My 5 year old son who most likely has AS or HFA seems oblivious to gentle language correction. For example he always says, "last day" instead of "last time" as in "last time grandma was here..." He always says "Last day grandma was here..."
I've tried repeating back the correct usage after he is done with his sentence like, "I remember last time she was here..." but it just doesn't sink in. Now I've been laying it out to him and saying no you need to say "last time" not "last day" and of course he gets really irritated. Either way It's not working. Do I just let it go at this point? There are a few other phrases he constantly gets wrong and gentle correction or calling attention to correction doesn't seem to work. Any suggestions on this or should I really just back off and let him talk his way. Thanks!
I'm curious how others will respond! For me over the years, it's really depending on what else is going on and how well my child was over all deal with life. There have been times that it would have just been cruel to focus on speech because she was struggling with so many other things and so was stressed out. But there have also been times when things were pretty smooth overall and the speech issues really was the biggest issue.
I do think that kids (even ASD ones!) are internalizing the correct speech patterns when we keep repeating and emphasizing them, even if they don't feel like sharing that knowledge with us. I think it is working on a deep level, even though there isn't any evidence of it at this point.
but everything has pros and cons
My NT 5yo dd does this all the time; "last day" instead of last time, "last year" instead of last week, "last week" instead of yesterday, though she isn't bothered by correction. However, ds was bothered by being corrected--I ended up letting it go in the moment but would bring it up later; eventually he stopped doing it.
When gentle conversational correction doesn't work, we try to find illustrations for my son to look at that will explain the differences.
In this case, I would find or make an illustration of different measures of time.
I'd also maybe find or write some scripts and role-play what you say when.
Maybe you could find a children's book about time and read it with him. Oldest son had problems with metaphors and idioms, so we found a book that had funny illustrations and definitions and examples of how to use the metaphor or idiom. It was very helpful.
This book might help:
My younger son who has an expressive language disorder has this problem (oldest son is in the spectrum with no language deficits of any type, younger son has some autism like language deficits but no apparent social/emotional deficits typical of autism, it's in the middle of getting re-investigated). We have a lot of time concept problems with language, including the "last day" thing, "nest year" for the next holiday, "yesterday" and" tomorrow" reversed, etc. We are having some success with reinforcing the words with visual aids like going over the calendar together. There are a lot of syntax errors in general, especially word order and tenses, like "I turn oned them" and "You did go where?". I just model back this stuff, and like your DS, he doesn't seem to notice. Personally, I'm not sweating it because he's finally found his words, his expressive vocabulary is catching up to his age, and people still know what he means. He's a cheerful and friendly 7 year old, and I don't want to risk ruining it by making him feel uncomfortable.
Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!
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