Sunday, January 23, 2011

If You Could . . .

Is it possible that writing techniques taught to my son two years ago are positively affecting language and communication today? I have reason to believe so. I am going to attempt to recall several of the questions he has asked me recently that I believe are connected to his 7th grade English class. His middle school years were complicated and are fraught with wishes for a do-over on my part, but it encourages me to see that something good yet remains from that class I pushed for him to be in!

Every single day there was a writing prompt on the board, and the students were required to answer it as fully as possible in a short amount of time. This was sometimes frustrating for N, due to his fine motor skills not allowing him to write as fast as others, not to mention his language delay. (We looked into a device –like a mini laptop—but it did not work out.) The questions usually started out, “If you could _________, what would you_________ and why?” He never turned these questions outward. Until recently. Now they are non-stop.

“If you could have any superpower, which one would it be and why?” (Hmmm, still thinking. . . .)

“If you could drive any car you wanted, what kind would it be and why?” (Mine is fine. If it stopped working, I would think about it then. I just don’t let myself go there if there isn’t a reason! But I said an old Camaro anyway.)

“If you could work at any restaurant at all, which one would it be and why?” (I said a bakery. I’ve always wanted to operate an industrial-sized mixer and use those huge ovens and pans. ??)

“If you could work at any store, which one would it be and why?” (I said “Glo”, this cute little makeup store. I have a thing for tons of colors-- I only need to look.)

“If you worked at Sonic and it was your lunch break, what would you fix and why?” (I said tater tots that are fried twice as long to get them really crispy.)

What I recently learned about him is that he would work at Bed, Bath and Beyond if he could work at any store, and that if he worked at Sonic, he would make himself a triple burger with fries and a Coke.

I read just recently that adults and children with Down syndrome typically ask much fewer questions than others. This inhibits conversation greatly if you do not ask questions. What cracks me up is that he never forgets the “why”, leftover from the class! I would love to know why two years later this is re-surfacing and what jogged his memory.

Now I ask you. Do you have a definite opinion on any of these questions? Please tell. And why.


  1. Kayla is 7.5 and not really asking questions ... at least not like those, and not many 'why' questions. I'm looking forward to the day when she does ask questions (besides 'where we going? what's this, can I have') and those longer conversations!

  2. I don't know how to teach question asking, but would like to know. Now that I am paying attention to this new behavior, I think my son has started asking me questions to beat me to the punch! He would rather be the asker than hear me ask questions about his day!