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HiccupHaddock
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16 Apr 2022, 12:40 pm

I'm wondering is there a name for being slow to process people's speech, and produce speech?

I was at a small family event a while ago where we were doing a quiz where you had to shout out your answers, and the quizmaster was asking questions that I definitely knew the answers to (e.g. what is the capital of France?), but although I was trying to say my answer as quick as I could, I was much slower (a few seconds slower) than other people.

Not sure if it was because I was processing the question slowly, or producing speech slowly, I think a bit of both.

Anyone else find this?

Is there a way to formally check if someone processes others' speech quite a bit slower than the average population?
I think this makes me quite slow during conversations, sometimes people fire questions at me, and I feel I can't answer quickly enough..



HeroOfHyrule
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16 Apr 2022, 12:44 pm

I think this is a verbal processing issue. I've been having trouble at work due to this, because my coworkers have to tell me things multiple times until I can process what they're saying. It takes my brain forever to do so and I still miss bits of what's being said, and find it even harder to process what to say/do in response.


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16 Apr 2022, 2:13 pm

I don't know if there is any name or official diagnosis for slow processing of speech. Mine is treated as just an autism trait. Not a specific diagnosis for slow processing itself.

I'm usually ok with one-on-one conversation. However, when it's a meeting or any group conversation, I'm completely lost. I just cannot follow the conversation. I understand only 10% or so.

In your case, it seems that you can at least understand all the questions fired at you. That's actually very good. So probably the problem is not you processing other people's speech slowly but you being slow in forming a response in your head to what other people say.



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16 Apr 2022, 2:39 pm

I also have trouble with this. I hear words but understand what someone is saying later. I don't know if this is auditory processing disorder or something else.



HiccupHaddock
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16 Apr 2022, 3:28 pm

Thanks so much for your helpful replies.

I do usually understand what people say if it is just one sentence. But if it is lots of sentences in a row, and the person is speaking quickly, or about something complicated, then I do sometimes feel like my understanding isn't keeping up with what the speed they're talking, and I just hear a stream of words.

At work I have the habit for many years of always bringing a notepad to meetings and talks, and writing down everything people say in my own kind of shorthand (with lots of abbreviations). I can write really quickly, so sometimes if they say something fast that I don't understand at the time, I can write down the words and figure out what it means later. Generally at the meeting I am happy if I get the general gist of what the topic is, and I think that writing down actually helps me get the gist. That is, I think I understand the written word better than the spoken word, and writing words down helps me to understand/decode their meaning, does that make sense?
After a meeting I look at my notes, and if I am still not understanding something, email the person to ask for a clarification..

In social situations it is more difficult as I can't use a notepad then, so I think I probably sometimes look like a dear caught in headlights when people fire a few rapid questions at me..
It happens more often if there are lots of people in a room, all talking at once, I think the background noise makes my brain work less efficiently, and it can only decode slowly..



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16 Apr 2022, 4:32 pm

My therapist suggested I take an auditory processing evaluation. I definitely hear things "later". I notice that I often ask a person what they said just as I am hearing it. Sometimes I wonder if my thoughts are in the way of hearing, even when I am trying to pay attention to what a person is saying. Maybe it's that I'm bored or impatient while I am "waiting". :wink: Probably both.

Here is one link (child oriented) in regards to CAPD. The list overlaps with sensory processing, Autism, ADHD - the neurodiverse spectrum in general. https://www.ablekidsfoundation.org/cent ... with-capd/



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16 Apr 2022, 6:40 pm

Me too, and I don't know of an official label for it. I'm also slow to take in written words, but the trouble with verbal stuff is that they're harder to rewind for a second hearing.

I was listening to an audio podcast once, and realised I couldn't keep up with the speaker's pace, so I put it through a time-stretching effect in an audio editor. I was surprised how little I had to slow it down before I was able to keep up with it. It was only about 10% or so. Any slower than that, and I found myself getting impatient with the slow delivery, and so losing the ability to focus on it, which I guess is what NTs experience when they try to listen to me. I wish I'd been able to put my schoolteachers through that time-stretching effect. A written transcript would have served me much better (I'd have likely been able to skip the lesson then), and a good recording would have helped, though when I've tried to make my own recordings the sound has usually been too full of background noise and reverberation to be clearly audible, and the volume goes up and down too much.

I think one factor is that I get hung up on the parts I don't quite get, while I suppose NTs just gloss over the unclear bits and just hope it won't matter much. As a result, I usually lose the plot completely, though if I can slow them down to my pace I'll often understand it better than most people, because I've taken in every sentence.



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16 Apr 2022, 6:50 pm

Verbal language disorder/language processing disorder. It's common with Autism.

Expressive and/or receptive. What you describe will be a "mild" example of it, a delay in expressing words (so, expressive language disorder if you were quick to understand what was said and form the answer). I have both, which little Dill did an alright job with overcoming, I guess. Though, it's still there in certain contexts.

