Verbal Communications Differences and Difficulties Sticky

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aspiartist
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26 Aug 2008, 1:52 pm

Yes, I can identify a lot with "trapped inside". It's actually traumatic when a lot of terrible things happen to you. You can think and understand perfectly well, maybe even better than average, but are more or less unable to say a word about it.

Overwhelmed already. Thanks for the thread.



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26 Aug 2008, 4:07 pm

last night i was nonverbal for a couple hours, all i could get out of my mouth was noooooooo, jim, noooooooo. Its hard though because speech is such an importance among this world, and when you dont have any its like your below the tatam pole if that makes any sense!


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27 Aug 2008, 1:42 am

hey! good to see you here, Age 1600!

as to the question of being selectively mute, I am the opposite. My psychologist says I have superior and may even have savant skills in extemporaneous speaking and vocabulary.

I am hard pressed to keep my mouth shut (around others) for a micro second. Just call me Merleopedia. . .


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LabPet
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27 Aug 2008, 1:42 am

Rough evening.....I had a meltdown - hours. I started crying, then screaming. I would not even know who/what to ask and I have way to speak when I feel 'melty.' I think I'm ok now, marginally, but really tired.

Strange that I can scream, but not really speak during a meltdown. At the most vital time I need to communicate, I cannot.


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aspiartist
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27 Aug 2008, 9:42 am

I was never able to even scream or cry out. I can now, to some extent, though there's rarely a cause to.



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27 Aug 2008, 10:08 am

LabPet wrote:
Rough evening.....I had a meltdown - hours. I started crying, then screaming. I would not even know who/what to ask and I have way to speak when I feel 'melty.' I think I'm ok now, marginally, but really tired.

Strange that I can scream, but not really speak during a meltdown. At the most vital time I need to communicate, I cannot.


I am really sorry about your meltdown, Labpet. When I get in melt down mode it is usually BECAUSE I CAN'T communicate. the frustration just assassinates my heart.

Merle


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Age1600
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27 Aug 2008, 1:37 pm

LabPet wrote:
Rough evening.....I had a meltdown - hours. I started crying, then screaming. I would not even know who/what to ask and I have way to speak when I feel 'melty.' I think I'm ok now, marginally, but really tired.

Strange that I can scream, but not really speak during a meltdown. At the most vital time I need to communicate, I cannot.


I agree why cant we speak but we can scream screech or do some other noises with our mouth, what connecton between the brain and the vocal cords that allows actual words to come out is not working? its soo confusing! I'm also sorry about ur meltdown, meltdowns stink! I had a meltdown last night, i came after my boyfriend with knives, attacked him, but it was all because he messed up routine and if my routine gets messed up tis like world war 3 over here lol. I hope ur feeling better today! (((BEAR HUGS)))


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Age1600
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27 Aug 2008, 1:42 pm

sinsboldly wrote:
hey! good to see you here, Age 1600!

as to the question of being selectively mute, I am the opposite. My psychologist says I have superior and may even have savant skills in extemporaneous speaking and vocabulary.

I am hard pressed to keep my mouth shut (around others) for a micro second. Just call me Merleopedia. . .


hehehe, i wish i had that ability! there are times tho i can big a huge chatter box, and even then my words dont always make sense lol, sometimes it sounds like im still learning to speak again lol


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27 Aug 2008, 10:10 pm

Thanks...I feel marginally ok but I'm still shaky/scared. I started to feel overwhelmed (sensory) at a store, went outside to cry. I walked into the wooded area and began screaming! I drove to a nearby field I like to visit, a bird sanctuary. I walked to the water and screamed, screamed, screamed, until my throat was raw. This was later in the evening I felt completely lost and vulnerable. I didn't know what to do so I then drove to my laboratory (then late at night) and curled up in the alcove under the bench for quite a while. I was shaking hard and I think I whimpered.

When I felt safe enough I drove home to my apt, crying hard. When I laid down it was 1:11 am. I just want to go to bed and sleep; I worked today at the lab and, of course, no one knows what I did last night. My head hurts too. I am unsure, but do you think NVs have worse meltdowns (in both frequency and severity)? Just speculative...I read that Stephen Wiltshire has/had horrendous meltdowns. I love his artwork! He does speak, but just partly - sort of like myself.

