symptoms but on more severe level ( I base my opinion on the way how I perceived speech until age 7 +/-, my perception gradually became clearer but I put work into it, when I heard gibberish I felt those words must have meaning, that I didn't hear them correctly. I could speak, and understood what people said more or less but self expression and listening still was a challenge sometimes, by age 7 difficulties with language perception went away). In addition to APD he may also have dyslexia, my husband has it and I may have had it as well (judging by the symptoms), even now I can misread text and writing is a CHORE for me. My son also has problems with fine motor (more with organization of complex movements). He made a huge progress (to me its huge, to other people it may not seem that way): he can pull his pants down and up when he goes to the bathroom, if he's highly motivated he can dress himself and put his shoes on, he can engage a thick zipper and zip up his coat. He's doing well with some fine motor actions, but he experiences difficulty with writing or drawing anything but straight vertical lines. He's made a huge progress : he can trace all the letters and may write some letters if motivated and not overwhelmed. But it's been 4 years of him working on the same thing...
    Despite of all the progress he made I feel some things are left behind, like communication, speech, learning school program (letters, numbers, reading, text recognition, adding/ subtracting). I feel he needs special approach but I have very vague idea of what it is. I recently read an article that sometimes when children learn sign language it can promote speech development. I started (slowly) learning sign language with him. I actually have fun with it, and my son seems to be more engaged when I use it. His para was using sign language and our new communication app with him, she said he enjoys it a lot. Signing is still difficult for him though, which is expected. I can't rely on school to help him, they do the best they can, they started using a new program and my son seems to do well with it, but I feel there's no full understanding of his needs and I have to do the work myself. I don't want to rely on anyone, its been 4 years, I'm tired of waiting.
    If I had a complete program, it would be easier. But there's no such a program, at least not the one I can afford. He's very active, he likes outdoors (just like I). He's what you would call "typical" boy with a soft side. He likes to cuddle, he likes cute things, he likes people (when they aren't in his way) :) and at the same time he likes roughhousing, sports, climbing everywhere. OK... I think my introduction is long enough... Anybody has any suggestions, something I can do myself? Any suggestion about teaching sign language, or teaching kids with dyslexia, APD, and Autism (obviously :) ).
    I have many ideas, but somehow I have hard time getting to work. I feel I need an anchor of some sort. His new school year is starting in the end of August, I want to start our home program before that.
    I also have another issue: digestive. I'm on a gluten-free diet, I also avoid beef and some sugars. It would make sense to put him on a diet as well but I'm not sure if for him gluten is the problem. At this point my plan is to record what he eats for a week, and his reaction to the food.

    I feel I need some sort of a plan, but when I get to planning I get stuck. I also have another son with Autism with his own challenges. So, at this moment, my head is splitting...
    I feel overwhelmed primarily because I don't feel I have a plan... Or maybe I want too much from him?... Does it look that way?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  2. AsheSkyler

    AsheSkyler Feathered Jester

    Messages:
    3,668
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2014
    Karma:
    +5,560
    Is it possible he's not old enough yet for some of those subjects? I wasn't quite ready for pre-calculus and trigonometry in high school and did terribly at it because I didn't quite get it, but I excelled at it a few years later in college and even tutored a few people. I was also homeschooled, so the flexibility in subjects and environment did me a world of good since I could study outside on nice days if I wanted too. (Didn't do it often because the dogs would try to get my books muddy, but still, the option was there.)
     
  3. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,868
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Karma:
    +1,334
    AsheSkyler , I don't know what he's ready for. He's going to be in 2nd grade this year. He's been learning letters and numbers since he was 2. And still, nobody knows what he knows. I don't know if I should laugh or cry at this, I guess, I'll go for hysterical laughter :)
    When he was 2 - 3, he was very enthusiastic about learning but I remember the disappointment on his face when he couldn't do something, that he was supposed to be able to do. Like with writing, I remember him trying over and over but not being able to do anything but straight lines. He did make a lot of progress there, but individually he only draws straight vertical lines. Maybe I should let it go and go with the flow... I don't know, maybe I transfer my personal frustration, the one I experienced most of my life: having understanding but inability to show it. He doesn't have to be like me, he a different person. I wish I could look at him without the lens of my personal experience... I don't want him to loose hope and desire to learn, but I also want to work with him and make progress... My head is spinning ... In addition to splitting, I guess :D oh, man... :)
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  4. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Karma:
    +2,666
    He sounds so much like a boy (now a grown man) I met when he was 14 and, he came to the venue we were playing with his mother, whom we had hired to cater meals for us for the three days of that gig. The boy, who will remain nameless here to protect what privacy he still has, was fascinated with our instruments and equipment. He is HFA with a a passion for music and, hes something of a vocal savant with music.

