Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pragmatics, Part II

"I'm changing the channel," N says.

"Why, don't you like this show?" I ask.

"I do, but I don't like this show. I hate it a lot."

This is what I'm talking about: I do, but I don't. The repetition of "I don't like it/I hate it", by the way, doesn't mean anything. Tomorrow, he may tell me he loves this show, or that it's his favorite. But that, I think, is a more common issue: N changes his mind all the time; he's totally arbitrary. But when you contradict yourself within the same sentence...that seems to me to be something else. Something about not knowing how to say what you mean.

3 comments:

kristen said...

Delurking--finally--to say this sounds a bit more like a processing issue. My son has been in speech therapy for three years primarily for an articulation problem, but now that he's getting older, they do work a great deal on putting together proper sentences, responses, etc.

I agree with the advice to go for a private eval. and then follow up with the district. It might be a quicker, more direct route to some answers.

I understand your concern. And wonder how he responds when you correct him? Or do you correct him? My son also toys with incorrect phrasing and contradictory sentences, but I try to offer him the right words in the right order. It's endless, though, because he needs tons of repitition before he finally gets it right.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. Good luck.

Green said...

Is it wrong that that totally made sense to me? The way I understood it was "I DO love watching Party of Five, but I just hate Claudia so I hate this episode." Thus, loving the show yet hating the show.

If that's what he meant, then he DOES have logic going on in his brain, just doesn't yet have the words to express it.

Jane said...

You never listen to me (martyred sigh), but Elliot talked almost exactly like this at the same age (and still does sometimes) and he does well in school now. His brain just works differently than other kids'. I'd say, "Don't you like the meal?" and he's say, "I do...but I just don't," and all he meant was "I want to give you the answer you want, but I still want to express that I hate the meal." It was a behavior, not a language problem.