My Perspective: Say What You Mean & Mean What You Say

Learning to (really) listen, make choices and say what you mean and mean what you say takes a lot of work!

I am a facilitator. I am an SLP Photo: ASHA

NS, age 5 years, diagnosed with Apraxia and ASD ~ Our “conversation” took place in July 2015. This is a quick glimpse into the session which was focusing on attention, auditory processing & memory, receptive oral language, expressive oral language & social communication. Learning was taking place throughout the session, but the real “ah-ha” moment occurred when I started to move the plate (or should I say blueberry chocolate chip brownie) away from him. Since my first session with NS, he has been receptive to & eager to use signs (Signing Exact English). At this point, signs are used to visually cue NS to develop longer and more complex sentences. Some of the steps (my cues and his responses) are omitted as the joy in My Perspective is NS’s realization of the power of his words.

I am a motivator. I am an SLP. ~ Photo: ASHA

[About 30 minutes into our session]

Me: “Do you want something sweet or salty?”

NS: “Salty” (Often choosing the last option even if it is not the one he “really” wants, choices are then given to verify his response.

Me: “What do you want that’s salty?” (presented with verbal and the written & pictorial menu we made)

NS: “Cracker, (cued to tell me more) I want to eat the cracker.”

Me: Cues NS to ask a question.

NS:  “YaYa, would you give me the peanut butter cracker?”

Me: Handing cracker to NS, “Here is the peanut butter cracker.”

NS: “NO!”

Me: “Oh, so not the salty cracker?”

Me: “Do you want something sweet or salty?”

NS: “Brownie.”

Me: “Answer the question, do you want something sweet or salty?”

NS: “Sweet.”

Me: “What do you want that is sweet?”

NS: “Chocolate brownie.”

Me: “Do you want it now or later?”

NS: “Later.”

Me: “Okay, I will move the plate over here so you can eat it later.” I (slowly) start to move the plate away.

NS: (Before the plate has moved a smidge), “NO!” with wide eyes and a look that says, I need a REDO! Wait, what have I said?!

Me: “Oh, do you want it now or later?”

NS: “NOW!” with a look of relief and smile as I move the plate back to its original place.

Me: “Can you ask me a question?”

NS: “YaYa, can I have the brownie NOW?!”

Me: “Absolutely!”

NS: Giggles and leans over to give me arm hugs before he gets his brownie appearing pleased with the message he delivered!

NS: Finishes his blueberry chocolate chip brownie!

Me:”Is there anything you want to say to me?”

NS: “Thank you YaYa!” (since I made the brownies)

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Brownies with Ganache Photo: LSG

Here is the recipe for the Blueberry Chocolate Chip Brownies with Chocolate Ganache.


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