Can you understand what people are saying?

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Do you have difficulties understanding what people are saying?
Yes (written but not spoken) 10%  10%  [ 3 ]
Yes (spoken but not written) 48%  48%  [ 14 ]
Yes (spoken and written) 31%  31%  [ 9 ]
Yes (both) 10%  10%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 29

LizardWizard
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01 Oct 2014, 3:00 pm

When I'm reading what someone has written, I often cannot understand what they are saying. I can read the individual words just fine, but it just looks like a jumble of random phrases until I read it over and over to process what it means. Sometimes I can't ever figure out what it means.

When I hear someone speaking, I have the same problem (not being able to process the meaning of sentences) but I also have trouble even being able to hear what people are saying. For example, if someone says "Why don't you walk over there and see?" I will often just hear "Why nfjrnfrfrm there dgfgtrgt see?" I often have to ask someone what they are saying/ rewind a video over and over for all the above reasons.


Does this happen to you? Is it a symptom of autism, or is it something else?

P.S: Another issue I have is not being able to decipher what I am looking at in an image. It just looks like a bunch of weird shapes and colours.


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dianthus
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01 Oct 2014, 3:05 pm

LizardWizard wrote:
For example, if someone says "Why don't you walk over there and see?" I will often just hear "Why nfjrnfrfrm there dgfgtrgt see?" I often have to ask someone what they are saying/ rewind a video over and over for all the above reasons.


I have trouble with this. I'm always saying, "What?! !" But when people repeat themselves, they usually just talk louder instead of making it clearer. So it just sounds like "WHY NFJRNFRFRM THERE DGFGTRGT SEE?"



LizardWizard
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01 Oct 2014, 3:22 pm

Yeah, it's annoying. They usually get really annoyed too and act like you're an idiot.


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01 Oct 2014, 3:37 pm

Yes! Especially the hearing part. That's exactly how I hear it - all the words just running together into something nonsensical. I often have to ask for a repeat. I do have a slight hearing impairment but my audiologist said I should be able to understand speech better than I do. One of the tests was where I had to repeat words and phrases exactly as I heard them. That was an interesting exercise. I did badly - even thought I was hearing swear words at one point!


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Last edited by Raleigh on 01 Oct 2014, 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kiriae
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01 Oct 2014, 3:38 pm

I usually can understand the written form unless I am not focused enough and my mind wanders around (then, after a while I realize I read something and have no idea what it was about) or someone speaks to me when I try to read (the spoken and written sentences mix and weird things come out). If there is no distractions I can easily understand any text I have in front me. Even if it is written in a language I barely know. As long as I know some words I can easily guess what the sentence is about.

But spoken language is much worse.
I don't always hear the words properly - usually I miss the 1st part of sentence, before my focus switches (for example of "Have you seen my phone around?" I hear only "phone around" ) so I have to ask people to repeat what they just said and sometimes I still can't understand what is being said because people tend to repeat/distinguish only the 2nd part of sentence. Situations like that usually end up with me saying "But what with the phone?".
Other situation is when I actually hear what they say but can't understand what they mean because I imagine something else. I can't give an example in English since people speak Polish where I am and the translation wouldn't be accurate but those are funny stuffs like misheard lyrics from songs that you can find on Internet (for example "There is a bathroom on the right" instead of "There's a bad moon on the rise."). I hear totally different, but similarly sounding sentence that makes me think "What the hell?". :lol:
And sometimes I just don't hear what is being said at all. When I am stressed or focused on something all sounds blend into one in my ears and I can't distinguish voice from noise. That sucks. It's almost as if I were deaf.
Oh. And I generally have trouble with long sentences. I tend to forget the start of sentence before the speaking person gets to the actual point.

