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Cash__
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28 Aug 2014, 9:10 pm

I was diagnosed with elective mutism as a child, which has since changed names to selective mutism. The thing is I would actually want to talk, but I couldn't at times. The words were in my head and I wanted to get them out, but physically couldn't. Almost like they got lost on the way out. They knew I wasn't non-verbal because I would talk at times.

As a child, this was a very common occurrence for me. Very rare as an adult. Maybe around sixth grade is when it started to go away.



russiank12
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29 Aug 2014, 8:19 am

Cash__ wrote:
I was diagnosed with elective mutism as a child, which has since changed names to selective mutism. The thing is I would actually want to talk, but I couldn't at times. The words were in my head and I wanted to get them out, but physically couldn't. Almost like they got lost on the way out. They knew I wasn't non-verbal because I would talk at times.

As a child, this was a very common occurrence for me. Very rare as an adult. Maybe around sixth grade is when it started to go away.

This describes my experience very well.



OldManDax
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03 Sep 2014, 8:59 pm

Claradoon wrote:
That really rings a bell with me. I often wish I could be one of those Tibetan priests that carries a chalkboard instead talking. Come to think of it, could you use your "electronic device" (whatever it may be) and type "Can't talk now" ? That might work for your relative if you explain it before. What to do with the rest of the world, I have no idea. I have a button I sometimes wear on my baseball cap - "I'm Not Ignoring You - I Have Autism" - that's helpful with cashiers etc. - it seems to take the edge off anything odd I might be doing.


I love the button, and what a great idea. In recent weeks I have once again considered taking a vow of silence. It doesn't have to be forever. It can be for a specific time frame then you're done. It's kinda nice after the first couple of days.



kraftiekortie
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03 Sep 2014, 9:07 pm

Trappist monks take vows of silence.



OldManDax
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03 Sep 2014, 10:21 pm

There doesn't have to be a religious overtone to a vow of silence. Make the vow to yourself. It is hard at first. After a few days a rather nice calming affect often comes. To keep people from thinking you are being rude by not talking, where a note saying something like "In silence" and give family and friends some heads up. Most people are fine with it. Most assume there is a religious reason for it, but let them assume. Who cares.



Bow
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07 Sep 2014, 7:05 am

I am so glad to have read this post...so often I have had to not talk to anyone at work for a day, a week...longer...there are some people (small staff of 30) I have never spoken to...it's just too much and my mind needs the quiet...thanks everyone. :)

(i wont feel so bad choosing peace this coming week)



Waterfalls
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07 Sep 2014, 9:40 am

Being silent isn't always benign. I think it's one thing to need quiet in a state of distress. I have to be around someone who is intentionally rude to me to not have to speak. It's difficult, and interferes with everyone else's mood and functioning.

A heads up and pleasantly letting people know is important for those who can manage this. And those who can't should identify this as their deficit rather than being nasty. Not saying anyone here does this but IRL I know people who do. It drains everyone else.



OldManDax
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07 Sep 2014, 1:34 pm

When I was young I would sometimes mouth words with no sound. My first grade teacher got after me saying she knew I knew the answers to questions posed in class because i would mouth the words without speaking or raising my hand. She also spoke to my mother about it at a parent-teacher conference. Mom would mention it from time to time over the years, but none of us never new why and it was mostly forgotten except by me. It was a puzzle.

In high school I remember doing the same thing in conversations with fellow students. I think I felt social pressure to say something, but did know what to say so I would fade off into silently mouthing the rest of my sentence.