Thanks Age1600. I hope you feel better too. Yes, our vocal cords work just fine!


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sinsboldly
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28 Aug 2008, 1:25 am

LabPet wrote:
Thanks...I feel marginally ok but I'm still shaky/scared. I started to feel overwhelmed (sensory) at a store, went outside to cry. I walked into the wooded area and began screaming! I drove to a nearby field I like to visit, a bird sanctuary. I walked to the water and screamed, screamed, screamed, until my throat was raw. This was later in the evening I felt completely lost and vulnerable. I didn't know what to do so I then drove to my laboratory (then late at night) and curled up in the alcove under the bench for quite a while. I was shaking hard and I think I whimpered.

When I felt safe enough I drove home to my apt, crying hard. When I laid down it was 1:11 am. I just want to go to bed and sleep; I worked today at the lab and, of course, no one knows what I did last night. My head hurts too. I am unsure, but do you think NVs have worse meltdowns (in both frequency and severity)? Just speculative...I read that Stephen Wiltshire has/had horrendous meltdowns. I love his artwork! He does speak, but just partly - sort of like myself.

Thanks Age1600. I hope you feel better too. Yes, our vocal cords work just fine!


take care of yourself, labpet. Isn't it good to have yourself to depend on? Who understands us like ourselves. (hug)

I had to learn to silent scream at work. and when I really get one going and have to let 'er rip, I had to learn to make a high piercing ululation with my tounge fluttering against my teeth from belly dancers and I do it when riding my scooter, in my full face helmet just to save my throat. but I not only do speak, but make my living from speaking and I post here, not because I am silent, but because I like the company.

Merle


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30 Aug 2008, 8:36 pm

I just wrote, refer to below letter. This is for all of us! I am a scientist (1stly chemist) and at University....most you know already. But I wrote for possible publication in University Diversity paper......apologies for any typos! I am sure all of you know this - mostly about being ignored from not speaking:



Dear Neurotypical Reader,

I am abundantly aware of communication differences. Autism is a communication disorder, among other hallmarks which define autism. This communication difference, between Neurotypical and Autist, is a model of communication and illustrates why communication, at the holistic level, may be awry. I will write this to you alone since, ironically, most readers have lost the ability to read analytically and thoughtfully; selective illiteracy.

Neurotypicals ( = NT) communicate quickly and are very adept at the socio-verbal mode. Any NT can easily outdo any Autistic in this medium, that’s a given. Autistics do consider NTs as ‘mind-readers’ since we lack in ‘reading’ emotional expression, moods, motive, intent, and innuendoes. In additional to autistic muteness (at any level within the continuum) we are at the socio-verbal disadvantage which exposes our vulnerability of naiveté.

Employees are reliant upon their email. Their inbox is inundated with any myriad of email messages. Some are urgent work orders mixed with chatty co-worker talk, spam (ads), outdated announcements, reminder notices, and junk. Any office employee can relate their inbox is a continuous influx of email which they must sift through. NTs are remarkably good at multi-tasking and selecting what is significant for them. Email has allowed their analytical thought to degrade into a click of the delete button. ‘Delete’ is easy and NTs have learned to not think, but sift.

Autists who are to whatever degree (partially mute) conversely rely upon writing to communicate with NTs which happens to be the closest parallel to speech. Of course, Autists communicate prolifically in many ways without words as well, but that’s another topic! About our writings; we write in lieu of speaking. NTs need to be spoken to for message to relay into them. The dilemma is in NT haste our message is often delegated to the discard box. We are ignored. Ignored at staggering levels due to the dominant way of NT selectivity.

