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AshtenS
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24 Jan 2018, 11:16 pm

For those here who are either selectively or mostly mute how does this affect you? In what situations are you mute or are able to speak? Do you use any alternative means of communication?

For me I can mostly talk with people I'm comfortable around but when I'm stressed or among unfamiliar people I can still talk but it feels forced and is usually restricted to a few words and echolalia.

Some days I just feel like if I were to speak then it would make me overstimulated, in which case I just avoid speaking as much as possible.

When I'm getting close to a meltdown I either can't speak at all or I'm screaming nonsense.



ASS-P
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24 Jan 2018, 11:20 pm

...Sometimes I've wanted to try being mute for a while but I wouldn't exactly get the " tolerance " for it :roll: :( .


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Biscuitman
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25 Jan 2018, 6:28 am

I am quiet, I am enjoy it, it makes me feel nice to not talk. I often go most of the day hardly speaking a word until I am home again in the evening. I have daydreamed before of going mute.



komamanga
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25 Jan 2018, 7:10 am

AshtenS wrote:
When I'm getting close to a meltdown I either can't speak at all or I'm screaming nonsense.


This.

And I don't speak very much, can become mute when under pressure/stress. It drives other people crazy when I go mute.



Edna3362
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25 Jan 2018, 7:42 am

I'm not medically mute, nor have any issues with speech.


Years ago, I choose not to speak to anyone -- whether because I wasn't interested with people or any talking, being worried or nervous about it, stressed out or tired, just bored and make an entertainment out of it or because I feel like it -- it didn't mattered why. I simply didn't want to speak then.

Now? Let's just say it depends on my mood, the situation, and where I'm.

Ironically, I'm more likely nonverbal if I'm more comfortable with the person I'm with. Which is to say nowadays, I'm very likely nonverbal when I'm too lax than being tensed.

How I communicate when choosing to be nonverbal? Up to two or three words, echolalic words, tones and pitches of hums, and gestures. Only my mom understood it well so far. :lol: It's almost how I practically communicate at home whenever I feel like it.
But in a sense not to be able to speak well involuntarily -- mostly out of frustration, I yell, point, several common gestures, occasionally write something, and limited spoken vocabulary. Otherwise, I'd do things myself and avoid anyone with anything. It's usually something to do with if overstimulated, if things are too fast and confusing, or if words are just being uncooperative, or if I'm seriously tired and stressed out.


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AntisocialButterfly
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25 Jan 2018, 8:38 am

I go non verbal when upset quite frequently. If someone tries to force me to speak it feels awful and invasive, I'll often just hide. I have had various people who took the time to write notes with me if I have stopped speaking, I remember one guy at school doing it and I really appreciated it, it relaxed me enough for me to be able to speak after an hour or so. When I get scared and upset it often feels frustrating because sometimes I want to speak, i'll make the odd noise but nothing that makes sense. Its like a block in my brain.

I've always thought everyone does it, but I guess that isn't true, I don't think I know anyone else who does it except for my boyfriend or dad who are both autistic. Sometimes I like having days where I don't speak to anyone but myself. I am happier often speaking out loud to myself than I am to other people, but it can't be when anyone else is there.



NorthWind
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25 Jan 2018, 12:13 pm

I used to be. In a lot of situations I felt like there was no connection between my brain and my vocal cords and my thoughts would disintegrate till my brain couldn't even form complete words anymore.
Consequently I hardly talked at school and never had any friends. Oral exams were all right because it was obvious what people expected me to do, but social interaction made me go mute as there wasn't one simple reason or expectation.
Since my grades were all right I wasn't diagnosed with anything back then.
Problems my family could no longer pretend to not realize started after high school. You can get through high school being practically unable to talk. You don't get a job or university degree. After a few months of constantly failing I partly overcame my inability to talk. It was either that or jump in front of a train.
Now I am hardly ever unable to talk, but I still wouldn't know what to talk about with strangers and therefore don't talk a lot.



dragonsanddemons
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25 Jan 2018, 2:11 pm

