is this typical for asd? — The Bump
Special Needs

is this typical for asd?

edited January 2014 in Special Needs
So dd didn't really use language to communicate consistently until 2.5. She had words you heard occasionally but was quiet for the most part. currently she has 100+ words, uses words to express needs and answers yes/no questions about 50% of the time (but always says what she actually wants. she started with her last ei speech therapist right at two. we noticed that she never used words during therapy sessions and her therapist chalked it up to still emerging skills. by the end of ei she was speaking to her therapist like she would to me. she's currently been in preschool for 2.5 weeks. her therapists/teachers report that she has warmed up very quickly--she's generous with hugs and hi's to greet, seeks comfort when she's upset, brings toys to play/share interest, smiles and laughs a lot, etc. however they report she's mostly silent outside of greetings and the occasional animal name/sound. Is this to be expected? It seems unusual especially since the skills are no longer just emerging.
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Re: is this typical for asd?

  • I would guess it is a comfort and confidence thing. My daughter just turned three and has apraxia. She started to gain some words over the summer at 2.5 and then in the fall she had a big language explosion and starting combining words. She's been in school since September but didn't start speaking there until after the winter break. She was always social and happy to see her friends, but she wouldn't use any of her words until recently. My guess is she just wasn't comfortable. She knows she is in speech therapy and most kids aren't. She didn't want to say anything and not be understood. Now she is talking there all day, talking about her friends, and asking questions like crazy. I was starting to get worried about her silence but looks like she just needed more time. Now I can go find something else to worry about instead. ;)
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  • -auntie- said:

    I've known situations where a kid practiced a pragmatic language goal with a classmate on a team project and mastered the give and take of negotiating who would do what and then see the kid fail to interact with the same peer at recess or lunch. I've seen DS barely interact with a kid he ate lunch with for 4 years when he ran into him at Wendy's. Unless you count grunts as conversation. Skills aren't mastered until they can be demonstrated in multiple settings without prompts or scaffolds.

    That she made progress with her EI therapist suggests she'll get there at some point.
    DD (though no ASD dx as of yet, but with age many signs pointing to it and increasing in symptoms daily it seems) can be totally "sociable" with her/in front of her grandparents who do not realize that she is simply taking phrases she hears from them and repeating them complete with the tone each phrase is usually used with "so nice to see you" "what are we doing today" "are you OK babe" - often questions posed to her. Now at home, I see this repeated over and over and over (like 15 times a day) with no appropriate connection to what is actually happening or going on. She uses short jargon to get the just of what is actually happening that day and has made it a "thing" to repeat phrases of what will happen from me in her own "Social Story" sort of way (before nap/bed - "wake up and play some more" during/after bath "2 night night and 2 baby Jesus books".)

    Her SLP pushes her now more and more in her sessions and is beginning to not be able to truly understand her anymore because she is more open ended and does not cue her on things or goes around her rote phrases - this is when DD shuts down or melts down, also when I do the same as far as pushing. Her language also turns to mush and screaming when faced with ANYTHING dealing with her own emotions or talking about emotions. She doesn't get it and simply cannot function yet in that realm - she attempts to answer with rote but now that she is also being pushed with the developmental therapist, she cannot even differentiate between happy and sad. 
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  • -auntie- said:

    What can be typical for some kids on spectrum is to have skills remain emergent for much longer than one would expect. I would also expect newly emerging skills to not be transferable to new venues or situations without specific support in globalizing them. 


    It could be that you are scaffolding in such a way that you are setting her up for yes/no or a multiple choice response and they are expecting her to answer open ended questions and use language more pragmatically rather than to just meet her immediate needs.

    I've known situations where a kid practiced a pragmatic language goal with a classmate on a team project and mastered the give and take of negotiating who would do what and then see the kid fail to interact with the same peer at recess or lunch. I've seen DS barely interact with a kid he ate lunch with for 4 years when he ran into him at Wendy's. Unless you count grunts as conversation. Skills aren't mastered until they can be demonstrated in multiple settings without prompts or scaffolds.

    That she made progress with her EI therapist suggests she'll get there at some point.
    Its not even that I'm expecting her to answer questions--i just expected she would actually use words and not stay silent all day. I've heard her label trains and dolls and cars and say she wants to do their hair and say pretty when she's done at other venues besides home. its not a case of the skills aren't generalizing to other objects--she's just refusing to talk at all.
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  • edited January 2014
    -auntie- said:


    KC_13 said:

    -auntie- said:

    Its not even that I'm expecting her to answer questions--i just expected she would actually use words and not stay silent all day. I've heard her label trains and dolls and cars and say she wants to do their hair and say pretty when she's done at other venues besides home. its not a case of the skills aren't generalizing to other objects--she's just refusing to talk at all.

    -auntie- said:

    I'm sorry, I don't think I'm getting my point across.

    -auntie- said:

    It could be that she just isn't in her comfort zone and will start to talk in school any day now. Or it could be that she hasn't globalized spontaneous speech to the classroom setting- that she "can't" talk there rather than making a choice not to. Does she display speech skills in other new settings like perhaps Sunday school or the playground with random kiddos she doesn't know?

    -auntie- said:

    It doesn't sound as if she's silent. She's using scripts she knows for greetings which is very appropriate. And she's vocalizing as an animal. This is a pretty common play gambit for some bright kids with ASD- it's almost as if it's less anxiety provoking to participate as someone or something other than themselves. You'd be surprised how many older kids end up in theater as an activity. At any rate, both of these R/O selective mutism which is a sometimes comorbid. Especially with girls.

    -auntie- said:


    -auntie- said:

     

    she definitely goes quiet in new settings with unfamiliar people--the thing is once she's comfortable with the people and environment sshe tends to be more chatty. since she's showing signs se's very comfortable where she is i was surprised when they told me they didn't hear much from her. interesting tidbit about the theater--she is definitely quite the little actress with a huge personality already.
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