Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's Working

A Breakthrough!
Yesterday D was able to use one of his vocabulary words on his own.

He said that Big A was just like this guy (on TV), he didn't want anything for himself, he's not greedy, he's...he's...amicable. No that's not it. Alleviate?'s, what is it, what is it? I gave him a little prompt, "Maybe al-"
Altruistic! That's it! He doesn't care about having stuff for himself, he'll give things to other people.

This was a big step because normally he can define a word, spell it without a hitch, but hesitates and stumbles when he tries to speak to express himself. It was getting so bad that I started to worry that something was going wrong in his brain. Then I noticed that little A has started doing the same thing -- her knowledge and vocabulary has increased and she's still working on "making it all her own". This may be exactly what D is doing. I know his ability to think abstractly has increased and he's working so hard to fit this new way of thinking into his everyday life.

I still plan to give him plenty of vocabulary to learn but, after the holiday break, the focus will be much more intense on having him come up with the correct word instead of simply recognizing it and being able to give a definition. So far, I haven't had him write sentences using his words because he frequently uses it incorrectly contextually. He thinks so differently than what I'm used to! At first he'll have several words and fill in blanks in paragraphs with them correctly, that has worked well for him in the past. This way, he doesn't have to worry about the nuances of language that elude him for now. He hears the words used on TV often, I point them out when I read them in a book or online; he's encouraged to realize these are important words to know, not just irrelevant school assignments!