BTW. I remember I also participated in the "repeat exactly as you hear" test. That was funny. No, I had no problem understanding the words then. But my literal thinking come out. I did repeat the words EXACTLY as I heard. Meaning I was whispering and modulating my voice just the same way doctor did. In the end doctor said she was supposed to test my hearing, not I hers... My classmates were making fun of me afterwards. :oops:



LizardWizard
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01 Oct 2014, 5:26 pm

Kiriae wrote:
I usually can understand the written form unless I am not focused enough and my mind wanders around (then, after a while I realize I read something and have no idea what it was about) or someone speaks to me when I try to read (the spoken and written sentences mix and weird things come out). If there is no distractions I can easily understand any text I have in front me. Even if it is written in a language I barely know. As long as I know some words I can easily guess what the sentence is about.

But spoken language is much worse.
I don't always hear the words properly - usually I miss the 1st part of sentence, before my focus switches (for example of "Have you seen my phone around?" I hear only "phone around" ) so I have to ask people to repeat what they just said and sometimes I still can't understand what is being said because people tend to repeat/distinguish only the 2nd part of sentence. Situations like that usually end up with me saying "But what with the phone?".
Other situation is when I actually hear what they say but can't understand what they mean because I imagine something else. I can't give an example in English since people speak Polish where I am and the translation wouldn't be accurate but those are funny stuffs like misheard lyrics from songs that you can find on Internet (for example "There is a bathroom on the right" instead of "There's a bad moon on the rise."). I hear totally different, but similarly sounding sentence that makes me think "What the hell?". :lol:
And sometimes I just don't hear what is being said at all. When I am stressed or focused on something all sounds blend into one in my ears and I can't distinguish voice from noise. That sucks. It's almost as if I were deaf.
Oh. And I generally have trouble with long sentences. I tend to forget the start of sentence before the speaking person gets to the actual point.

BTW. I remember I also participated in the "repeat exactly as you hear" test. That was funny. No, I had no problem understanding the words then. But my literal thinking come out. I did repeat the words EXACTLY as I heard. Meaning I was whispering and modulating my voice just the same way doctor did. In the end doctor said she was supposed to test my hearing, not I hers... My classmates were making fun of me afterwards. :oops:


So is this part of autism or is it something else?


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01 Oct 2014, 6:00 pm

I usually zone in and out of the spoken words, but I don't hear gobbledegook when I hear the words, I hear the words as the words, but I still have no idear what people are saying, even when I hear all the words. Listening is a huge weakness for me.


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01 Oct 2014, 7:15 pm

I will not hear what someone is saying if my mind is anywhere else at all. We have made a rule in my family that my name *must* be called and someone must be sure to get my attention before starting to talk to me. Otherwise, things will go like the time my husband asked me something about sauce and it sounded to me like, "Gmh nh huh mnhuh sauce?"

I often ask people to repeat things because the words were gobbledygook. Many times, I think people sound like they are mumbling.

Other times, I will see someone talking to me and they think I am paying attention because I am looking at them, but then all of a sudden I "click" back into reality and realize that I have missed everything the person just said. Sounds came into my ear, but I have not processed anything. I shake my head like I just arrived back from outer space and say, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear anything you just said." I feel bad when I do that because I LOOK like I am paying attention, but I wasn't. I was absent in some way. Most people do not see those moments, but my family does. It can be aggravating to them (and to me.)

Present in body, but not in mind. Even when I *want* to be present, it can be hard to stay there, especially if I am stressed out/having something pressing on my mind.

I have to prepare myself for conversation for all the people in the conversation to get the most out of it. It is not because I don't care, but because I have trouble transitioning from whatever is going on in my head to what is going on with the person talking to me.



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01 Oct 2014, 10:34 pm

Yes, I do. Verbal communication is harder for me. It has always been a problem for me both in English and in my first language. I have to keep asking whoever is saying something to me to repeat him/herself. If it's a group meeting or something, I often have no idea what is being discussed and I just get bored.

My reading is extremely slow, too.

As a result people who don't know me very well quickly jump to a conclusion that I'm stupid.

@OP: The third and fourth options in the poll are the same, aren't they? Shouldn't one of them be "No"?



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01 Oct 2014, 11:49 pm

Yes, but for the intention of what they're saying. I have trouble with trusting people and cannot detect sarcasm or emotions, so that's why I answered yes for both.



