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Goth Fairy
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20 Nov 2017, 2:20 am

I describe it as trying to read from a blank sheet of paper- there just aren't the words there. Other times it's like trying to read from a wordsearch puzzle- I know the words are there but they are mixed up with too many thoughts and I pick out the right ones.

I sometimes notice it happens when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Or trying to tell someone about a specific problem I have. But I don't get that so often these days. I also notice it in social situations, but that's not so much a stress thing, I think- so I'm not sure if that counts as non-verbal or just communication difficulties, I don't know what to say or can't get a word in between other people speaking. I remember going out with 2 female friends once and they just kept talking and I got more and more upset because I felt like they weren't letting me speak and then I just felt like I couldn't say anything at all. So I think that one started as communication difficulties, but ended up non-verbal because of feeling overwhelmed.


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SabbraCadabra
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20 Nov 2017, 6:05 am

dragonsanddemons wrote:
After poking around online, I've realized that I quite possibly have selective mutism.

I told you that ;)

I don't really have any tips for you though, aside from what you're already doing. It's very rare that I go completely mute, so when I do, I just try to work my way through it, and maybe write things down for people if I really need to. I try to avoid stress as much as I possibly can, because it triggers so many symptoms, not just with ASD but also my Sjogren's Syndrome. Transcendental meditation helps reduce stress. I try to wear ear muffs or plugs for loud activities (like vacuuming or lawnmowing). I try not to let petty things bother me (which I know is pretty difficult).

I'm sorry your parents don't understand you. I know my mom didn't believe I had ASD at first, until she read an article about it in a magazine somewhere. She's been a lot nicer to me since then.

elbowgrease wrote:
Sometimes being pressed in a conversation or an argument that I'm having a hard time handling really brings out the same thing in me. A massive adrenaline wave and something like blood lust.

Sounds like it could be the "fight or flight response"?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight-or-flight_response

I can't remember the details, it's been so long, but I remember something about this response being triggered more easily in people on the spectrum. I know it's gotten me into some pretty rough situations =/ Especially one where I was driving and had nowhere to run.


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dragonsanddemons
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24 Nov 2017, 5:26 pm

I just showed the thing I found to my parents, and both just went "uh-huh." My mom also suggested I mention it to my psychiatrist the next time I'm in. At least I didn't get any reactions like seeing the title and refusing to read it, saying "Oh, come on, you don't have selective mutism," which I was afraid of especially from my dad. That's a start, at least.


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Knofskia
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24 Nov 2017, 6:50 pm

Autistictic wrote:
I would love to have something like that to be my voice when my body decides to go nonverbal. But that would mean being totally open with my diagnosis. It means using an AAC device in public despite the stares, the comments, the whispers behind my back. It means explaining to people what it is and why I use it. And it also means justifying why I sometimes have to use it and sometimes do not.I wish I lived in an autistic world where everybody knows what AAC is and where it is just a normal part of life like the weather. I wish I lived in an autistic world where I could just use whatever I need to help myself without having to ever think about it in the first place.Unfortunately I do not live in that world. Unfortunately I am not that far along on my journey to self-acceptance. But I do hope that one day I will be, because I know an AAC device could change my life.Knowing that I could always have a voice, whether it comes from my mouth or an AAC device, could certainly be liberating. I guess that is why I am not content with just autism awareness. Our goal should be autism acceptance so I do not have to say “I wish” anymore.

http://autistictic.com/2015/06/05/nonverbal-autism/


This quote really encouraged me. The only way we can get an autistic(-friendly) world is by getting autism acceptance. And the only way we can get autism acceptance is by first having self-acceptance. And the only way to build self-acceptance is by using the tools and strategies that we need without shame.

We cannot just wait for it to happen, because it will not happen unless someone acts to make it happen.

I used to doubt myself about using a Service Dog. I second guessed my need and right to use one versus how using a Service Dog might affect other people. I second guessed my dog's ability to handle the work and my ability to train him to Service Dog standards. I second guessed how my family would react to my "need" for a Service Dog. I second guessed how the public would react to seeing a dog working in public.

But what really surprised me was that no amount of internal debate or public education came close to making as much of a difference as actually using a Service Dog. Because the more I used my Service Dog, the clearer my family and I saw how much I needed him; the further we were able to perfect his public access training and increase his confidence; the more accepting, even welcoming, the public was to seeing a dog working in public; and more comfortable I became.

I have resolved to apply this same method to all other tools, strategies, and traits that I want acceptance for (including Augmentative and Alternative Communication) for myself and for others. As an advocate, I hope I can be open with my diagnosis, explain what Augmentative and Alternative Communication devices are, why I use them, and why sometimes I need them and sometimes I do not. This will hopefully make it easier for others who cannot, or are not comfortable, and eventually lead to more acceptance.


