Edits of an autism creature nonverbal communication image for Quadrant romance
Bonus: Flushed Pity Version
How I communicate besides my device (Tw for mentions of shutdowns and catatonia)
I want to talk about how I communicate. Obviously, I use my AAC device for the most part, but I communicate in other ways too, depending on how coinvent it is.
A few minutes ago, my mother told me she was going to Mcdonalds to get a Capuchino, and asked if I wanted a Frappuccino, so I nodded, and then stretched my arms upward to show that I wanted a large one. This is one of the ways I communicate, body language and gestures. Gestures are really useful for me, because if I am communicating a simple idea, such as "I want a large Frappuccino", it is faster than using my device.
I also make noises. If someone is doing something to me that I don't like, I might make a noise that people associate with "no", such as "Mm-mm", or "Mhm" if I am saying yes. Someone touching my device without consent? Making a noise that means no, and pulling away is a good way I communicate that they need to stop.
I also type, because sometimes typing is a better option than my device. For example if I am currently in a catatonic state due to a shutdown, it is a lot easier for me to type a few simple words like "I go now, hurt" in my phone, rather than finding those buttons on my device.
And guess what? Everything I just described is a form of AAC!
AAC is more than just high tech devices like mine. AAC is also gestures, noises, typing, communication cards, pointing, etc.
i am autistic please be patient
Moist finished his coffee with a look on his face that those who knew him well--a group consisting, in fact, of absolutely nobody--would have recognized as the formation of a plan.
Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
Pixie think accidentally deleted a question from ?? @blackcrowgrey maybe ? , was ask was about what is like to be using AAC device .
is so freeing ! so exciting , so many new possibilities . with AAC device so much more is becomes possible to do to go to . to try be come part of community .
is some of the same feels, finally getting good communication helps , as like when hospital finally got Pixie wheelchair to use while can not walk .
is lots of . happy . frustrating . overwhelming .
speech therapist said Pixie will need year or more to program the AAC device to fit Pixies needs and to teach Pixie and new family and friends how learn use AAC device . also probably to push Pixie to actually communicate with people not on Internet … is some is same as learn new language , take long time to learn it become fluently .
but . is also very fun ! Pixie like push the button for guinea pigs keep pushing button make AAC device repeat guinea pigs guinea pigs guinea pigs guinea pigs …
communicate still very very slower than speaking people conversations . it much much better than have no AAC . but also, it NOT a magic fix . is not at all just a “can not speak” problem that get fixed when be give AAC device . it much bigger more pervasive , affect all parts of communication , learning , school , making and keeping friends, working ability, socializing, and more .
and . this maybe feel like silly stupid little thing but ... ALL AAC devices , not mounted on wheelchair , must have shoulder strap or like thing to carry comfortable because . a good AAC device become part of Pixies body, is literally Pixies voice . need access to pixies voice all the time , just like speaking people do .
hope this help . please to feel free to ask more questions . Pixie just slow but happy to answer kindly questions . also make speech therapist very happy for Pixie try practice with AAC device get better :)
Story idea I started playing in my head while going to sleep last night: An alien is a native to a very dangerous and fairly unexplored planet. One day, they see a human running for their life from some of the planet’s predators, and they step in to save them. Perhaps the human is injured or falls ill from something on the planet, so they take them back home to take care of them.
They don’t speak the same language, so they have to communicate through signs and anything else they can think of. At first human is not too happy about their predicament. They seem to be waiting for something and desperately search the sky every night. Eventually, they begin trying to help the alien instead of just allowing themselves to be taken care of. As several months pass, they fall into a rhythm of life together. Then one day human’s crew who has been in search of them finds them.
The crew is wary of the alien, but human vouches for them. And by this point, some feelings have grown between alien and human, so human wants alien to come back with them. Turns out human is a captain of a starship. Once back on the ship they have functioning translators, and they can finally speak to each other, exchanging names, explaining backgrounds etc. But for some reason, their relationship feels so much more awkward and complicated now that they can have full out conversations. It’s also very different now that it isn’t just the two of them, and they must learn to adjust to a new normal.
neurotypicals are TAUGHT poor communication skills: an essay rant by me
avoid misunderstandings: just say what you mean! speak your fucking mind. be open and clear about what you want or need or hope to get out of this, so that the other person knows that stuff.
grasp the real meaning of what's being said: yeah that sure seems tricky huh? gosh, it sure would be a LOT easier if we lived in a culture where people just spoke straightforwardly instead of hiding everything under twelve layers of misdirection, huh?
understanding the emotions and intentions behind the information: i'll loop back around to this one at the end, but keep it in the back of your head for now.