For NT employee, which is email message priority in their inbox: (1) Autistic co-worker informing they have deconstructed the drum mechanism on the photocopier and calibrated the pixels for you to facilitate the latest project. (2) Julie co-worker just got a divorce and her friend, Sarah, is inviting you all to lunch today at the trendy café where your latest crush, and potential professional raise (!) will be attending. Martinis will be served. Choice (1) vanishes with the click of ‘Delete.’ Later, your autistic co-worker asks, “Are the pixels adjusted so the cyano-aqua is more apparent? I sent you streaming video to illustrate my thoughts in this regard, please listen. I think this is better for the project, yes?” NT employee is nonplussed – “What?” And, “I have a lunch meeting soon, we’ll talk later (refer to Choice (2) above).” Autistic co-worker is left wondering, “Did my co-worker get my written message? Was this message even read? Or remembered? Does it even matter? Maybe when she gets back from her mystery important lunch meeting she’ll tell me if I did ok.” Of course, this question is never answered since the NT employee likely doesn’t care too much. Worse, any further written messages from Autistic co-worker, just by NT employee’s automation, goes instantly into discard.

The Autistic Culture does communicate and quickly! But not with semblance to NT communication; Autists are notorious for their memory, sometimes we’re called ‘Wiki-brained,’ in reference to our manner. We are image/pattern/sequence thinkers and not verbal by nature. So, when I write to another of my kind we automatically recall whatever was shown or posted regardless of the temporal space between any given messages. Oftentimes we’ll exchange pictures, clips, music, formulas, schematics, and this is mutually understood by all. There is no hierarchy amongst us so all who ‘speak,’ for lack of a better word, are heard and considered. And remembered in our CD-ROM memory of streaming associative thought. We don’t have exclusionary clique lunches with trendy friends over Martinis either. Ideas are assimilated and shared without fear of retaliation or edit. No hidden agendas or ulterior motives since we lack the neuropathy of forward thinking.

NTs do argue, justifiably, they simply do not have time to read everything. NTs watch a lot of television, play video games (or their siblings or children do), listen to iPods, come equipped with cell phones for instant chat or texting, popular magazines, and just plain ‘small talk’ in the hallways. And gossip. Yet the messages with meaning can be inadvertently discarded since they are not even granted consideration. They say, “I only have so much time to read everything, I pick and choose!” By observation I do know any given NT will spend massive quantities of time just chatting. For them, this is leisure. Not for any Autist. What if NT allocated some of that chat-time to LISTENING? Just listening. And watching. Observing!

I have often times given another a written note which can be read, by approximation, in just minutes. But that very note is placed on recipient’s cluttered desk, with them saying, “I’ll read it later, like at lunch.” But it’s easily forgotten in their minds. To their NT speaking colleague, this message is quickly verbally conveyed and therefore given credence! NTs are bold and speaking always takes precedence.
I have written, in various formats, about this phenomenon: “To not read what an Autist has written (or drawn) for you is tantamount to covering your ears when another is speaking to you!” Of course, any NT would not cover their ears when someone is speaking to them – that’s rude! Yet a congruent written or drawn message is left unheard in reality. Trust me, much of what Autists do write, in our logical and cogent way, is elegant, poignant, and very relevant. But is tenuous in the sifting process and therefore lost.

The result? The missing puzzle piece of that written message is discarded and the Autist is degraded. Why should we bother to communicate with a dominant NT when our analytical and thoughtful attempt is met with IGNORE? NTs have read the diagnostics about my kind: “Doesn’t play well with others. Uncommunicative and not emotively reciprocating.” Uh-huh.

My Autistic friend, the Inventor, has written to me, when I did cry about not ‘reading’ those NT emotions you all so prize (and we lack) and being rendered mute, “Lab Pet, your words a silent music fills me.”


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14 Sep 2008, 5:27 pm

Labpet: Your letter was beautifully written and very relevant. Have you received any feedback? If so I hope it was not patronising. I have been told that people believe I do not speak because I have nothing to say, and so are surprised when I write in a coherent, intelligent and persuasive manner. This surprise seems to be translated as fear and anger; how dare she pretend to be retarded all the while understanding what we are saying. I never pretend anything, and often do not grasp what is being conveyed, but this is the reponse I often receive.

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About our writings; we write in lieu of speaking...We are ignored. Ignored at staggering levels due to the dominant way of NT selectivity.
It annoys me greatly that written communications will not be read, but thoughtless comments from talkers will be tolerated. Why people who talk nonsense loudly and often are not ashamed is beyond the scope of my understanding. My written communication is usually seen as a deficit, to highlight that I am not talking. I write to talk. I am communicating. The amount of times teachers berated me for being uncommunicative but consistently failed to read my letters was disheartening; the ongoing frustration probably contributes considerably to my self injurious behaviour.

