Oh, the things kids say!

I brought my kids to work with me on a Sunday morning (yes, it happens when you have your finger in too many pots) so they can “help” me at work.

I had my 4 year old testing a couple of new materials I’d prepared to work on visual perception (not one of his strengths) and together we’d come up with some modifications so that he, and other children like him, can be more successful at the tasks.

We organized, copied, and cut, and just as I was heading to the laminator, he jumped in “Can I lemonade it?” It took me a second, but then I burst out laughing. “Sure, you can help me lemonade it!” And we went on to “lemonade” the visual prompt mats.

“Pasgetti” – Spaghetti “Callerpitter” – Caterpillar “baby soup” – Bathing Suit  “Grull” – Girl

As I was sharing this incident with my husband that night, he asked, “Didn’t you just reinforce him saying ‘lemonade’ instead of ‘laminate’?” Good old BCBA-husbands! He’s always catching me reinforcing things I shouldn’t be!

But, on second thought, is it really that terrible?

Yes, I know all about reinforcement and extinction. Shaping, too. And if my son were my client, I would probably have prompted and shaped a correct response. But there is something so absolutely delicious, and sort of age-appropriate in little ones distorting their words to try and increase their vocabulary.

“Pasgetti” – Spaghetti “Callerpitter” – Caterpillar “baby soup” – Bathing Suit  “Grull” – Girl

I don’t know about you, but I don’t hear too many 8 year olds speaking like this. Maybe it isn’t too terrible to just let them say it their way and teach them later?

What do you think?