kitchen table math, the sequel: Behind the Wheel

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Behind the Wheel

Interesting thing (must get lefty to weigh in on this).

Normally, Jimmy chants all the time.

He's chanting right now, in fact. Did you pour? Did you pour? You're not playing with the hose. You're not playing with the hose. Want that. Want that. You started cry. You started cry. You're not playing with the hose. You're not playing with the hose. Later. Later.

You're not playing with the hose is an Andrew thing. Andrew likes to play with the hose, which he calls water rope on his Neo; when it's 20 degrees outside Ed likes Andrew not to play with the hose. Hence: you're not playing with the hose.

Point is: the chanting is constant.

Driving home from White Plains this afternoon, though, listening to Behind the Wheel's native speakers banging on about I would like to get a job with more vacations but I can't now and I am sitting down on the floor in front of my television set, I realized Jimmy had fallen silent. When I looked over at him I saw that he'd closed his eyes & seemed to be listening, a small smile on his face.

Now I'm thinking of getting a Pimsleur CD (a secret of the FBI and the CIA for years!) to send along to the new home, maybe.

And I'm trying to think whether he chants when he's watching TV.


Catherine Johnson said...

Quisiera consequir un trabajo con más vacaciones pero no puedo ahora.

Estoy sentado en el piso delante de mi televisor.

Laura said...

How nice--I don't know if you've read Richard Grinker's Unstrange Minds, in which he talks about his autistic daughter, Isabel, wanting to and succeeding in learning French, which surprised him (if I am remembering correctly, this came about after a family trip to France to see the bridge in Monet's Garden--she had been obsessed with the famous picture of it for a long time).

By the way, I'm sorry to bug you about this here, but did you receive the email I sent you asking about the gifted special education program housed in Irvington? I know you're quite busy, so I understand if you don't have time to wade through individual emails, but I just wanted to check if I sent it to a valid email.

lefty said...

It reminds me of Clara Park's discussion of Jessy's memorized "sound patterns" in the Siege, and of many anecdotes I've heard about children on the spectrum seeming more receptive to sung rather than spoken language. Also, there's all that research suggesting that many of them prefer environmental sounds, and even computerized speech, to human speech--as if there's something specifically aversive about human speech. Could it be its encoding of emotion? (Akin to what makes expressive faces overwhelming to some on the spectrum?) Perhaps that's what makes singing/chanting more appealing--it doesn't so obviously or necessarily encode emotion.

Lsquared said...

Maybe you've already seen this, but I thought this was an interesting video, and a nice resource for parents and teachers of children on the spectrum:
If you search autism from here:
you can see a lot of other sessions from the National Autism Conference too.

(BTW, I found this thanks to a link on classroom management given at the same conference from