    He had a lot of trouble writing, until he found our LED screen and, the program for it on our computer. Those block letters, all done it straight horizontal and vertical lines made sense to him. His mother was surprised that he could say anything he wanted with our LED program.

    I kept in touch with the family and, a month later, the boy wrote me a letter using block capitals, like on the LED board. He could read it and, write it perfectly that way. His mother told me that she took to writing everything out for him in block letters and numbers, all straight lines. He read it, then he understood and, as he read she would speak the words aloud. He learned to listen and, repeat the words aloud. He would write, then read it aloud so he didn't miss words or say them wrong.

    Where is that boy today? He's one of the brightest young adult musicians out there, he's a multi millionaire with four years of stadium concerts under his belt. he's done hundreds of live interviews, written thousands of personalized autographs, even written a book and, many songs.

    He is one to walk away when he doesn't have the control over the situation he needs. That's seen as giving up but, it's only because someone it taking his personal control form him more than he can tolerate. He doesn't give up, he steps away, moves to something else for a while but, in his time, when he feels he can take control of it again, he gets back to whatever he walked away from. When someone pushes him too much, he interprets it as his freedom being taken from him and, rebels. tell him what's needed of him, preferably in writing (print, not cursive) let him work out how he needs to accomplish it and, that boy is unstoppable.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,868
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Karma:
    +1,334
    This does sound like my son. Sometimes I catch him on practicing letters, or words. But it doesn't happen very often. Most of the time when he's at home he runs around, climbs on things or watches his brother play Mario Bros.
    What was the name of the typing program that boy used?
     
  6. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Karma:
    +2,666
    It was just the control program for our LED Sign, but any word processors with the Orbitron font or, that can use it should work. here is a link to get that font for the PC. http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/orbitron

    Just turn caps lock on for him at first until he gets used to it, then he can disable caps lock and start getting used to the lowercase letters, which are still done with straight lines.

    Like DJ explained to me, once he learned his letters like that, seeing them written differently was easier. before that they just didn't look like letters to him, mostly they were random curved lines, he couldn't see how they connected to make letters. Cursive is still hard for him but, he can mentally see the letter as lines even with normal printing now.

    Of course teacher will give him fits for blocky, boxy writing but, sometimes they just need to shut up and let a child learn in a way that works for the child.

    I don't blame your son for wanting to climb on things and watch Mario Bros after a day putting up with trying to get along in a world that doesn't make a lot of sense to him. he needs to bur off the tension energy and, Mario, being blocky, looks right to him so, it's entertaining. He may like a game from Glyph called Trove, it's free and might be an outlet for him that will also help him learn to read since you need to read to do the quests in the game - it has the Orbitron font too. :)

    The main thing is let him be in control, like with the boy. Tell him he can only do something one way and, he will storm off and not do it at all. Tell him you need him to do something and, let him control how he does it and, it doesn't matter how difficult it is, he will get it done for you. (assuming he likes you or at least knows why he should try to please you.)

    I used to have a blast with the boy when he was younger, I'd be cooking a meal and ask him to make something, a salad or a sauce and, just let him do it his way. he was never conventional about it and, used what I though were odd combinations of flavors but, you know it worked and, I still make a lot of the things he invented. Who would think dried cranberries go in Tiramisu but, the acidic tart bite goes perfectly with the sweet, creamy and coffee flavors. I add them every time now - thanks Kiddo. :)

    And music - I love working with the boy, so creative, innovative and unafraid to mix genres and styles. Only person I know that can combine pop, rock ballads and hip hop and, make it work. performing he has so much energy and emotes so well, he can bring the audience to tears, or have them dancing in their seats, screaming with joy, cowering in fear and, all with a song and that voice of his.

    The boy I know has food intolerance too, refined sugars being the worst. Honey is okay and, a little organic sugar but not much. Gluten is a no go but that isn't a big deal with so many ways to avoid it and still have breads and pasta. He doesn't eat pork or other "unclean" foods but, that's religious for him so I don't know if it would matter heath wise if he did or not.

    I know for myself, eliminating GMO and hormone added meats helped a lot. I'm okay with gluten but, artificial preservatives and MSG and I are at war - I can't eat that stuff unless I want to pay for it. My IBS kicks my tail if I do and, I feel better and have fewer sensory issues when I avoid those foods. Maybe just because if my IBS is acting up, I feel bad and, one thing being off makes everything that's a bit off to me seem worse.
     
