Posted 20 hours ago

Finding the Words: Working Through Profound Loss with Hope and Purpose

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It is telling that at Stage 3, Dylan didn’t use accurate sentences, and we didn’t care! We wanted him to explore, explore, explore…and to hear and use words in all kinds of combinations! In our clinic today, just as ten years ago, we spend plenty of time at Stage 3, knowing that kids will naturally move on to Stage 4 when they are ready. As you can see, we believe in this process, because we have seen it unfold scores of times. We don’t need to teach kids to use, “I want…”and “I see…” prematurely, because, when they are ready, they will use these sentences…and so many more…naturally!

I went to my GP in Ealing in November 2014 to talk about feeling depressed and he was absolutely fantastic. I initially made the appointment to discuss an ear infection, but when he asked how I was feeling I just broke down and told him everything." Cam’s mother was fortunate. Even though Cam was moderately dyspraxic, and mostly silent up until then, he did have the motor strength and coordination to say something at a relatively young age. Those children who are more severely dyspraxic might not say anything intelligible for many more years, and parents’ glimpses of gestalt thinking and processing might not appear through language for a very long time.

GPs are usually the first port of call for physical and mental health complaints, so they’re used to dealing with these types of issues. In fact, roughly one in three GP appointments have a mental health component. Nevertheless, it can be overwhelming having a conversation about what you are thinking or feeling with your GP or practice nurse, someone you may hardly know. That’s why we’ve put together a new guide with some tips on how to prepare for your appointment and make the most of the short time you get with them. Find out more at www.mind.org.uk/findthewords.” The mental health charity has put together a guide called ‘Find the Words’ offering advice on how to take that first step and have the conversation.

This is one of the most honest and refreshing takes on grief I’ve ever read. Finding the Words weaves the author’s deeply personal story of loss with truly useful advice and insights. This profound book will offer comfort, guidance, and hope to anyone seeking something to hold onto in even the darkest of times.” A group of people with life-limiting conditions, and those who have experienced the death of a loved person, came together to discuss their involvement with people who had the task of supporting those approaching the end of life. But not so with our kids! In our clinic, we see older kids, even teenagers, who are learning rule-based grammar…some for the first time! With older kids like Will, who was highlighted in our last column, the process of breaking down language “wholes” or “gestalts” doesn’t happen as rapidly or as readily as it does with kids who are younger. But it still happens! We will return to these older kids in a later column, but, now, we want to give you a longitudinal picture of how the language acquisition process works when ASD kids begin it sooner. As promised, 4-year-old Dylan’s [‘Daniel’ from our previous column] progression through the first three stages of Gestalt Language Acquisition (See Sidebar) will be detailed in this column.The staff on the ward whether it’s cleaners or consultants - it’s their patch, it’s their territory

It was imperative to be lively, friendly, and fun, and to give Dylan something that he couldn’t get anywhere else (meeting his sensory-motor needs helped!) He learned that listening to us was entertaining, and he trusted us to give him language he could use to keep us playing with him! Dylan still used movie gestalts as well, and mitigated them nicely, but all his language was becoming increasingly “transparent” and easier-to-interpret. Following are some utterances from our third month: Dylan” is Dylan Schroud of Poynette, WI, now 13 years old. A story he wrote with his sister, Jesse, will appear in Walk Awhile in My Autism: a Manual of Sensitivity Presentations to Promote Understanding of People on the Autism Spectrum, edited by Nan Negri and Kate McGinnity. The book is available at www.walkawhile.org. Continue with Step 2 until you have a good selection of examples. It should take you at least a week.Browse our online range including our range of mental health resources, wedding favours, Pause for Mind and greetings cards. Dylan still produced numerous utterances at Stage 3, where he experimented with word (and concept) combinations:

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