Sunday, February 1, 2015

Maya reads a book

Nonverbal children struggle to learn phonics, they said.

Children with apraxia and other speech sound disorders are at high risk of literacy-related difficulties, they said.

With regard to cognitive functioning, Maya is in the 0.4th percentile when compared to same-age peers, they said.


They didn't know.


We didn't know either . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . but we presumed competence.


Maya, this afternoon, reading:




Notes: The words in parentheses are the words that appear in the text that she omitted when she read aloud. Also, this is a long clip. There's a chunk in the middle that's not very interesting. But I don't like watching videos that are all chopped up, because I wonder what may have been edited out, so I left it long.


There are a few interesting things here. First, a skeptic could wonder whether she's really saying the correct words (since her speech sounds are so limited/garbled)---this is why I picked a random word (ride) and had her clarify with her device. I've done other activities in which I asked her to read sentences solely with her talker, and she did so correctly. So, if you don't believe that she's reading accurately . . . well, then, that's totally your right---but I hope you (and your skepticism) are employed far away from the classroom/therapy/special needs sector.

Second, she seems to really understand the text. When I asked her about the reindeer's name, she looked back and found it. When Anna fell off the horse and it was cold, she said "Oh no!"

Third, her word omissions are interesting. She will often drop words that don't change the meaning of the text (the, a, an, etc). She also omits those words in speech and when using Mini, and I wonder if generating them (via speech or AAC) just seems not worth the effort? And, if so, is she reading them and choosing not to generate them, or is she not seeing them there at all? I wonder if there is research about similar omissions among children with speech difficulties or AAC users. She also skips reading "Anna" on most pages---maybe that word keeps throwing her off, or maybe she doesn't have an easy way to say it? I'm not sure.

And the most interesting thing, of course, is that she blows me away. She reads over my shoulder now. She can pick out words in my intentionally-sloppy handwriting.

She is, undeniably, a reader.

If you're a literacy or special ed person with thoughts (even if they are that I'm doing something wrong, or should be doing something differently) I would love to hear from you (here, on FB, or at uncommonfeedback@gmail.com).






17 comments:

grandma said...

this is fantastic---and I love your first paragraph too!. she loves to read and is so interested in the story!!!

Paula said...

Wow! Really amazing! I think her speech is also more intelligible than past videos, so you can monitor that she's getting more consonant sounds in there. Do you have Anna and Sven in Mini?

Dana said...

Paula, Of course :) We even have Kristoff, although I don't think Hans is in there. I can't keep the characters straight. Maya always knows who she's missing, though.

Anonymous said...

I've posted here before that I think her processing and reading are clear and amazing. Also when she reads about Anna falling off and it being cold outside it seemed to me that she's looking outside! It's clear she is comprehending everything. Indeed I'd hazard a guess that she's skipping reading the words that aren't necessary fir comprehension because she is not just residing to decode but for meaning.

Juniper Le Baron said...

Regarding Maya skipping articles (such as the, an, etc) when she reads...my little guy (who is functionally non-verbal and was never considered capable of reading, but who reads anyway) does this kind of thing too. With him I think it might be that he can't be bothered with them, perhaps as you suggest because they aren't essential to the meaning. I've noticed he scans ahead before reading a passage--presumably for meaning, though probably also for level of difficulty, to generally orient himself to the passage before reading it word-for-word aloud (just a generally great skill, that he uses intuitively). I wonder if Maya is doing that too. I have been insisting that he read each word, and read each word accurately, but I worry that I might discourage him or turn him off reading by being so precision-oriented.

Juniper Le Baron said...

What I really meant to say was This. Is. So. Wonderful.

Here I have been going around saying "Never believe it when a professional tries to tell you something your kid will never be able to do," and you have turned that on its head into the much-needed positive form: Presume. Competence.

Thank you!!

Debi Lewis said...

I just have to chime in as the parent of a child without these challenges to say that my daughter (age 9) skips or changes articles in her reading, too. I think, as you said, that these words don't change or affect the meaning of the sentence much, so they are "skimmed" by young readers reading aloud. I bet that we all do this to some extent as we read, filtering out the things our eyes don't need in order to follow the meaning of the sentence. It is so inspiring to watch you and your daughter work together!

Jennifer Nowicki said...

I think Maya sounds wonderful!! I love how she is pointing to the words! That is a wonderful reading skill. She is definitely a reader, in my opinion! From an SLP perspective, I would love to hear her orally narrate the story herself and tell you in complete sentences what she sees happening in the picture. In other words, I love that she is pointing to the words, keep it up, but, you could supplement with a prompt like, "what happens next?" You are one of the best prompters I have ever seen, by the way! I am so inspired by your work with Maya! The patience and support you give her are A-M-AZING! I really believe as she matures and as her language develops and sentence length expands verbally, which it is and will continue too, you will see her attending more to the text independently. Honestly, I have seen such a big difference in my own kids reading accuracy the older they get. I hope this is helpful! You both are doing great!! Please thank Maya for reading and I look forward to her reading in future posts.

Brenda said...

I had the exact same thoughts as to her understanding. She added awe and excitement exactly likey my granddaughter does when reading to me. And when I'm reading to my grandkids I've been know to skip a few words too. And dang if they aren't old enough to catch me. I was very impressed by what I just heard her read as my friend says "all this "they say this,and they say that" well just who the heck is they and who put them in charge" lol. Way to go Maya (and Momma)! Y'all Rock!!

Anonymous said...

Maya is just so amazing! Even after all the bad evaluations, she's shown that with the right kind of stimulation and guidance she can prove everyone wrong, for the better! Even a layman outsider like myself can clearly see how much she's developed over the years. For this girl, with a supportive mom like you, the sky is the limit!

vlmaples said...

Totally amazing and thrilling! I understand her well. Great job. Maya!

Elizabeth Marie said...

I wonder if, as AAC users age (I know there are adult users, but I'm thinking specifically of kids like Maya who began using AAC at a very young age) that we will find a new grammatical structure developing. Her omissions remind me of the way that some deaf folks employ ASL grammar when writing in English, because ASL is their primary language. AAC is Maya's primary expressive language and with the omissions she makes being fillers that slow her talking, I think she's demonstrating how new languages develop.

Rachael Langley said...

Like Elizabeth Marie, my first thought was of ASL and the lack of articles or little words in that language. I don't know of any research on this area, but I think it's a solid hypothesis. They don't carry much meaning and therefore they're just non-essentials.
I'm in agreement with you!! She's reading for meaning and that's phenomenal! Great job, Maya!!

Chris & Krysta McRae said...

Am I missing the follow button? or follow by email button? I use blogger myself and have it on the side. Am I missing yours?

Chris & Krysta McRae said...

nevermind, it was a glitch. it showed up when I posted the comment.

Rosanne said...

I stumbled onto your stuff while doing research for my doctoral exams. I'm working on promoting spelling development for kids who are competent AAC users (both high tech and low tech). Maya is very clearly reading!!

I imagine that within a few years (or less) she could end up being really successful with a fully alphabetic system, perhaps with word prediction or something to be faster.

Anonymous said...

hi i'm an 18 year old (mostly) verbal autistic person and i thought the reflection on maya skipping words was interesting - when i get tired/overwhelmed i also tend to drop articles and non-important words that aren't 100% necessary to convey my meaning.
i personally will try to describe it - for me i don't think in words but in concepts, and i don't really have a concept for "the" or "a" or whatever, and when i get tired or whatever, i find it difficult to translate my thoughts into words, meaning that i will just portray the general concepts to get my meaning across. i feel like it might be similar for maya?