why are you non-verbal/semi-verbal or had speech delay?

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linatet
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14 May 2014, 5:36 pm

I just wanted to know, what happens in your mind? Is it that you don't think in words, or that you have trouble thinking of the words to speak, or you don't even think about speaking, or what? Can you try to explain? Thanks :)



kraftiekortie
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14 May 2014, 5:40 pm

I didn't speak until I was 5 and a half.

I had no cognitive awareness of not speaking--nor do I know why I started speaking. I didn't feel a desire either to speak or not speak. It just happened.

My prevailing emotion before the age of 5 was fear/anxiety. I used to scream all the time. I used to vomit all the time.

I'm just fortunate that things, in a relative sense, came together for me the summer after I turned 5.

Before the transition, I was Kanner-type autistic; after that, Asperger's.



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14 May 2014, 5:51 pm

Small, but significant difficulties with verbal language here. IQ in the 99.9312797919 percentile, but a vocabulary, comprehension of everyday words, and so on in the 15. percentile.


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14 May 2014, 5:57 pm

Speech delay until past 3 years and significant day wetting issues up until about 10 years as well as a desire to be in my own company and not be touched. Once I started speaking, I spoke too fast. I still speak very fast and my words sometimes jumble together because of it.



guzzle
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14 May 2014, 6:06 pm

linatet wrote:
I just wanted to know, what happens in your mind? Is it that you don't think in words, or that you have trouble thinking of the words to speak, or you don't even think about speaking, or what? Can you try to explain? Thanks :)


Didn't think in words.



mr_bigmouth_502
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14 May 2014, 6:27 pm

I don't actually know how old I was when I started speaking, but I do know that there was somewhat of a delay, and that speech wasn't a regular thing for me until I was four and a half. I was able to speak when I was three years old, however I would only do so on occasion. Amazingly, whenever I did speak at that age, I would usually do so in complete sentences.

I was a very visual thinker back when I was a kid, and I remember whenever I heard someone speak on TV, until I was about 5 or so, everything sounded like gibberish to me.



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14 May 2014, 6:32 pm

I didn't start speaking until 3. I do have major problems finding the words to match my thoughts. I have a strong tendency to swap words, and syllables.



BetwixtBetween
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14 May 2014, 6:51 pm

I'm not really sure?

I thought in pictures, and I still do, so that's possibly part of it. I was capable of saying the sounds that made up words. In fact the way my family finally started making headway went something like this:
My mom was trying to teach my brother how to play a song on guitar when I was about 2. He couldn't get the notes quite right, so they kept going over it, over and over. At some point I sang it. I was on pitch, on tune, on beat, and I pronounced everything just fine, so they just kind of stared for a moment, and excitedly went through a bunch of other songs to try to get me to do more of that. I've heard the story from my family, and I remember bits and pieces of it, like I remember thinking, "that's easy. I can do that. I'll show him how to do that."
I have no idea how they got me to talk after that, but I guess that told them that I could. What I remember from that time was that I understood what people were saying around me, but I wasn't sure how to arrange the words (any of them) to participate. When I did start stringing sentences together on my own, my mother said I spoke like her grandmother- I used big words and consistently made the same grammatical mistakes. Her grandmother wasn't born in the US but apparently was very bright.
I was around 3 when I started speaking.

I wonder what would have happened if they'd taught me sign language.



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14 May 2014, 7:43 pm

I don't know if I quite count as I have Aspergers, no speech delay, and am completely verbal most of the time,

But when I get overwhelmed I often become semi verbal or even nonverbal. I can at times form complete sentences in my mind but I can not get them out of my mind and to my vocal cords. Other times I can't form words even in my head at all. It's like I can't translate my thoughts and feelings into words. On the most basic level I don't think in words. I think in pictures and sensations and emotions. When I use words to think, it is like there is a narration in my head. It's not really thinking in words. It's more like translating my thoughts into words that just stream through my head. It is like I am talking to myself but in my head

This past year at college I took two semesters of American Sign Language with an instructor who is Deaf so we learned to communicate pretty quickly. It is exponentially easier for me to communicate in sign than in English. I can use ASL without a problem when I am overwhelmed and am having trouble with speech. I know prefer ASL over English even when I am not overwhelmed. ASL feels more like language to me. Speech is like a code that I have to translate, but with ASL the language is already almost there. With some if the more complex grammar(complex as in not like speech in any way and it is impossible to really translate it into spoken language) I don't really have to translate it at all. It just goes almost directly into my head already in the form of pictures and emotions.