I'm pretty sure I have selective mutism. When I'm very stressed, anxious, overloaded, or experiencing a strong emotion of any kind, I can't get my vocal cords to cooperate no matter how hard I try. Sometimes I can say a few words, but not loudly/clearly enough to be understood, and sometimes I can't speak at all. Also sometimes my brain will decide it can't do words anymore, sometimes suddenly, even when I'm mid-sentence. When I can't speak understandably/at all, I'll try to communicate by pointing or using gestures, and sometimes using vocalizations of some sort, which I tend to be capable of even when I can't form words. When talking with people I don't know well, trying to initiate any kind of social interaction, or when I'm not sure exactly what to say, I usually am stressed/anxious enough that I can't speak. I have a text-to-speech app on my phone, but my parents don't let me use it. They insist that I just don't want to talk and try to force me to do it. No one I've met in person believes me when I try to tell them that sometimes I literally can't speak understandably/at all. I'd love to be able to stop talking altogether, but my parents would have none of that. Communicating in writing is much easier for me.


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25 Jan 2018, 3:15 pm

When I'm emotional, even if I want to talk I can't. I open my mouth and nothing comes out. I'm like a fish out of water just opening and closing my mouth. I have wondered if it's related to my stutter. It feels sort of similar. My therapist keeps a clipboard and pen for me because I'm always able to write.


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25 Jan 2018, 4:45 pm

Only during meltdowns, and for a little while after. I'm not sure you'd call it selective mutism really; there are a hell of a lot of other brain circuits that get fried too - I can't understand other people speaking or read/write either, for example.


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AspieSingleDad
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25 Jan 2018, 10:13 pm

During my school days I would be selectively mute a lot of the time because I was made fun of so much. I also just didn't know what to say or do, so I didn't do or say anything. Nowadays I'll speak when required like at work, etc. But during the weekends I like to keep quiet. On weekends when my son is away with his aunt and uncle, I will speak very little. I've even thought about placing orders for stuff by writing it on paper ahead of time. Frankly, I just don't care what people think, I already know I'm different, and I get tired of having to appear NT all the time. Sometimes I need a break.



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26 Jan 2018, 12:57 am

I'm very much like the rest of you here. When I am around NTs that I'm comfortable with then I'm quite the typical Aspie chatterbox and it's hard to shut me up but then there's the other kind of situation. If I'm stressed, anxious, worried about their reaction, or around complete strangers then I am absolutely silent. If there is shouting or anger or hostility of any kind in the immediate area then I am absolutely shut down tighter than a steel trap.

And it would take a team of horses to drag a word out of me.

I have been known to put my hands over my ears or I might actually bolt and run out of the area in an attempt to avoid emotional overload or overstimulation.

There has to be zero emotion in either myself or the people around me or my thinking becomes very cluttered and if the situation is extreme enough I will stim aggressively in an attempt to calm myself down.


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26 Jan 2018, 1:20 am

Basically what everyone else said.. high anxiety = no talk, strangers = minimal talk, friends = relatively normal talk. I'm content being quiet.



KeepOn
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26 Jan 2018, 2:51 pm

Unless I'm specifically doing a social activity (for instance meeting a friend for a meal or drink) I tend to talk as little as possible these days because quite frankly the majority of NT's bore me, especially ones who want to do endless small talk. :( Most people I find very draining if I talk to them for too long.



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26 Jan 2018, 4:36 pm

I go nonverbal during and after meltdowns, and when I'm highly stressed or anxious. It's like others here have described, like a disconnect between my brain and my vocal cords. I know what I want to say, but the words won't come out. I have an AAC app on my tablet that I use in such moments.

At this particular moment, I've been completely nonverbal for three days, but that's because I had surgery on my vocal cords, and am on voice rest for the remainder of the week. I've been using my AAC app at home and at work, and it's been an interesting experience. On the one hand, it's nice because it gives me more time to think about what I want to say, but on the other it's a little frustrating, because I'll be having a conversation and want to make a comment, but by the time I get it written out, the topic has moved on. I think I would enjoy being nonverbal more if I had fewer responsibilities and less of a need to communicate as quickly and efficiently as the rest of the world does. It is frustrating not being able to answer my phone though; I have a lot of doctors and medical appointments, and I know I need to answer it, but I can't, and have to let it go to voicemail. Other than that though, it's okay because I only ever text my friends and family members.


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