Thursday, February 6, 2014
Getting Children to Converse---Absurdities
I have decided to deviate from strictly reviewing apps for speech and expand into therapy techniques I have accumulated over the years. In this post, I will be suggesting using absurdities to elicit conversation.
I suppose one can make one's own pictures. But since I am not the creative, crafty or artistic type, I rely on the pictures and books of others that depict absurd phenomenon. The pictures I use are put out by Academic Communication Associates and are called "Impossible Situations." The pictures are large black and white drawings wherein the absurdity is unmistakable such as a man with a lightbulb for a nose. The book Whacky Wednesday, by Theo. LeSieg, shows silly phenomena in the day of a child. As soon as he wakes up, the boy sees that something is not right in his room. The absurdities grow in number as he goes through his day. Children as young as three enjoy pointing out what in the scenes is ridiculous and explaining why. For children six or older, the Amelia Bedilia books challenge them to recognize more subtly absurd events in the nonsensical things Amelia Bedilia does when working.
Absurdities also empower intellectual skills. In order to recognize an absurdity, the child needs to have created a mental image of what is correct or acceptable in his/her world. The child then needs to express this knowledge into language that conveys the information. Some children, such as those on the spectrum, may be challenged by the task. With these children, I make the task easier by pointing out the absurdity. Together we discuss what is silly about the picture.
I like to use absurdities when the child is in the conversational stage of learning a new sound or grammatical component.