Over the course of the last month I have been doing some re-newed thinking on language processing. Nicole had us and I test out a processing exercise that she had created for some of her families. She wanted to be sure it would work so we were the guinea pigs. She gave us the easy version and I was stuck with the harder version of the task. Of course us finished within minutes while I took at least 15 minutes to finish mine. For me it was not a matter of if I would finish only when (this wouldn’t have anything to do with my being just a bit stubborn :)). Anyway the task took a tremendous amount of brain power and I commented when I was finished that I was tired and my brain felt like it needed a rest.
Leaving that experience I started thinking again about how important it is to remember that many children on the autism spectrum have language processing delays that must in some way make them feel just how I was feeling. The other thing I was thinking about is that I was determined and had the resilience to keep going even though it was hard. How many of our children on the spectrum have this resilience when we first start remediation in the RDI process? Not many.
This is why it is so important to slow down and allow for that processing time. Take away as many distractions as possible and work on one mode of communication at a time for a while.
Can children on the autism spectrum become better processors? You bet they can. I’ve seen it with my own eyes on numerous occassions it just takes the adults in the environment to be aware that they need to allow time for the child to process. Once your brain starts working on processing information and actually making sense of it the better it gets at doing this. Just like in my example above of the task Nicole gave me I was very slow at first, but once I had processed through a few of the tasks I got faster.
Our children on the autism spectrum can become faster as well if we start giving them the opportunity to process information rather than just accepting any old answer from them, giving them the answer or just prompting all of the time.
So take some time for yourself over the next few days and think about how language processing affects your child and try slowing down a bit to see what happens.
Talk to you soon,