I kinda stutter and blabber nonsense when I get to a certain point, which will happen with spontaneous social stuff, sometimes even mechanical stuff when something new pops up that was unexpected and I have to form an answer to. I really have to try and slow down in these situations, which leads to rather slow speech. Someone hung up on me the other week due to such and my inability to get words out. :| I kinda learnt to just shut up and not speak for this reason when I didn't have high level of familiarly and/or routine so it's automatic, which will be one of those poor adaptive mechanisms, but I try to avoid doing this now.



HiccupHaddock
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17 Apr 2022, 2:44 am

Thanks so much for your helpful and interesting replies.

I'm wondering whether anyone of you also have these issues??
- frequent ear infections and/or sinus infections (when I catch a cold, it always seems to end in an ear infection)
- very sensitive hearing (eg. can hear what people are whispering on the other side of the room, or sometimes even in another room if it's quiet)
- tendency to 'block out' other noises when I'm focussing on something or someone. For example, if I'm really absorbed in reading something interesting or focussing on talking to a first person, sometimes I genuinely don't hear if a second person says something to me, or just hear it at the edge of my consciousness as a vague background noise but don't realise that someone's speaking to me or decode what they're saying into language.

I'm wondering whether these might be linked to slow processing of speech?

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think it can make social situations very tricky in noisy environments. I've been aware for a while that I find socialising (which isn't easy in the first place) in noisy environments very very challenging, but this has helped me understand better why that is.



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17 Apr 2022, 7:57 am

auditory processing disorder. My auditory processing is 35th percentile, so I am almost always behind in any activity that requires me to listen and especially when required to respond rapidly. I also some times have "selective mutism" when called on to answer questions under pressure or respond quickly.

https://www.webmd.com/brain/auditory-pr ... g-disorder


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HeroOfHyrule
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17 Apr 2022, 9:01 am

HiccupHaddock wrote:
Thanks so much for your helpful and interesting replies.

I'm wondering whether anyone of you also have these issues??
- frequent ear infections and/or sinus infections (when I catch a cold, it always seems to end in an ear infection)
- very sensitive hearing (eg. can hear what people are whispering on the other side of the room, or sometimes even in another room if it's quiet)
- tendency to 'block out' other noises when I'm focussing on something or someone. For example, if I'm really absorbed in reading something interesting or focussing on talking to a first person, sometimes I genuinely don't hear if a second person says something to me, or just hear it at the edge of my consciousness as a vague background noise but don't realise that someone's speaking to me or decode what they're saying into language.

I'm wondering whether these might be linked to slow processing of speech?

I've always been prone to ear infections. I constantly had them as a kid, and still do.

I also used to have super sensitive hearing, but all of those ear infections have ruined that and now I don't even have good hearing, which makes my auditory processing issues worse.

I also can't block out or filter certain noises. If there's any other type of noise going on while someone's talking my brain seems to prioritize it, and it makes it harder to understand what people are saying. I work in a very loud factory and it contributes to not being able to understand my coworkers, because my brain focuses on every single co-occuring noise besides their speech.


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17 Apr 2022, 10:15 am

I will probably answer this two ways.

I suffered a severe stroke about a year ago. I completely lost my ability to read. Every word disintegrated right before my eyes whenever I tried to read. I was able to gain most of this back and now I am operating at around the 8th grade level.

The second way I would answer this is that Aspies literally think a little differently when we communicate. Most humans think across one line whereas Aspies think along several lines at once. We look at thoughts from many different directions and often see several answers when we respond. That just takes a little longer to process information.


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17 Apr 2022, 6:37 pm

HiccupHaddock wrote:
Thanks so much for your helpful and interesting replies.

I'm wondering whether anyone of you also have these issues??
- frequent ear infections and/or sinus infections (when I catch a cold, it always seems to end in an ear infection)
- very sensitive hearing (eg. can hear what people are whispering on the other side of the room, or sometimes even in another room if it's quiet)
- tendency to 'block out' other noises when I'm focussing on something or someone. For example, if I'm really absorbed in reading something interesting or focussing on talking to a first person, sometimes I genuinely don't hear if a second person says something to me, or just hear it at the edge of my consciousness as a vague background noise but don't realise that someone's speaking to me or decode what they're saying into language.

I'm wondering whether these might be linked to slow processing of speech?

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think it can make social situations very tricky in noisy environments. I've been aware for a while that I find socialising (which isn't easy in the first place) in noisy environments very very challenging, but this has helped me understand better why that is.

The only things in that list I have are slightly sensitive hearing, and hyperfocus. I can only focus on one thing at a time and I can't readily flip back and forth between different things, it takes a bit of time for that to happen. So no doubt that's a factor for me. Background noise also seems to be a factor - other people seem to find it easier to pick out the words of the speaker than I do, when the background noise is rather loud. Sometimes at school they'd put us into the assembly hall, and the reverb from the walls, floor and ceiling made it impossible for me to hear what the teacher was saying, but nobody else seemed to have a problem with it. It used to frighten me and I had nightmares about it, because in those days if you didn't pay attention they could get pretty nasty about it, and I don't think I'd have had the vocabulary to explain my problem. I'd have said "I couldn't hear you," and they'd have probably said "Nonsense! Nobody else had any trouble, you just weren't listening." They used to hit one kid just for scoring badly in arithmetic and English tests, as if it was his fault. They never even tried to find out why he was struggling. End of rant.