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Parterak
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24 Nov 2017, 6:53 pm

dragonsanddemons wrote:
I just showed the thing I found to my parents, and both just went "uh-huh." My mom also suggested I mention it to my psychiatrist the next time I'm in. At least I didn't get any reactions like seeing the title and refusing to read it, saying "Oh, come on, you don't have selective mutism," which I was afraid of especially from my dad. That's a start, at least.


Most of the time I have to deal with my parents I've noticed I try to respond based on prior interactions and whatever the best responses that usually require no followup. Their In their late 50s now so most of our interactions are repeatative, same s**t so I don't have to really think to "respond".

This seems to go easy on most days. Talk about work, next payment on whatever, weather, always trying to keep from having to try and explain something in depth. "How are you feeling" "I'm fine" *wait for them to bring up something about their day or life then ramble on*

I had a meltdown last Wednesday stuck in the backseat with my Mom trying to talk to me after a insanely rough day at work when all I wanted to do was get back to my place(I live with my Grandmother). All I could do was repeat "let me out" over and over as I bashed my forearm against the car door. As the conversation broke down and I wasn't responding in a manner appropriately then just to get hounded into trying to figure out what I'm suppose to say I just flipped my lid for the remainder of the drive until I got home bashed my head through the drywall and fell asleep. Woke up with a great bruise and scrap on my forearm and hand and a mild concussion.

Next day Mom got started again on the way to work. Luckily I got a ride home early with a coworker who doesn't mind silent 25 minute drives.



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25 Nov 2017, 1:07 am

I was thought to have it, but I don't. I have a friend with it and severe social anxiety. She relies on medication and goes to concerts and political rallies for recuperation.
Just be willing to step outside your bubble.


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BeggingTurtle
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25 Nov 2017, 1:07 am

I was thought to have it, but I don't. I have a friend with it and severe social anxiety. She relies on medication and goes to concerts and political rallies for recuperation.
Just be willing to step outside your bubble.


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SabbraCadabra
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25 Nov 2017, 3:05 am

dragonsanddemons wrote:
That's a start, at least.

=)

I hope it continues an upward trend. (is that even English? I'm second guessing myself)


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dragonsanddemons
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26 Nov 2017, 5:17 pm

SabbraCadabra wrote:
dragonsanddemons wrote:
That's a start, at least.

=)

I hope it continues an upward trend. (is that even English? I'm second guessing myself)


Yes, that's proper English :) If my psychologist and/or therapist agrees that I have selective mutism, I expect my parents to believe them, and it would be most excellent if either/both of them could help me with it. If nothing else, my parents might let me use the text-to-speech app on my phone if they say it's a good idea.


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Yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage. For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.
-H. P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider"


artfulldodger
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26 Nov 2017, 7:28 pm

Yes, I also have SM. Anytime I am in high stress/high anxiety, injured or in lots of pain, backed into a corner in an argument ect I will become unable to speak. This is one reason I wear a medical ID bracelet on my left wrist that shows I am autistic and to see my wallet card if there is a medical emergency. I am rarely without that bracelet, right now is one of those times, just got out of the shower, but I will put it back on in a few min. AD


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dragonsanddemons
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26 Nov 2017, 7:34 pm

artfulldodger wrote:
Yes, I also have SM. Anytime I am in high stress/high anxiety, injured or in lots of pain, backed into a corner in an argument ect I will become unable to speak. This is one reason I wear a medical ID bracelet on my left wrist that shows I am autistic and to see my wallet card if there is a medical emergency. I am rarely without that bracelet, right now is one of those times, just got out of the shower, but I will put it back on in a few min. AD


I've been thinking it would be a good idea for me to get a medical ID bracelet and make a card in case of emergency situations.


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Yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage. For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.
-H. P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider"


Kiriae
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27 Nov 2017, 5:54 pm

I experience it sometimes during sensory or emotional overload. I want to speak but there is too many thoughts in my head(or too many sounds around) and I am aware I will not be able to put them all into words in a way others can get what I mean and that their answer is going to be something difficult for me to comprehend too, possibly increasing the overload.

So far my method of dealing with it was either wait a little bit while trying to calm down, removing myself from the place/situation if possible and trying to communicate by writing notes on my phone or attempting to speak, by saying "I... cannot...speak...very...well...right...now...but...". It is difficult at first and my voice sounds shaky and mechanic but after a few sentences I get my pace back and break free from that state, regaining the ability to speak properly.



SabbraCadabra
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28 Nov 2017, 8:46 am

Kiriae wrote:
...or attempting to speak, by saying "I... cannot...speak...very...well...right...now...but...".

Yes, same here, exactly. Except I usually don't get quite that many syllables out before giving up =)


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