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I have often times given another a written note which can be read, by approximation, in just minutes. But that very note is placed on recipient’s cluttered desk, with them saying, “I’ll read it later, like at lunch.” But it’s easily forgotten in their minds. To their NT speaking colleague, this message is quickly verbally conveyed and therefore given credence! NTs are bold and speaking always takes precedence...To not read what an Autist has written (or drawn) for you is tantamount to covering your ears when another is speaking to you!” Of course, any NT would not cover their ears when someone is speaking to them – that’s rude! Yet a congruent written or drawn message is left unheard in reality.
So true; in an everyday adult environment I have not once observed an individual cover their ears to drown out the sound of another person talking, even if that person is being extremely irritating. But very few will entertain notes. If they do, sometimes they read it aloud very quickly, so that at least they are hearing the words. You are right, it is ignorant but mutes are the ones patronised and made 'special allowances' for. The content of information is the same. It is just being expressed as written words not spoken words. What is so inferior about that?

Quote:
Why should we bother to communicate with a dominant NT when our analytical and thoughtful attempt is met with IGNORE? NTs have read the diagnostics about my kind: “Doesn’t play well with others. Uncommunicative and not emotively reciprocating.”
It does beg the question: why should I keep trying to communicate in the face of endless ignorance? I just do not understand why communication with the written word instead of speech is considered a special need that others ought to be patient with.



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14 Sep 2008, 5:45 pm

Is selectively mute like choosing not to speak? I don't have any choice, but if I did, I would selectively choose to not be. It's frustrating! I can speak, but people tend to think I'm learning disabled when I do. This is an area that causes much anger for me.



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14 Sep 2008, 6:12 pm

ViatorRose - Thank you, so much, for reading! I gave my letter, which I slightly edited/improved, to my advisor (Dutch neuroscientist) - this will be in the University Multicultural Newsletter, upon recommendation. Those who are multicultural and diverse do understand better.

But that you and aspiartist read means much to me; Lab Pet appreciates. About being selectively mute: Right! It's not like a choice - I certainly don't choose to be NV, I am. I do speak some too, but I mix. I'll let you know if there is any reaction to my letter after submission.

Once in lecture class (chem), last semester, we had to break into groups of 3-4. I do write but if others don't read there is Communication Failure! Our group was given a problem to tackle and I began writing, drawing pathways to share. I think one in the group did listen/read. I'll never forget one student's reaction. She was an older Undergrad (!), with far less experience than myself. Anyway, she wasn't 'being mean' in that she truly felt what she said: "So you cannot articulate the words.....I'm surpirsed you have made it this far in school with your problem." Pretentious at best and I didn't ask for her opinion.

MENTAL SCREAM! I said nothing, and she wasn't intentionallybeing mean. BUT my autistic mind IS my gift. It's NOT that I cannot articulate; my work is articulate with research that is complex and meaningful! But I have a different modicum of communcation.

Precisely as ViatorRose and aspiartist wrote. I think only an Autist would know this.

Separate note: I think most of you know KingdomOfRats on WP, a special friend here - she's great. Anyway, she just posted about a difficult situation and I wish her the best. KingdomOfRats is NV. I do hope she comes to this this Silent Forum to post since she has much to contribute.

Communcation comes in many forms, not just speech! And we all have a right to express. In fact, speech has strict limitations but is still the dominant form.

We have freedom of thought! Unconfined.


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14 Sep 2008, 6:31 pm

This is an area that holds a lot of trauma. I can't make a bridge at this time to even talk about it. I will likely make a private thread sometime and try to talk about it there but I don't know. I have dealt with a lot of abuse and oppression and helpless to speak up or fight back because of it. Up to now, it has also cost me my education, something I have coveted my entire life. I will yet make my way back to the classroom. The challenges and frustrations are many but education is everything and in this respect, more than worth those efforts and challenges to endure. Keep up the good work LabPet. It is all worth it, every bit.

KingdomOfRats, I hope the difficulties you're experiencing resolves soon and you're able to come back to share and communicate some when you're able.