Sunday, October 7, 2007

Go Fish

Chris and I love to play cards. We spent a good deal of our evenings in the early and mid- 90s playing cards with friends and when we started a family, we both hoped that our offspring would be a card shark, the way other people hope for a quarterback or a concert pianist.

While many Hyperlexic kids are crazy for numbers and might gravitate towards cards, Ben has not yet grokked the awesomeness of Gin Rummy and Hearts.

I think it might have something to do with the fact that he has very little idea how to take turns.

Games, in general, seem to make no sense to him. We have a Candyland game and while he loves driving the gingerbread men along the colorful track, he has no time for the procedural rules of the game. Why, he must be asking himself, must I move to a colored square only as indicated by these cards?

Actually, he doesn’t really say that, he just walks away mostly. Usually after spreading the cards all over the floor.

We’ve also tried traditional cards. The numbers and face cards hold some interest for him, but most games end with the cards scattered and him walking away, bored, saying, “Mommy pick up the cards.”

But we tried Go Fish again the other night. This time, we took the cards out when he still had some dinner on his plate to keep him at the table. I teamed up with him and we played against Chris. I held the cards. He lasted surprisingly long. It was a huge success.

Go Fish is a game that suits him in that the only verbal component has a limited set of phrases that are repeated. He understands, “Ben, do you have any 4s?” and he understands when to respond, “No! Go Fish!”

He also knows how to ask for cards. I’d prompt him by pointing to a card and he’d say his line enthusiastically and confidently, and also revealing how brain is still working out the whole language thing.

“Daddy, have you any got 10s?”


Julie said...

Hi Christa,

Good for you for starting this blog. I don't think it's self-indulgent at all. I think it will be very helpful and comforting to many parents of hyperlexic children. Our son is 6 and in kindergarten this year. He just became interested in card games and board games within the past 6-8 months. He still isn't very good at the "strategy" portion of certain games. And, due to his weaker fine motor skills, he prefers to place in cards on the table in front of him for everyone to see, rather than hold them. I even bought him one of those card holders for kids, which works great, but he still prefers to see all of the cards in front of him. He seems to be very fond of games like chutes and ladders (of course, he doesn't count the spaces as he goes - instead, if he is on space 4 and he spins a 6, he'll proclaim 4 + 6 = 10 and move his marker straight to 10). Like you, I wouldn't change one thing about my son. All of his strengths and weaknesses make him who he is. Good luck to you and keep on blogging!

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