James and word skills
He called me to help him the other day, and I saw that he'd typed "grinchcatinthehat" - naturally, it didn't turn up any hits. He wanted "The Grinch Grinches The Cat In The Hat". It's interesting that to him, the word is just the letters; he doesn't see the space as part of the word. As Dean said, "Well, of course! DO YOU TALK LIKE THIS? No, you-talk-like-this! " Quite logical.
I have an idea, though. James experiences everything visually. Maybe I could get him to see the space bar as a "rectangle", and then he might notice a rectangle after every word in a sentence.
It's interesting that both James and Thomas (14, also autistic, but not quite as severely) learned to read through the "whole-word" system, which has been so criticized for replacing the old phonics system. For these kids, though, it works, because they see each word as a picture, not as a collection of *sounds* that can be strung together. That's a leap in abstraction too far; you see what you see - seeing and sounding are two different things. I wonder if a language like Chinese would be easier for an autistic person to learn than an abstract phonics-based language like ours? They'd probably be better at memorizing the look of the characters, rather than trying to decode every word the way we do.