To Speak, or not to Speak, or to Bumble around in Between

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Apple_in_my_Eye
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18 Oct 2009, 6:15 am

I know some folks here are non-verbal, but I'm wondering does anybody feel like they're in between the verbal and non-verbal worlds? (NV folks are of course welcome to put in their 2 cents in)

I've gotten by in life without any help or alternative forms of communication (I'm 40), but it's always been tough, and not always effectively functional speech.

The thing is, I can always get something out, so it's not total muteness, but my modulation can be so off that it's badly misunderstood (as angry, sarcastic, whisper-for-no-reason, or just plain strange). I've managed by mostly by not talking much, and brute-force effort into 'smoothing' my voice out. As I get older this seems to be getting harder to do. And I've realized it's pretty limiting -- once in a while I do want to talk to someone, but I shy away because I'm worried about my voice malfunctioning.

So I'm not non-verbal, but not exactly verbal either. Is that 'possible?'

I don't so much have a definite question here, just wondering if people have had similar experiences, and what you did/think about it. It feels kind of weird wondering about alternatives to speaking (writing or devices) when I've technically been doing it fine my whole life. "Late onset non-verbal-ness"?? Possible, or just ridiculous?



DaWalker
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18 Oct 2009, 7:35 am

To Speak, or not to Speak, that is a question that usually goes unanswered, yet sometimes not even asked. The result is to Bumble around in Between. With me, a lot of it has to do with the social environment and my current perception thereof. I am not always certain about, nor do I feel familiar with my surroundings enough to just let it flow, this takes time and trust. However, I seem to be going the opposite way compared to the OP. As I have gotten older and more familiar with fears, resentments and most of my other idiosyncrasies, I am getting better at controlling and taking responsibility for my emotions.

All of this is probably due to the fact I was totally clueless about aspergers or any of it's manifestation's, much less how these could possibly be affecting me or anyone and everyone I've ever met in my entire life. Four decades create quite a few experiences that you have referred too; unfortunately, it took me four decades plus to realize their existence or impact. Therefore, these day's I am a lot more cautious and little more inappropriate, and I got a long way to learn.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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18 Oct 2009, 7:57 am

DaWalker wrote:
However, I seem to be going the opposite way compared to the OP. As I have gotten older and more familiar with fears, resentments and most of my other idiosyncrasies, I am getting better at controlling and taking responsibility for my emotions.


I should clarify that I didn't mean that I'm actually angry or sarcastic, etc -- it's the sheer mechanical act of my voicebox doing something totally unrelated to my emotions or intentions.



DaWalker
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18 Oct 2009, 9:03 am

My apologies, no sarcasm intended nor did I mean to sound angry - truth is, My emotions or nervousness do actually have an effect on the mechanics of my voice, and my body language as well, maybe not everybody, but it does me, sorry for the misunderstanding, no harm intended.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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18 Oct 2009, 5:33 pm

No worries, I didn't take it as a negative/angry comment -- I just thought we were talking about different things (but I see what you mean now; that is a component). I was just worried that subsequent posters might read fast and get off on a different subject than I'd hoped.

Anyway, no apologies necessary! (my 5am writing was on the inadvertently terse side, anyway)



Callista
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18 Oct 2009, 6:00 pm

I've always been able to speak (very occasionally extreme stress makes it difficult/impossible, but only for a few minutes); for me, the question is, "To think hard in order to say what you intend; or to go on auto-pilot, give canned responses that fit the pattern, and accidentally say things you don't actually mean to communicate?"

The ability to give articulate, grammatical, correct replies in a conversation is not necessarily the same thing as the ability to communicate what you want to communicate. To do the latter, I have to concentrate pretty hard; you can tell I'm saying what I want to say instead of "fitting the pattern" because my speech gets more formal and precise. Oddly enough, this is when I sound most autistic. Just pattern-matching sounds more NT. I'm not the only one who is communicating better while seeming more autistic; I've heard the same thing from verbal and non-verbal alike.

If I had my way about it, I would use writing much more than speech, because when I write, I don't tend to just do the pattern-matching conversation that sounds more normal and casual, and the vast majority of what I say are things I mean to say.


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Apple_in_my_Eye
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22 Oct 2009, 5:24 am

^ Ah yeah, a good point, maximally passable speech is not necessarily maximally communicative speech.

When I was kid I'd think out what I wanted to say and would line it up in my mind and recite it. But that being really slow I started pushing to get answers out faster, which compromised accuracy at the price of passability. The thing is the scripts seem awfully embedded now; sometimes it's hard to turn off/down. And plumbing the depths as I did as a teen is insanely slow. Letting up some on the passability for depth does lessen the feeling of 'dissociation,' though.

That's interesting about non-verbal people also having a 'more autistic' mode also when trying to communicate more accurately. My writing isn't automatically immune to the automatic-passable-script/phrase-insertion thing.

(OT, but I'm starting to wonder if recovering from a long-term moderately numbing depression is actually making it harder to function. IOW, 'seeming more autistic' and functioning better internally, but coming off worse and so functioning worse externally. Ugh, this is weird.)