  7. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,868
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Karma:
    +1,334
    Thank you so much for the advice! It's definitely him, he needs to be in control and know why some things have to be done before he is willing to do them. It's just sometimes I have hard time explaining all the 'whys' to him. But it's learning experience for all of us. I'm going to look at the link you've shared tonight and see how I can use it with my son. I want to help my kids so much, I just need to be a little bit more patient and listen what their behavior tells me.
    I'm going look at the game too, my older son will most likely want to play it. :) my younger son (the one this whole thing is about) have hard time coordinating between the remote and what he sees on the screen. Working with touch screen is much easier for him. Maybe I should just give him the remote and see what he can figure out by himself.
    Thank you again for the help!
     
  8. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Karma:
    +2,666
    It isn't easy giving an Aspie/Autie personal control and still giving instructions too. I'm sure as he gets older he will learn when it's necessary to give up some control and, just do as he's told but, that comes with maturity and, if he's like the lad I know, he will always have a limit and, will rebel once he's asked to give anything beyond his limit.

    It can serve him well, he won't let people use him as a doormat, but he'll struggle in entry level positions and, any job where he doesn't have almost full control. Doesn't mean he can't do it, if he knows it leads to getting the control he needs but, it will be stressful for him until he gets that control.

    You might be surprised what he can do, if he is the one deciding how it's done. Like my friend who swore he was to clumsy to dance then, had to do it for an audition and aced the audition without even practicing. Turned out he was the best dancer out of forty guys that tried out LOL. He also kicks my butt in the two MMOs we play together, but says he had problems with hand eye coordination. Well he does but not when he wants to get focused and is relaxed enough to just do it and not think about it. Alpha brain mode doesn't work so well but beta brain mode is plenty coordinated. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    7,127
    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Karma:
    +17,661
    I'm dyslexic myself and I'm also an aspie. When I was a child my Father took me to the library every Saturday morning; there was reading aloud of a book usually going on in the children's room, which I listened to without participating, mostly because I couldn't sit down for very long. I climbed the shelves to get the books I wanted and then returned home. I took out many, many books and eventually moved to the adult section and began to read those. By the time I was in my teens, I had read about sixty percent of the books in my small hometown library.

    My Father was a big influence in my life, I admired him, and wanted to be like him. He read every spare moment he had, so I did as well. Along the way in life, I met teachers who encouraged me to read and pursue things, and by the time I reached college level I went to school because I wanted to know things, and to understand them.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Karma:
    +2,666
    Hi Twin. LOL I'm dyslexic as well, makes for an interesting combination sometimes when the dyslexia wants to see the whole picture without the details and, the Asperger's wants to see all of the details and none of the whole picture. You'd think they would balance each other or, cancel each other out but, they don't - they just pile the details in a jumble on top of the whole thing, takes forever to sort it sometimes.

    I read a lot as a youth but, that was mostly because I didn't like it at home so, spent a lot of time at the library, or intentionally got detention so I'd have to sit in the school library and read quietly. I love learning for the sake of learning. Like you I want to know and understand a lot of things. Fortunately that also leads to wanting to do a lot of things and, learning a lot of useful skills. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,868
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Karma:
    +1,334
    I know, I'm this way as well. Now imagine 3 people with Autism in a family who want to be in control + ADHDer :D

    It sounds so much like me. I also thought they should compliment each other, but they only cause confusion. Sometimes I jump from the really big picture to the tiniest details in attempt to find some peace :D

    For me when pictures stopped accompany text and the text became smaller in books, reading became a nightmare. I just kept telling to myself, "I hate reading, period". Then I realized I can read some things, primarily because I could speed read through them and still understand what it was about. I even had a book about speed reading. I thought it was my only hope. Now I realize that mindful reading might have helped me more. I still dislike writing through. I write like a doctor :) My older son, who started reading very young (before 4 years of age), dislikes reading now. I do not want him to develop the same hatred I've had...
    I have very strong feeling that my younger son is dyslexic as well...
     
  12. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,868
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Karma:
    +1,334
    I'm on the website right now. So it's basically the type of font that helps perceiving letters better? Funny, I actually had this idea to teach him how to write by using only lines, because that's something he can do without any problems. Maybe I should listen to my intuition more often :) Did he learn how to type by using this font? Did he hand write this kind of letters as well?
     
  13. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Karma:
    +2,666
    The lad I know first learned to read and type with that font, then learned to print very close to that. He's 22 now so, he can write in cursive a little and, any style of printing is okay. He still prefers to print but, that isn't bad since many schools systems are no longer teaching cursive at all anyway. Soon no one will know or use cursive, it's becoming obsolete.

    I agree, intuition is often best. We don't perceive or process the world the same as NTs so, we usually have to rely on our own intuition as to how to go about learning a new skill. Use it to help your son learn too, you know him and know what he can do so, find ways to convert it to learning something new.
     
    • Like Like x 1