Communicating when a meltdown makes talking difficult

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Simon01
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27 Mar 2017, 4:25 pm

I don't have any speech problems, and sometimes I even talk too much. But when I'm in a meltdown situation or dealing with sensory overload, either I talk a lot but not making sense (embarrassing, sounds like a child trying to talk, words jumbled) or else I just can't talk because I'm trying to process what's going on. I've always had that problem, but I've gotten good at forcing myself to talk or having to trying to keep the excessive talking making sense. When I'm excited it sometimes happens too, leaning more often towards talking too much and trying to stay coherent. In all of those situations I end up stressed beforehand because I'm trying to run through sort of a mental outline of what might occur, and afterward, even if things go well, I'm still drained from having to overthink everything and processing the anxiety.

So I'm trying to figure out how I can communicate in those situations when not talking is better for me emotionally but where I still need to be able to express things. Something better than just being quiet the whole time and having everyone wonder what's going on with me. I've been really tempted, when I can afford it, getting a laptop with text to speech and having that with me to communicate with, that way I can say things but keep things to the point without that mental drain of trying not to talk too much or having to force the words out. The only real problem I can see with that I have some minor dexterity problems typing so my typing might be slow at times but I could probably learn to just keep things short. But is that a real solution or overkill? People see my wheelchair so it's not about hiding or downplaying my disability, but I'm a bit hesitant about having something that makes things a bit more obvious, along with how to explain to people who know me why I've suddenly decided to use a computer to talk for me when I don't have speech problems. I've had people in the past accuse me to trying to "look handicapped" when I got too interested in getting a particular type of wheelchair, and later when I was given the option of getting a power chair. Seriously, me being a geek unfortunately gave certain people (family included) the idea that using a power chair was some weird nerdy thing I was trying to do rather than because it had become necessary due to my disability, so I'm concerned about the same thing happening if I show up with a computer talking for me.

In the short term, are there ways I might be able to communicate when I can't talk until I can get the laptop, or some other more workable solution?



Dear_one
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27 Mar 2017, 4:39 pm

You could print some cards to hand out to say that you are temporarily incapacitated. "Sorry - Laryngitis (not exactly, but give me time.)" might work. If you just keep a notebook handy and use it, people will easily treat you as deaf and dumb - you don't need an audio link at all.



Simon01
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Joined: 21 Jan 2017
Age: 49
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Location: San Antonio, Tx

29 Mar 2017, 2:22 pm

That might be a good thing to try at least in the short term. I'm still looking into finding something that would work later on. I still want to see about something that would allow me to actually interact with people even if talking was a problem. I'm wondering if a tablet can be used instead of a full laptop- easier to carry around. It looks like I could have text to speech set up on one. Only real problem would be my occasional dexterity problems.