Sunday, December 5, 2010
On Being Non-Verbal
Most of the time, I can't fully speak as a neurotypical person can. I can carry a conversation and alert people to things, do all the normal communicative tasks, but I am unable to say things on my mind without being prompted. Once asked what I'm thinking about or how I'm feeling, I can normally say what was being thought, but without it, I can't unless it's absolutely necessary.
Today is one of those days where I can't speak and it's a struggle to communicate my needs to the people I'm staying with. Luckily they haven't been pressing me much, but when I'm trying to explain something, like the fact that I have a headache, it's frustrating. I imagine this is how a lot of people with kinds of autism which impairs the ability to speak feel - there are clear thoughts and needs and a lot of frustration over not being able to speak.
Luckily things like PECS exist, allowing those who can't speak on their own to tell others what's going on with them. I still have the ability to write and have been doing so to explain the more complex things, but for the most part remain silent.
It's not a silence to be pitied. While I don't choose the silence normally, I'm used to it. I can explain what needs to be said and occasionally whisper something. In time, this too shall pass.