Listening

Autism is the mother of so much heartache in people’s lives for the wrong reasons. Autism is not a wrong way of being, it’s different, and in some ways superior to typical.

Autism gives me an outlook on life that is unique, somewhat due to the fact that I am not constantly talking in response to everything going on. Most people are rather obsessed with themselves and their own opinions, and lack listening skills. A cacophony of talking accompanies most every gathering. Somehow, constant prattling on is comforting to neurotypicals. They conceal their inner insecurities by never allowing a break in conversation.

Meanwhile, because autism apraxia doesn’t allow me to speak, I can listen to all and carefully consider all perspectives. This gives me a great advantage in life, I believe. There is not the expectation on me to come up with the right responses immediately. So, I am able to take time to assimilate what I learn through listening. This is by far the best way for me to learn.

Autism really is a pleasant listening life. There is so much richness to being a captive audience to the eminent orchestra of life all around me.

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Me on my laptop listening to music.

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Non Verbal Autism

All people communicate but not everyone talks. Some people talk a little but not conversationally. Some people say words and phrases out loud that don’t match what they really want to say.

Sometimes I use talking words but I am still very much non verbal. Saying words out loud is not always possible or accurate for me. My pronunciation of words isn’t totally clear, and I say words in different order than most people when I say them. I can very much more fully express myself using the letter board, or Proloquo2Go.

Many times I say nonsensical things like, “Larry boy!” or “Go back to green house!” and I repeat it many times for no reason. I hear myself and think, boy, I sound ridiculous; and I wish I could stop but I have no control.

When people ask me things I know exactly what I want to say, but there is an ever-present blockade between my brain and my mouth. It is extremely frustrating as you can imagine.

Especially damning are the assumptions that my intelligence is low because of my thwarted attempts to respond the way others expect; with verbal words. I can remember a time when a person said to Mom that I have a very low IQ of 40, and I wanted to scream, NO! But I couldn’t. It was horrible not to be able to defend myself.

I sincerely, altruistically, hope and pray that more autism pros like teachers and doctors will realize that autism causes major issues with getting the body to cooperate with the intentions of the brain to respond, but ability to comprehend is unaffected. This will make way for more appropriate help for autistics.

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