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02 Oct 2014, 6:17 am

LizardWizard wrote:
Kiriae wrote:
I usually can understand the written form unless I am not focused enough and my mind wanders around (then, after a while I realize I read something and have no idea what it was about) or someone speaks to me when I try to read (the spoken and written sentences mix and weird things come out). If there is no distractions I can easily understand any text I have in front me. Even if it is written in a language I barely know. As long as I know some words I can easily guess what the sentence is about.

But spoken language is much worse.
I don't always hear the words properly - usually I miss the 1st part of sentence, before my focus switches (for example of "Have you seen my phone around?" I hear only "phone around" ) so I have to ask people to repeat what they just said and sometimes I still can't understand what is being said because people tend to repeat/distinguish only the 2nd part of sentence. Situations like that usually end up with me saying "But what with the phone?".
Other situation is when I actually hear what they say but can't understand what they mean because I imagine something else. I can't give an example in English since people speak Polish where I am and the translation wouldn't be accurate but those are funny stuffs like misheard lyrics from songs that you can find on Internet (for example "There is a bathroom on the right" instead of "There's a bad moon on the rise."). I hear totally different, but similarly sounding sentence that makes me think "What the hell?". :lol:
And sometimes I just don't hear what is being said at all. When I am stressed or focused on something all sounds blend into one in my ears and I can't distinguish voice from noise. That sucks. It's almost as if I were deaf.
Oh. And I generally have trouble with long sentences. I tend to forget the start of sentence before the speaking person gets to the actual point.

BTW. I remember I also participated in the "repeat exactly as you hear" test. That was funny. No, I had no problem understanding the words then. But my literal thinking come out. I did repeat the words EXACTLY as I heard. Meaning I was whispering and modulating my voice just the same way doctor did. In the end doctor said she was supposed to test my hearing, not I hers... My classmates were making fun of me afterwards. :oops:


So is this part of autism or is it something else?

I guess it is my autism in my case(or perhaps ADD?). I don't have hearing impairment - in fact I hear everything, even slightest sounds. Noone can sneak to me because I always hear the steps, no matter how silent they could be. I also hear clock ticking, refrigator working... and even a mosquito in next room(that honestly pisses me off!). When I watch TV I keep it on 2-3 in scale from 1 to 100 because it is loud enough, higher than 10/100 hurts my ears. My parents tend to keep it on 30-40/100.
My language problems seem to have a lot to do with focus. I just don't pay enough attention because there is too many sounds around.

My NT mom also can't hear what someone says to her at times but in her case it is slight hearing impairment. She says her hearing is fine but honestly... if someone turns TV or radio to a volume clearly hearable in whole 3 floor house and comfortably sits in the same room something must be wrong. She used to attend a lot of disco when she was young, that's probably the reason. I often have to tell her "Mom, your phone is ringing" or repeat what dad says downstairs because she just doesn't hear it.



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02 Oct 2014, 7:05 am

Yeah, I have a lot of problems with listening to people. It comes out as gibberish. Some people are worse than others to listen to.



LizardWizard
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02 Oct 2014, 7:25 am

Kiriae wrote:
LizardWizard wrote:
Kiriae wrote:
I usually can understand the written form unless I am not focused enough and my mind wanders around (then, after a while I realize I read something and have no idea what it was about) or someone speaks to me when I try to read (the spoken and written sentences mix and weird things come out). If there is no distractions I can easily understand any text I have in front me. Even if it is written in a language I barely know. As long as I know some words I can easily guess what the sentence is about.

But spoken language is much worse.
I don't always hear the words properly - usually I miss the 1st part of sentence, before my focus switches (for example of "Have you seen my phone around?" I hear only "phone around" ) so I have to ask people to repeat what they just said and sometimes I still can't understand what is being said because people tend to repeat/distinguish only the 2nd part of sentence. Situations like that usually end up with me saying "But what with the phone?".
Other situation is when I actually hear what they say but can't understand what they mean because I imagine something else. I can't give an example in English since people speak Polish where I am and the translation wouldn't be accurate but those are funny stuffs like misheard lyrics from songs that you can find on Internet (for example "There is a bathroom on the right" instead of "There's a bad moon on the rise."). I hear totally different, but similarly sounding sentence that makes me think "What the hell?". :lol:
And sometimes I just don't hear what is being said at all. When I am stressed or focused on something all sounds blend into one in my ears and I can't distinguish voice from noise. That sucks. It's almost as if I were deaf.
Oh. And I generally have trouble with long sentences. I tend to forget the start of sentence before the speaking person gets to the actual point.

