Names and pets (also, people). Also,some speech vs. writing

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Verdandi
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09 Jan 2011, 11:59 pm

This is mostly with animals. With people I seem to relate somewhat differently:

I don't really interact with animals on the basis of their names. I give my pets names but it takes me a long time (my three current cats were not named until they were older than 6 months, and two of them were named pretty randomly). I find that when I do name my pets I don't like to give them names that seem silly or undignified. I recognize them by their appearance and behavior/mannerisms. And in the cognitive space that I expect a name would be in, I mostly have an image that has all these things.

Like tonight, I found one of my sister's cats had managed to get outside. I couldn't remember his name, but I knew who he was because of the way he interacted with me (he loves to climb onto shoulders and press himself into the side of one's head). I didn't even think he was one of the cats that lives here until he got onto my shoulder (he let me pick him up).

With people I do associate them more with names, but it can sometimes take a bit of time to get there - until then I can remember people by what they look like, how they act, what their voices sound like, and things they've said and done around me. I spent an entire weekend in July with people I hadn't met before (but they knew me from writing I've posted online) but I managed to only learn one of their names while there (I knew what all the names were, but I didn't know who all had which name). This isn't as complex as it sounds - like if I get to know people by name online, I will know their names in real life. But with many people it can take me a few meetings before the names stick.

The difference with people is that I make more of an effort to use names, whereas with animals I know who they are and I am just as likely to make appropriate noises at them as talk to them, so it seems less important to me to remember them.

I don't know if this has anything to do with anything, although I suspect it relates to the fact that I am a primarily visual thinker. I can think in words, but only very simple sentences, and I can't keep it up very long - I can only put my thoughts into words by talking or writing, and writing lets me get so much closer to what I really want to say than talking - most of my talking these days seems to me trying to quote or paraphrase things I've written, or just random conversation that's appropriate for whomever I'm talking to. The exception tends to be my interests, which ... is pretty much me using material I've written about my interests, again. I did talk to another autistic woman about this division between speech and writing, and she suggested it had something to do with hyperlexia as a child (which I very much had), learning vocabulary from books rather than peers, coupled with a brain that doesn't think primarily in words, and thus is constantly accessing a phrase bank, or scripts, while trying to verbalize. Since she said this to me without knowing I was hyperlexic or a visual thinker (and both are true) based on reading things I have written, I believe she probably has a point.

Does this make sense to anyone else?



PunkyKat
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10 Jan 2011, 12:28 am

My pets named always just seemed to pop into my head. I originaly wanted to name my bearded dragon, Pred after the lizard in Titan A.E. but I thought it would be a boring name. Pippin just came to mind one day. I have no idea where it came from. People often ask if I got Pippin's name from the Lord of the Rings but I did not. Sometimes people ask me if I have another lizard at home named Frodo or Gandolph. I think those would be cute names for a bearded dragon but I do not have any by those names or any other lizards at all. If I ever do get a sister for Pippin, I'm going to name her Piper.


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Verdandi
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10 Jan 2011, 12:33 am

Heh on Pippin. I had a black cat named Azrael (after the angel of death) but everyone thought I'd named him after the evil black cat in The Smurfs. Honestly, that had not occurred to me at all until someone pointed it out. To me, the context was very different.



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10 Jan 2011, 12:59 am

I think long and hard about my names for pets. All my pets have had more human names because I probably relate to them more than people.
I have my eldest sister cat Ari, named after a poet. My cat is called Lyra named after Lyra from The northern Lights because they are just so mischievous. Also, there's a constellation called Lyra.
If I get a dog I want to call him Asriel, also from The Northern Lights.

I rarely call people by name unless to get their attention. The people I call by name without getting their attention have bee Tim Rogers and Craig Nicholls. Boys from bands. But I always call Tim by his name - ALWAYS! Maybe it has something to do with trying to bond or a sort of respect.


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Verdandi
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10 Jan 2011, 1:20 am

That's interesting. At least some of the time I try to get people's attention non-verbally, or with a mix of non-verbal signals and speech before talking to them. I don't think I use names all that frequently, unless necessary to get someone's attention or make it clear who I am talking to or about. I do use my family members' names more often, I think.

My current cats are named:

Shanshu - after "To Shanshu in LA", an episode of Angel. She had a close brush with death and survived (not her fault, evil neighbor :evil: ). "Shanshu" is a word in the series that was supposed to mean "to live and die at the same time" or something. She was about seven or eight months old when I finally named her. Angel is one of my interests.

Little Monster - I named him Little Monster because I kept calling him a little monster, which he totally deserved. And then I remembered Lady Gaga's fans are called little monsters, but I shrugged and went with it. He was about six or seven months old. Lady Gaga is not one of my interests. :D

Zed - Named after the letter Z. This name was almost random and I gave it to him when I didn't realize I was going to keep him, but I have a hard time changing pet names - I had another cat once named Scar whom I wanted to rename (someone else named her) but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Zed was named as a kitten.



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10 Jan 2011, 2:06 am

Cats - Cat, Kitty
Dogs - Puppy, Doggy, Dog
People - that boy, that girl, that lady, that man.



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10 Jan 2011, 2:21 am

People: Hey you, over there!

