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Gestalt Language processing

What is Gestalt Language Learning?

Gestalt Language Acquisition – Another Way of Processing Language

Analytic language is the type of language acquisition often thought of and learned about. This is language learning that starts at the single word level which builds to phrases and eventually sentences.

Gestalt language acquisition is language learned in in larger units of words first, rather than single words. The process of gestalt language development is described through Natural Language Acquisition stages.

A gestalt language processor learns language in chunks of words rather than one single word at a time.  For example, rather than analytic language learning of “car”, to “red car”, then eventually “It’s a red car!”. Gestalt language processors may hear a caregiver say, “Wow, that’s a fast red car!” and perhaps that is what they say every time they see a car (despite its color).

There is nothing ‘wrong’ with gestalt language learning, it is just a type of developmental language learning. Embracing how a child learns language can help them continue to acquire new language/skills through their own learning type to make more efficient gains toward their ability to self-generate language. Children who are autistic* are often gestalt language learners. Children who are not autistic can also be gestalt language learners.

What is Echolalia?

Echolalia is the repeating of an utterance that has been produced by others.

Immediate Echolalia: utterances that are repeated immediately or after a brief delay.

Delayed Echolalia: refers to utterances that are repeated after a significant delay 

Echolalia COMMUNICATES! The immediate logical reaction may be that we should not encourage echolalia, but in fact we SHOULD encourage it and build from it to acknowledge the communication and boost progress toward self-generated language.

What is Scripting?

Scripting is the use of delayed echolalia that a child may use to attempt communication or just something that they enjoy saying. It could be language they overheard others say, from a game they played, a show they watch, etc.

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