Tuesday, November 3, 2009
As Ben runs down our sidewalk
Me: What's wrong? Do you want to run away?
Ben: All you need is caffeine
Not on my birthday
Ben: Mommy, it's your very last birthday.
Ben: Because you're the only one who gets a present.
Ben: Daddy took me to the doctor and the doctor said that one day you went to the doctor and said that you used to take a bath in the morning.
Ben: I have a question for you. What if you open six packages and one suitcase?
Me: I don't know. What?
Ben: It will turn into dollars.
Ben: Because you forgot to put dollars into it.
Me: Can I have a kiss?
Ben: As well as you like!
After waking up in the morning, while still lying in bed
Ben: C'mon. It's under the bed. The table set. There's a cut through the wall.
I'm alternately baffled and amused by Ben's fascinating use of non sequiturs.
I've been trying to collect them over the past six months or so in order to share them with you. I've been mostly unsuccessful, usually forgetting to write them down, but I did manage to get a few.
We hear these non sequiturs and scrambled syntax pretty often. They linger even as his language skills continue to take leaps.
And Ben still has trouble getting words assembled when he's communicating something fairly novel. Sentences will often come out like this:
"Can you... Can you... Can you... Can you... get a piece of tape for this book? The page is ripped."
Sometimes he has to walk around while he's waiting for the words to come.
I imagine his feet powering gears his brain.
I imagine a spinning icon on his forehead that says "loading...loading...loading."
I'll admit that this post started as one of those, "Isn't he delightful" pieces, but as I assembled this list of quotes, I began to wonder: Is this a specific, clinical phenomenon? Does it have name? Is it common? How is this addressed by speech therapy?
What's your experience with language patterns like these? Do you see them in your child with ASD? Your typical child? Do you have them yourself, if you're on the spectrum?
Send me your thoughts as fodder for a follow-up post on this phenomenon.