prtymyplace 2nite. r u cmng?
Blake stared at the screen of his new cell phone. The message was from the first friend he’d made at his new school, but he had no idea what it meant. He put the phone in his pocket and went back to his video game.
A half hour later Blake’s phone lighted up with another message from Xavier.
wuzup r u aak?
Embarrassed to admit to Xavier that he couldn’t read the messages, Blake turned his phone off and went to bed early.
Children with language-based learning disabilities may hesitate to engage with their friends through texting because they have trouble understanding the abbreviations. Blake missed an opportunity to meet new friends, and will be generally unable to be part of ongoing conversation among his peers.
Parents can help by noticing their child’s texting habits, or lack of them. There are plenty of online translators for text slang that can be used to decipher messages. Parents can help a child learn the lingo by learning abbreviations commonly used by her friends, and then engaging in conversations with her, either through the phone or by leaving cryptic messages around the house.
I’m guessing you understood most of Xavier’s messages, but to save you the trouble of consulting a translator, aak means “asleep at the keyboard.”