Gestalt language processing has 6 Stages which are Stage 1: Echolalia, Stage 2: Mitagation, Stage 3: Single words & 2 word combinations and Stage 4: Correct grammar (Basic),  Stage 5: Advance Grammar, and Stage 6: Complex Grammar. Let’s understand how this process works, and discuss its various stages one-by-one.

But before to continue first get an idea about what is gestalt?

So those who are not aware of this word, then i would like to point out that Gestalt is a German word and its meaning is “overall form” or “complete shape”. This theory states that a child or a person while learning understand things as a whole unit, not as separate pieces.

Now about the Gestalt language processing?

Gestalt Language Processing is a specific way of language development in which the individual tries to understand different pieces of language as a whole. This process is mainly observed in children who suffer from autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but other children can also undergo it.

You can watch this video and understand more in detail:

So in this guide, we will reveal the different stages of Gestalt Language Processing, and explain how this process works. Have a look at the 6 Stages of Gestalt language processing below:

Stage 1: Use of single words and phrases (Echolalia)

In the very first stage, children use entire phrases, script, or larger language units . They usually remember and use phrases as a unit (gestalt) in same kind of situation. For example, the child repeats phrases like “time to go” or “what’s this?” without understanding what each word means.

So in this stage, children take language as just a sound, where their aim is not to speak the words correctly. This stage is important for children because it introduces them to the look and sound of language.

Stage 2: Segmenting Phrases (Mitagation)

In the second stage, children start to segment these whole phrases. They begin to recognize the words inside the phrases and try to combine them in their own way.  So basically, children begin to break apart full scripts into “chunks” e.g.

  • “I wanna eat bread” = “I wanna” + “eat bread”
  • “let’s go home now” = “let’s go” +”home now”

A child might also recombine these chucks and try to create new phrase or word.  Usually this is called a mix and match stage and the final words could also be:

“let’s go” + “ear bread” = “let’s go eat bread”

“I wanna” + “home now” = “I wanna home now”

Stage 3: Forming New Phrases of single or 2 Words

At this stage a child try to express things in much better way based on what he/she learnt in the past. A child starts using the single word or combination of 2 or more words to form a new phrases.

For example, if a child is familiar with phrases like “time to go” and “let’s play,” he or she can form new phrases like “time to play” or “let’s go”.  This stage gives children more autonomy in creativity and use of language. They are able to express their thoughts and feelings freely and use noun, pronoun and adjectives!

Stage 4-6: Understanding the grammatical structure of language

This is the stage where children begin to understand the grammatical structure of language more deeply. From this stage, they start making sentences in correct order and use the basic grammar to convey their message.

E.g.:”I make a snowman” or “I eat an apple”, or “we paint a picture”

During this stage, language becomes more mature and rich. Children improve their communication skills and learn to use language correctly in different contexts.

Later there are 2 more stages of Gestalt language processing, and these are stage 5 and stage 6. These are similar to stage 4, but bit advanced.

Stage 5: Advance Grammar

The stage 5 means now children begin using the advance grammar and  they learn how to ask a question, how to answer, how to make a statement.

E.g.: “Did you make a Snowman last night? or “Did you eat apple in the morning?”

Stage 6:Complete Grammar

The Stage 6 means children begin using the complex grammar and now capable to make long statements with fluency in a correct way. Now they are ready to engage in dialogue and chit chat for long.

E.g.: “If it snows tonight, you can build a snowman”

Final Words

Gestalt language processing is an important method of language development, especially for children with ASD. This process helps them learn language in a way they can understand. It not only improves language skills but also plays an important role in children’s social and cognitive development.

It is important to understand that Gestalt language processing is a natural process and may vary from child to child. Teachers, parents, and therapists need to understand that every child learns language at their own pace and in their own way. With the right guidance and support, Gestalt language processing can help children successfully develop language.

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