I also have noticed that it is so much easier for me to concentrate on something if it is in sign instead of just speech. I zone out in lectures or at talks or any sort of event where there are people talking. But I never zone out in ASL class, which is taught almost completely in ASL. And I also don't zone out at events where there happens to be a sign interpreter, and even though I am not fluent in ASL, it is easier for me to understand what the spoken words mean when I am watching the interpreter.



linatet
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14 May 2014, 8:13 pm

Thanks for the answers! This is interesting

ImeldaJace wrote:
I don't know if I quite count as I have Aspergers, no speech delay, and am completely verbal most of the time,

But when I get overwhelmed I often become semi verbal or even nonverbal. I can at times form complete sentences in my mind but I can not get them out of my mind and to my vocal cords. Other times I can't form words even in my head at all. It's like I can't translate my thoughts and feelings into words. On the most basic level I don't think in words. I think in pictures and sensations and emotions. When I use words to think, it is like there is a narration in my head. It's not really thinking in words. It's more like translating my thoughts into words that just stream through my head. It is like I am talking to myself but in my head

This past year at college I took two semesters of American Sign Language with an instructor who is Deaf so we learned to communicate pretty quickly. It is exponentially easier for me to communicate in sign than in English. I can use ASL without a problem when I am overwhelmed and am having trouble with speech. I know prefer ASL over English even when I am not overwhelmed. ASL feels more like language to me. Speech is like a code that I have to translate, but with ASL the language is already almost there. With some if the more complex grammar(complex as in not like speech in any way and it is impossible to really translate it into spoken language) I don't really have to translate it at all. It just goes almost directly into my head already in the form of pictures and emotions.

I also have noticed that it is so much easier for me to concentrate on something if it is in sign instead of just speech. I zone out in lectures or at talks or any sort of event where there are people talking. But I never zone out in ASL class, which is taught almost completely in ASL. And I also don't zone out at events where there happens to be a sign interpreter, and even though I am not fluent in ASL, it is easier for me to understand what the spoken words mean when I am watching the interpreter.

two observations:
-sign languages usually have a much more intuitive and simpler structure, including grammar and vocabulary
-it probably means you are a kinesthetic learner (movement and hands-on). Are you?



ImeldaJace
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14 May 2014, 9:01 pm

linatet wrote:

-it probably means you are a kinesthetic learner (movement and hands-on). Are you?

I don't know if I'm a kinesthetic learner or not. I haven't really thought about it all that much. I do like doing things hands on, but I also learn from reading or listening, at least I do I when I can pay attention and when it makes sense to my head! :D But that could just be because I have a really good memory for facts.



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14 May 2014, 9:28 pm

I didn't start speaking until I was four but I had no awareness how I sounded to other people when I spoke. I remember saying a word and getting frustrated because people thought I was saying something else. I had a hard time forming a word. I also didn't have a big vocabulary so I couldn't really defend myself telling my side of the story or speak my thoughts or tell my day in school or tell about my trip or what went on at home while my parents were away. I also remember being confused at what my best friend was saying and I didn't understand the meaning of her words because they were all new to me. Also it would not occur to me to tell or to ask questions. I also spoke with a stutter when I was older and talked too fast and would lose air to my lunges because I didn't know how to pause and take a breath. Speech problems do run in my family so it could have been a coincidence I had them too. My uncle did speech therapy and so did one of my cousins. I don't know who else. I also had the tendency to learn new words late so my verbal IQ was always low. I also read late too and didn't start reading chapter books until I was nine. I could barely read when I was six and seven but once I was put in mainstream, I picked up on it quick at age eight. I could already read but never used that skill unless forced. In my younger years I would get violent because I would get frustrated and that was how I expressed my feelings. I did biting, scratching, pinching, hitting so nothing major. I have some memories of hearing what was said to me but didn't understand it. I also didn't follow what happened in TV shows either or in movies. All I saw was moving pictures and people talking and noise in it. Back then I relied on pictures and watching other people of how they do things. I am not sure to at what age I was language delayed till. I think I am no longer delayed in language and I don't ever go non verbal.


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14 May 2014, 9:53 pm

League Girl: I'm glad you were able to overcome all that you went through in your childhood.

It's weird: I didn't speak until age 5 1/2--but I never had any problem understanding what others said to me that I could remember. Apparently, within a few months after I started speaking, I spoke in complete sentences--as if I had no delay at all.
I did have problems with pragmatic communication, and with social situations until a very late age. I think of it as turning from Kanner autism to Asperger's.



btbnnyr
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14 May 2014, 9:59 pm

I had delay past age eight, but learned fast from eight to nine to ten. I didn't have speaking/communicating/social instincts and not verbally thinking either. I also have no memories of people speaking to me before I learned to speak for communication, but I understood most instructions as my mother tells me.


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14 May 2014, 10:34 pm

A related question (just out of curiosity):

Why do some autistics like to write better than to speak? (Someone has mentioned that she could speak single words but she had difficulty speaking in sentences.) You have to think in words if you type too, and guys here don't tend to words swap either. What is the difficulty in saying the words one after the other?