Advancing Through Autism #2: Communication


The classic symptom of ASD is communication problems. I have said before that there are different forms of, and severities of, ASD. Therefore, it would be improper to for me to talk about ASD without repeatedly stating that ‘this isn’t the case for ALL autistic people’. While communication problems are no exception to this rule, it is a problem shared by all strains of the condition.

When I went to therapy, which I talked about in my Early years part one post, one of the therapy classes I attended was speech therapy. I was a little delayed when it came to talking and communicating. I frequently mispronounced words, and I still do. The words I remember mispronouncing a lot were ‘digital’ and ‘information’. After the speech therapy though, I was alright. Well, I was mostly alright. I still have trouble pronouncing the number ‘3’. Oh well, problems are the sauce of life.

Being autistic though, it does go beyond the pronunciation of words, but it also means that stringing sentences or words, and that can cause a lot of problems. One of my more recent ones is getting the name of a film wrong when I and my Dad were talking about movies. I was referring to the film Rush when I actually said Speed, a completely different film. You can see why I said Speed though, both words have similar connotations. But I and my dad devolved into an argument about how I get things wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I did get it wrong, but I only got the word confused. But with that, I apparently had an expression on my face that drew ire from my Dad.

Words are half of the communication problem, but how your face emotes, that is another thing. Your face says a lot, whether you want to talk, whether you’re happy, or you’re sad, or you’d like to be left alone. I have problems emoting my face, and that causes trouble. Some people seem to think I look like I look down on them, and that causes a lot of trouble. And I’ll be honest, when I think people say stuff I believe is stupid, then I look down on that. I also find jumping to conclusions quite stupid. I am a logical person, and how I see the world, I try to correlate data so that it makes sense to me, and when people jump to conclusions, it angers me. And when I make a mistake, and people assume the wrong thing, that annoys me. That makes me mad.

All the people I know have a slightly harder time communicating with me because I am on a different wavelength, and I obviously cannot help it, and that does make me sad. And with that, I end this slightly negative post here. Communication for Autistic people, no matter how developed or well spoken you are, is always going to be an uphill battle. I am 19, in University, and I still have a lot of trouble with it. But I get through. If you have trouble communicating; speak slowly, think about what you are saying, and say it. As for emoting, keep your face neutral. Well, try to.






About the author


Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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