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Tilda
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06 Aug 2014, 6:43 pm

One week ago, I could speak normally. Now I haven't spoken a word for a week. I can make tiny sounds like whining, I can also laugh quietly. I cannot scream. I'm so frustrated! :cry: My doctor has asked me why I don't speak. The only thing I can tell her (through writing) is: "I can't."

Is it common to become mute like this? Is it related to ASD? How long will this last? :?

(I stopped taking one of my medicines a while ago, but this happened over a night and I find it really strange.)



kraftiekortie
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06 Aug 2014, 6:46 pm

Maybe you should make an emergency appointment with your doctor/psychiatrist, and tell him how you stopped that particular medicine. I wish I could offer a fast solution to you.

On your other thread, I asked you if you just wanted to "talk" about something--about something in your life--about something you read?



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06 Aug 2014, 9:21 pm

That is really scary Tilda. I have never heard of such a thing. I hope you will be okay.


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06 Aug 2014, 10:06 pm

I sometimes am unable to speak or interact with people, and I feel like everyone becomes faint and I can't speak.


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06 Aug 2014, 11:09 pm

I hope your speech comes back soon.


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ticky
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07 Aug 2014, 2:44 am

This happens to me when something upsets me and I become 'mute'. I want to vocalize, but can't. I can just make sounds and grunts, sometimes even those are impossible. I communicate in writing. However, something strange started happening - I started having these episodes after waking up. I had one a few months ago after waking up from a nap (had a bad dream) and one this morning (don't remember if I had a bad dream). I woke up and wanted to speak, but I couldn't coordinate all the muscles needed for speech production, so I just grunted the words. No one could understand me, even though I did. I just had to wait until my brain 'woke up'.

I had a theory that it must have something to do with the motor cortex controlling vocalization muscles, like the laryngeal motor cortex (LMC). According to this article, patients with lesions in the LMC

Quote:
[...] are occasionally able to initiate phonation, such as grunts, wails and laughs, but do not succeed in voluntary modulations of pitch, intensity and the harmonious quality of their vocalizations.


I don't think I have any damage in the LMC, but it might be that whatever overwhelms me triggers some chain reaction and I can't speak. They don't know all that much about LMC yet. This is only a hypothesis I have since it's been happening to me and I want to figure out what's going on. Bad dreams overwhelm me.

When I go 'mute' while I'm awake, it can take a long time to recover. It usually happens when I watch something on TV and I get shocked by a scene, or when someone says something provoking. I find myself talking without realizing it, and then I yell "I talked!" because it surprises me.

Maybe this qualifies as temporary verbal apraxia.



Tilda
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07 Aug 2014, 3:43 am

Thank you for all your replies!

Sadly, my speech isn't the only thing that is affected:
* I don't use gestures like nodding or shaking my head. Four days ago, I managed to use gestures the whole day, but after that day I just can't make a single gesture. It's impossible!
* I have 0% eye contact. If I happen to meet someone's eyes, it feels like I'm going to burst.
* When people say whole sentences to me it's difficult for me to pick it up. It's easier if they say: "Come", than "If you come here we will go to the supermarket." So a lot of times I don't react or look confused. That's why people have to write things down for me.
* I walk strangely now, feels like I'm going to fall. I get upset sometimes when I'm supposed to tie my shoes or use cutlery, because it's getting more and more difficult for me.
* Sounds are overwhelming! Even the smallest sounds. I cover my ears, but my dad doesn't want me to. Then I'm banging my head behind me and kicking things, because the sounds are killing me.



kraftiekortie
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07 Aug 2014, 7:42 am

Hi Tilda,

How are you feeling today?



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07 Aug 2014, 7:56 am

a lot of users here are mute/electively mute,am non verbal to a degree,have echolalic only speech and go mute to around meltdowns.
meltdowns and stress are very common causes of mutism, probably because it takes a great level of processing to speak for people on the spectrum and for introverts as well,it makes sense that the brain woud choose to mute part of itself to allow the most needed parts to function better.


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Tilda
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07 Aug 2014, 10:40 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Hi Tilda,

How are you feeling today?

Pretty good, thank you! :)

But I'm a little sad because I have to drop off high school because of this! :cry:



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07 Aug 2014, 8:22 pm

Tilda wrote:
kraftiekortie wrote:
Hi Tilda,

How are you feeling today?

Pretty good, thank you! :)

But I'm a little sad because I have to drop off high school because of this! :cry:



Wait what?? Why? Can you get a cat scan? Any chance you had a stroke in your sleep? I am nonspeaking I can speak but for me it takes way to much for me to do so. Now I am prodominantly nonspeaking. I function better this way and I am happier.

That said get a cat scan. Demand this be investigated. Don't give up! Do you have an ipad? Or some such? You can get apps to speak for you


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07 Aug 2014, 9:59 pm

ASdogGeek wrote:
Any chance you had a stroke in your sleep?

That said get a cat scan.


I thought this too when I read your posts. 8O


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08 Aug 2014, 2:09 pm

My neurologist and psychiatrist both agree that I am more classically autistic than AS and my neuro put "autism" on my diagnosis list. I go mute often in reaction to extreme stress. Although I do suffer from basilar migraines which confound the whole temporarily losing speech business.

My advice to you is ask for medical investigations - CAT / MRI scan etc to either discover, or eliminate, any physical / neurological cause of this.

Your high school should not chuck you out on the basis of losing speech - that is discrimination (my uni are trying to get rid of me and my support worker says that its discrimination for a similar reason).


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Tilda
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08 Aug 2014, 4:24 pm

Today I finally spoke. But I am probably going to be hospitalized next week. The reason is that my parents are scared I will become worse, and I will try a new medication (I think), and need to be under supervision then.

I'm feeling quite strange at the moment and it feels like I am getting difficulties speaking again. Hopefully I won't wake up mute tomorrow ...



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08 Aug 2014, 4:42 pm

It sounds like an episode of selective mutism to me. Yeah, scary--but you know, it's encouraging that you kept your ability to write throughout. That says to me that your ability to write and your ability to talk are two different skill sets. You're going to be able to maintain communication even when your speech does cut out.

Selective mutism is not too uncommon on the spectrum. It happens when we get too stressed--we just drop speech because it's too much work. From the sounds of it, you've been majorly anxious. I think your brain just had other things to worry about.

Tell us how that medication trial goes, OK?

Are they sure you need to be hospitalized or can they check on you daily as an outpatient instead? Seems to me it would be easier on you if you stayed in a familiar environment, since you are not in any danger nor unable to care for yourself right now. If you do have to go to the hospital, just stick it out; it's boring as anything and they'll probably be patronizing, but you'll survive. Try to bring books. Softcover; sometimes they take hardcover books away from you because they think you might bonk somebody with them. :roll:

Considered getting a text to speech app to "talk" for you when you can't? Autistics with that problem have found it to be quite handy.


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