what does why mean?

Today Crow hit a little girl at the beginning of the morning, at journal time.  It came out of nowhere.  I put him in the take-a-break chair.

“Crow, did you hit her?”

He nodded.

“Why did you hit her?”

He looked blank and nodded again.  I started to think, maybe he doesn’t know what why means.  And explanations, cause and effect, all those things are beyond his ability to comprehend or communicate.

He hit kids all day.  Not once was he mad, not once did it make any sense, or happen after a provocation.  When he had to take a break, when I talked to him about no hitting, he smiled a little and nodded, in a friendly way.  (If I say “is it okay to hit people?” he will always give that little smile and nod, totally uncomprehending.)

It’s pretty rough if you don’t know what “why” means.

2 thoughts on “what does why mean?

  1. Please tell me this kid gets speech. And has anyone tested his hearing? Maybe what is going on here is some sort of major auditory processing issue, not just lack of experience.

    • He gets speech, more than once a week. He also gets special ed support. His hearing is fine, but the sweet little guy has lots of things going on, and abstractions (and ideas like “why”) are just beyond him right now.

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