Pragmatics

by statia on December 12, 2008

I think I’ve mentioned that the Mini has his six month review in January with his Early Intervention team.  Two of his teachers came out yesterday to summarize his old goals and start to suggest what his new goals should be for his review.

One of his speech therapists only follows up with him monthly, and was originally the one that suggested that he has “service overload.”   Which, maybe he does, however, if they’re not kicking him out, I’m not about to voluntarily reduce services, as they help us as much as they help him.  As she was going through her checklist o’ milestones, she finally hit the mark on the one thing that had been nagging me for months, but I couldn’t put into words what it was that he was lacking.   And that one thing is his pragmatic language.

Pragmatic language is what is used in social contexts.  I.E. person 1: Hey, how are you doing?  Person 2: fine, how about you.   And the conversation continues.   Right now, the Mini is testing above 24 months for speech and language (which is insane, given six months ago, he was testing 6 months below his appropriate age), however he lacks that pragmatic piece.  This is one of those big deal things that kids generally learn on their own.   The Mini, has limited pragmatic language.  Most of the time preferring to parrot, which is his strong point.  He will repeat ev.er.y.thing. with near clarity and once he’s mastered use it appropriately 80-90% of the time.  He’s age appropriate in that regard.    This is one of those minor setbacks.  I’m not denying his progress, and I’m not denying that he’s the smartest baby ever.    Pragmatic language can be taught, but it’s the gap that he has that’s a little concerning to his teachers, and one that I’m hoping will help keep him with the same amount of services he already has.

I said to his therapist, that I don’t really care that he’s delayed.  Eventually he’ll pick it up, much like everything else.  Most of the time, all you have to do is talk about it and he seems to start doing it the next day.

He likes to mock me like that.

{ 3 comments }

Melissa December 13, 2008 at 2:57 pm

I don’t have “pragmatic” conversations with my 2 year old? As a matter of fact he doesn’t hold too much of any conversation. Other than him saying, “Hey!”, when you come home from work. I’ve always felt that he has been on track with his developmental skills but maybe I should re-evaluate…?

Tonya December 14, 2008 at 4:42 am

It is exactly that social aspect and language ability that we are still working on with my daughter. It can be taught, but it can be so frustrating to have to coach every. little. thing. Glad your therapist was able to help identify the next stage to help the Min with!

jesser December 15, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Interesting concept … I’ve never really thought about that. I don’t think Tabby and I have much in the way of conversations, exactly, but I really have to think about it … hmmm… And you’re right, he’ll be doing it tomorrow just to spite you.

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