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azurecrayon
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21 Oct 2010, 10:16 pm

i think im hearing two different things discussed here. one being the lack of complete verbalization for requests, the other being the lack of the ability to verbalize in emotional/intense situations.

the first one, my son went through this as well. most kids do, but asd kids seem to extend it much later than nt kids. my son used to only ask for things like "milk", then it became "i want milk". we just use reminders when he speaks to us that way, by saying "how do we ask for things?" and saying the phrase correctly for him to parrot back, "can i have some milk, please?" he still sometimes needs prompting to ask politely for something, but the vast majority of the time he asks with a proper question and using please. we used the same thing with our other kids, it just went earlier and quicker with them.

for the other, i dont think its uncommon at all for even highly verbal autistics to become non-verbal when either emotionally or sensory overwhelmed. at home, i try to prompt with "use your words" which is enough if its a minor episode. for more intense non-verbal moments i ask "are you upset? are you sad?" and name through the emotions until we hit the right one, which you can usually tell by his nod or if he can squeeze out a yes. then you start guessing as to why.

at school, they set him up with a simplified Picture Exchange Communication System (i believe PECS is what momsparky is describing). he has a name badge reel type thing that clips to his belt loop and has a ring with strips on it, each strip has sections describing emotions or requests with pictures and words. things like "i want to be left alone" with one stick figure pushing another away, "i am sad" with a sad face, "i am mad" with a mad face, etc. he is using these at school to help describe what he needs or wants when he is too emotional to verbalize. it goes with him everywhere. when he is in the class, he also has a larger set with more options that he can use.

i know a lot of schools or families use PECS for non-verbal autistics, but i think its a really great tool for those like my son who are only non-verbal at times of overload. it can be incredibly important for a person who is otherwise assumed to verbally communicate, because when they need to verbalize the most is when they lose the ability to do so.


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Neurotypically confused.
partner to: D - 40 yrs med dx classic autism
mother to 3 sons:
K - 6 yrs med/school dx classic autism
C - 8 yrs NT
N - 15 yrs school dx AS


pandorazmtbox
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21 Oct 2010, 10:36 pm

azurecrayon wrote:
i think im hearing two different things discussed here. one being the lack of complete verbalization for requests, the other being the lack of the ability to verbalize in emotional/intense situations.


For me, those things are really the same thing. I can't make requests, because I either get anxious about the response or I need something so badly there is an emotional desire inherent in getting it right. Getting someone to listen to you when you have a hard time making the words...and then they often don't bother trying to really figure it out...it ends up being a very traumatic experience trying to initiate a response from people. Requests are wants and emotional by nature.


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Countess
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22 Oct 2010, 7:51 am

pandorazmtbox wrote:
azurecrayon wrote:
i think im hearing two different things discussed here. one being the lack of complete verbalization for requests, the other being the lack of the ability to verbalize in emotional/intense situations.


For me, those things are really the same thing. I can't make requests, because I either get anxious about the response or I need something so badly there is an emotional desire inherent in getting it right. Getting someone to listen to you when you have a hard time making the words...and then they often don't bother trying to really figure it out...it ends up being a very traumatic experience trying to initiate a response from people. Requests are wants and emotional by nature.


I understand exactly what you're saying. Nice point.



Mama_to_Grace
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22 Oct 2010, 8:38 am

My daughter has a variation of this and I have struggled to understand why. When with others (like at school) she won't talk sometimes especially if she needs something. If I am there she might whisper it to me and pull on my shirt or sleeve, begging me to TELL them ( the teacher, or a peer, etc). I've thought it was a sort of social anxiety. She will stay mute in a new situation for quite a while. Usually the other kids (like at the park or at a function) will ask "Why doesn't she talk?" I always tell them "She's just shy." but I've wondered how that is making her feel. I've hoped this would resolve with age but she is still doing it at age 7.



2berrryblondeboys
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22 Oct 2010, 8:50 am

Mama_to_Grace wrote:
My daughter has a variation of this and I have struggled to understand why. When with others (like at school) she won't talk sometimes especially if she needs something. If I am there she might whisper it to me and pull on my shirt or sleeve, begging me to TELL them ( the teacher, or a peer, etc). I've thought it was a sort of social anxiety. She will stay mute in a new situation for quite a while. Usually the other kids (like at the park or at a function) will ask "Why doesn't she talk?" I always tell them "She's just shy." but I've wondered how that is making her feel. I've hoped this would resolve with age but she is still doing it at age 7.


My five year old is EXACTLY the same.



2berrryblondeboys
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22 Oct 2010, 8:53 am

Mama_to_Grace wrote:
My daughter has a variation of this and I have struggled to understand why. When with others (like at school) she won't talk sometimes especially if she needs something. If I am there she might whisper it to me and pull on my shirt or sleeve, begging me to TELL them ( the teacher, or a peer, etc). I've thought it was a sort of social anxiety. She will stay mute in a new situation for quite a while. Usually the other kids (like at the park or at a function) will ask "Why doesn't she talk?" I always tell them "She's just shy." but I've wondered how that is making her feel. I've hoped this would resolve with age but she is still doing it at age 7.


My five year old is EXACTLY the same.



LabPet
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22 Oct 2010, 1:01 pm

2berrryblondeboys wrote:
Mama_to_Grace wrote:
My daughter has a variation of this and I have struggled to understand why. When with others (like at school) she won't talk sometimes especially if she needs something. If I am there she might whisper it to me and pull on my shirt or sleeve, begging me to TELL them ( the teacher, or a peer, etc). I've thought it was a sort of social anxiety. She will stay mute in a new situation for quite a while. Usually the other kids (like at the park or at a function) will ask "Why doesn't she talk?" I always tell them "She's just shy." but I've wondered how that is making her feel. I've hoped this would resolve with age but she is still doing it at age 7.


My five year old is EXACTLY the same.


Still, I am quite like this - - I routinely do the same. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but....... :) She is just shy and she may not fully get over it. At least, I still haven't. Sigh.....being painfully shy is tough. Hey, how come 'Shy, NOS' is not in the DSM V???

Earning my Dx the hard way at times.


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