My seven year-old son has a lot of difficulty making logical connections on his own. His inability to make logical connections is his biggest obstacle to academics and social functioning. How can we help him improve at it?
For example, one of his teeth fell out last night, but he left it in the van. We took him out to the van this morning to see if the tooth fairy came. He looked straight at the money a few times, but didn't notice it, because he was looking for his tooth.
We asked him what he was looking for, and he answered his tooth. So we asked why he was looking for his tooth, and he answered because he left it in there last night. So we asked him what the tooth fairy does, and he answered correctly and promptly. But it still didn't dawn on him. So we asked him what he should be looking for. Only then did he get it.
We know this isn't age-typical behavior, because his four year-old sister sometimes makes similar mistakes starting out, but she almost always makes the connection when she first sees hints like the money, and on the rare occasions she doesn't, she doesn't need more than one verbal hint. Our son almost never makes those connections without our input.
He easily remembers the pieces of the puzzle one at a time when prompted, and once the pieces are all there he can easily put them together. He does very well on logic games like robot turtles. It's just like it doesn't occur to his brain to ask the right questions.
This affects him academically. Math has a lot of deductive reasoning, and in reading new words he often gets stuck on his first pronunciation, and it doesn't occur to him to try an 's' sound for the 'c', for example. He is actually a grade level or more ahead in reading, according to these tests, but it's like he remembers a huge number of sight words rather than possessing good decoding ability. In other words, he is severely hampered in learning new things independently, but probably above average in recalling facts he learned previously.
We've probably said things like "What other sounds does a 'c' make?" thousands of times, but it doesn't occur to him to ask those questions of himself. Obviously modeling the behavior isn't working. We could make prospective memory aids for specific situations like reading new words, but that won't help him in other new situations, especially social ones.
We try to give him as small of hints as possible, in order to help him exercise that skill, but it hasn't seemed to make a difference. What else can we do to help him develop this skill?