I also have a million nicknames for my pets.


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anbuend
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10 Jan 2011, 2:39 am

To get my cat's attention I just trill at her like a cat would. (Or for emergencies, I meow like a kitten.) For speaking people, she answers to Fey. (Some of them have started calling her "Miss Fey" for some reason. Maybe it's the respect she tends to command, although usually people aren't that perceptive.) But I don't really relate to anyone as their name in my head, and I don't think of myself by name either. Then again I don't really relate to words, so...

(I hate words. I need to write something important before tomorrow and I'm taking a short break. Hate. Words. Hate. Words. :wall: )


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10 Jan 2011, 2:55 am

I get what you mean about accessing a word bank and all of that stuff. Things come out so much more easily on paper or the computor.

My pets have been called Sunny, Corianda, Napoleon, and atm I have Morag and Laska.

People who call their pets Spot or Smudge...do they care about having a pet! :roll:



Verdandi
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10 Jan 2011, 3:06 am

Anbuend,

I do a lot of trilling or meowing with my cats and occasionally have a back and forth thing with them. I often talk to them too, but it's more the tone of voice than the words, I think. And other things too - like with one cat I had, she knew the sound of a cat food can being opened and would appear from any location in the house. I didn't have to call her or say anything, because the sound itself was the alert. And of course a lot of body language.

I spent a lot of time confused by NTs claiming that cats don't communicate a few years ago.

With people, I can think of them and the image pops up, or if I think of their name specifically, the image pops up, but the name only comes up if I deliberately bring it up.

I hope you get those words out of the way sooner than expected.

Daedal,

The thing was I was describing to myself how I handled conversations (especially small talk and pleasantries) as a matter of scripting, and it is just amazing to me how many autistic people use this description or one very much like it (phrase bank was her term, not mine, but I like it), and that I had not come across this even while I was reading autistic bloggers a couple years ago (or at least I don't remember it).

And I agree - if you need to name something, the name should be worth the effort of naming. :)



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10 Jan 2011, 4:11 am

anbuend wrote:
To get my cat's attention I just trill at her like a cat would. (Or for emergencies, I meow like a kitten.) For speaking people, she answers to Fey. (Some of them have started calling her "Miss Fey" for some reason. Maybe it's the respect she tends to command, although usually people aren't that perceptive.) But I don't really relate to anyone as their name in my head, and I don't think of myself by name either. Then again I don't really relate to words, so...

(I hate words. I need to write something important before tomorrow and I'm taking a short break. Hate. Words. Hate. Words. :wall: )

I call my cats by name. Making sounds helps make them come sooner. But my cat Lyra will come when she's called just by name. She will run up to me like a dog. Ah, she's the best. She's also super affectionate and when not held will cry until someone picks her up.


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anbuend
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10 Jan 2011, 4:49 am

Weird, I'm pretty sure I use "phrase bank" and the like as well. I never thought of it before.

(I'm almost done with the writing, but it's nothing like I hoped it would be. But it'll have to do. It's one of those "Hello, please don't expect me to be anything like consistent with any of my abilities because..." documents. I had all these ideas about how nicely laid out it would be but in the end I can't even read it so I have no idea how it looks or whether it's right or not. And now my pain and overload levels are completely dominating my awareness at this point, which is fun. I hope I can sleep eventually.)


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10 Jan 2011, 4:14 pm

When I was a child I based most of my cats' names after their appearances. For example, Patches was a calico, Dandelion was an orange tabby, Sugar was a black cat with white spots that reminded me of grains of sugar, etc.

When I got a little older I started naming cats after special interests. Cody was named after a character from the second season of Digimon, and Miroku was named after an Inuyasha character. If I were to get another cat at this point in my life, I would definitely name them after a character from a Tim Burton movie, though which one would depend on things like gender, appearance and personality.



astaut
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10 Jan 2011, 5:06 pm

Certain pets I use their names all the time, but some I just can't call them by their name. Like if their name just "feels" wrong. And yeah, I've had pets that I just never named because I couldn't decide on one.

As for the verbally expressing myself...I also do it a lot better in writing. I've gotten to where I do it just fine in speech, but there's a lot of pausing and forgetting what I'm saying :lol: Friends say I look like I'm nervous or out of breath when I talk sometimes.


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Verdandi
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10 Jan 2011, 5:11 pm

anbuend wrote:
Weird, I'm pretty sure I use "phrase bank" and the like as well. I never thought of it before.


I got the "phrase bank" phrase from a friend of yours (and really only an acquaintance to me). She wrote a couple of posts about text and speech and communication that triggered some realizations, and I'd written her to thank her. She had an interesting response - a small part of which I paraphrased here.

(and then you had a post a day later that was also interesting and topical)

Quote:
(I'm almost done with the writing, but it's nothing like I hoped it would be. But it'll have to do. It's one of those "Hello, please don't expect me to be anything like consistent with any of my abilities because..." documents. I had all these ideas about how nicely laid out it would be but in the end I can't even read it so I have no idea how it looks or whether it's right or not. And now my pain and overload levels are completely dominating my awareness at this point, which is fun. I hope I can sleep eventually.)


I hope you got that sleep. :(