In our last blog, we discussed the different ways children process language, and how some children are gestalt language processors.
How can you tell if your child is a gestalt language processor?
One telltale sign is if your child repetitively reproduces phrases. We call these phrases, or chunks of language, “gestalts.” A gestalt language processor will store these phrases to use in speech, instead of learning single words.
Finding The Meaning
When we have a child who speaks in gestalts, we have to do some detective work to figure out their meaning. That’s where you, the parent, come in. Because you know your child best, and you know what movies they like to watch, what shows, and what they’ve heard—you can help us to understand what they might mean by a gestalt.
We also look for kids who like routines and structure. Gestalt language processors are also often gestalt cognitive processors. They process or learn information in episodes. For example, they learn “When I go to school, things happen in this order.” If something is out of order, that can throw them off.
How They Process Information
Similarly, they process information in whole pieces rather than in individual parts. You might be doing a puzzle, and if one piece is missing, it can lead to a total meltdown or significant frustration. This could be a sign that your child is a gestalt cognitive processor and a gestalt language processor.
We can identify some of these things in our non-speaking individuals too. In non-speaking children, we look for unusually rich intonation, especially a sing-song intonation. Often these learners like to watch videos over and over. They may fast-forward or rewind videos to watch the same part over and over. They are frequently drawn to music and are musical in nature.
They are processing language—they just do it differently. They have a remarkable process!
Your Next Step
If you feel like your child may be stuck in their language processing, and you suspect that they may process language in this way and need a specialized approach, please reach out to us! We will be happy to help.