BTW. I remember I also participated in the "repeat exactly as you hear" test. That was funny. No, I had no problem understanding the words then. But my literal thinking come out. I did repeat the words EXACTLY as I heard. Meaning I was whispering and modulating my voice just the same way doctor did. In the end doctor said she was supposed to test my hearing, not I hers... My classmates were making fun of me afterwards. :oops:


So is this part of autism or is it something else?

I guess it is my autism in my case(or perhaps ADD?). I don't have hearing impairment - in fact I hear everything, even slightest sounds. Noone can sneak to me because I always hear the steps, no matter how silent they could be. I also hear clock ticking, refrigator working... and even a mosquito in next room(that honestly pisses me off!). When I watch TV I keep it on 2-3 in scale from 1 to 100 because it is loud enough, higher than 10/100 hurts my ears. My parents tend to keep it on 30-40/100.
My language problems seem to have a lot to do with focus. I just don't pay enough attention because there is too many sounds around.

My NT mom also can't hear what someone says to her at times but in her case it is slight hearing impairment. She says her hearing is fine but honestly... if someone turns TV or radio to a volume clearly hearable in whole 3 floor house and comfortably sits in the same room something must be wrong. She used to attend a lot of disco when she was young, that's probably the reason. I often have to tell her "Mom, your phone is ringing" or repeat what dad says downstairs because she just doesn't hear it.


Me too; I'm extremely good at where someone is in the house by the subtle sounds of their steps/movements. Do you know how autism fits into not being able to understand people?


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Neurodiverse (aspie) score: 170 out of 200
Neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 26 out of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (aspie)
Autism Spectrum Quotient: 42
Emotional intelligence quotient: 32


Kiriae
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02 Oct 2014, 8:30 am

LizardWizard wrote:
(...)

Me too; I'm extremely good at where someone is in the house by the subtle sounds of their steps/movements. Do you know how autism fits into not being able to understand people?

The lack/impaired filter seem to be responsible for this, at least in my case. NT brain tends to automatically assign voice as something important and focus on it, ignoring other sounds as far I know. I have to consciously realize someone speaks to me before I understand what is being said, and even then other sounds distract me. The most irritating thing is when I actually try to focus on a voice but I can't because the noise around doesn't let me to. I want to hear but I can't turn off all other sounds and other people don't seem to have the problem in the same environment.

Also, understanding speech is not so easy itself. It is complicated operation. You don't only have to hear it but also distinguish separate words and translate them to your own mind language. And most of autistic people think visually not phonetically.
That's why I find reading easier. I do vocalize the words in my mind but it is only matter of habit, I practice speech this way. Actually my written word understanding rely more on how a word looks than how it is pronounced. I look on a sentence and I understand it before I vocalize it. The words and its meaning is connected. I see "lemon" written word and at the same time see a picture of lemon in my mind and feel its taste. When I hear "lemon" I have to picture the word "lemon" and then get the lemon image and taste in my mind. One step too much.
But thats me. It might be different for every person.



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02 Oct 2014, 10:44 am

LizardWizard wrote:
When I hear someone speaking, I have the same problem (not being able to process the meaning of sentences) but I also have trouble even being able to hear what people are saying. For example, if someone says "Why don't you walk over there and see?" I will often just hear "Why nfjrnfrfrm there dgfgtrgt see?" I often have to ask someone what they are saying/ rewind a video over and over for all the above reasons.
Does this happen to you? Is it a symptom of autism, or is it something else?


Yep! It does! I laughed, when I saw your description.
I sometimes also have the trouble with texts, but not often.

It has to do with slow processing. It is typical for aspergers and probably all autism.
I have even been critisized for it in jobs,- called inattentive.


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