clearly convey a message: just be straightforward! god this would solve so many fucking problems.
listen in a way that gains the full meaning: now, this one i can see if you're like distracted or multitasking or not listening, so fine. but if you're looking for hidden meanings while listening? that's probably not the best way to be attentive and make the other person feel heard either. just give your full attention to them and their words.
we say one thing, the other person hears something else, and everything goes to shit because of it: now THIS is the real problem. remember that first point? about understanding the "real" intentions behind the info the other person is giving you? and listening in a way that gets the full meaning? yeah, see, this is why. this is why we have these difficulties where we say one thing, trying to be honest about it, and the other person interprets it completely wrong. THIS is the issue! we're always looking for the secret meaning! and so we interpret completely honest words as being barbed and mean, we misinterpret things, we fuck everything up by constantly trying to understand veiled meanings that AREN'T EVEN THERE HALF OF THE TIME. this is so stupid and self-contradictory!!! "oh, communicate directly and be clear, but also constantly scan the other person's words for the veiled barbs they're sure to throw at you. wait, why are they misinterpreting what you're saying? that's not supposed to happen!" this way of communicating is so fucking asinine. just assume everyone says what they mean, jesus fucking christ.
none of these things are the real problem. none of this is what's stopping you from communicating effectively. the reason you can't communicate well is because you've been trained to hide your real meanings and desires and feelings beneath forty layers of politeness and well-wishings, while also assuming that everyone else is doing the same, and it hurts the way we communicate so fucking much. your body language does not matter for shit if you're talking like you're in the fucking unseelie court.
listen, girl, listen. sometimes being an engaged listener simply does not look like that. people are hugely varied and experience the world in so many different ways-- for a lot of people, showing interest looks like getting visibly excited or sharing their own experiences as a way of relating or interrupting to show support! i'm not saying these are inherently good, but you cannot assume that there is this very narrow way to be a good listener and that anyone who doesn't do exactly that doesn't care about what you're saying.
in conversation with my friends and family, i interrupt a lot! i get excited because i like talking to them! their words make me think of things that i could share to strengthen their points or show that i understand what they're saying since i've had something similar, and then i get excited to share that with them! this is just the way i communicate naturally; i can't help it. i'm not saying that you SHOULD redirect the conversation to be about yourself-- i'm just saying that "the speaker can read your facial expressions and know your mind's elsewhere because you're thinking of what you want to say next" is bullshit because often, if your conversational partner is EXCITED TO BE TALKING TO YOU, they will be waiting eagerly for their turn to talk because they want to engage with you! they WILL be thinking of their own points to make sure they don't forget them! that doesn't mean they don't care about YOUR points!!! bitch!
alright. i have been saying for years that body language is immensely stupid and says nothing about true engagement. let me break it down real quick.
body movement- fidgeting. natural body movements. a lot of people can't listen without doing this, without doing smth with their hands or bouncing their leg.
eye contact- we all know the deal here so i'm not even gonna bother
posture- what does that have to do with anything??? you can't control your posture bro. look at the amount of us that sit like shrimps-- do you think we'd do that if we could control it???
the tone of your voice- has nothing to do with anything either. people are monotone. people are expressive. people have poor volume control. people are too quiet. people use AAC. people's tone of voice says nothing about anything other than the way they naturally speak.
muscle tension and breathing- huh??? what if i had 6 cups of coffee this morning and am extremely tense? what if i have an anxiety disorder that makes me tense up? what if i'm stressed about something later today? what if i have athsma or allergies and am struggling a bit to breathe? are you gonna think i don't care because of any of those things?
maintaining eye contact is so fucking stupid bro it feels so awkward and intimate and whenever i make eye contact i find it hard to be serious or talk normally because i start doing this awkward laugh thing because i feel like i'm being put on the spot. fuck eye contact!!!
what does this even meannnnnn oh my god be for real. grow up. the way i'm sitting has jack shit to do with my words or honesty. if you assume i'm a liar because i like to sit with my knees drawn up, or because i have my arms crossed bc i don't know what to do with them... then youre a bitch im sorry. what the fuck.
edit: i was going to make a second part going into more depth on the body language stuff, but it was all kind of repetitive of stuff i've already said? here is the source article for this essay if you wanna check it out, and the body language part was via a link on that page about nonverbal communication.
free for anyone to use if they also happen to need it, don’t need to credit me
this user is a part time AAC user
I has related question: do you know and if so are you willing to educate me on the difference between nonspeaking, nonverbal, and mute? and the respective "selective" variants of the three?
Nonverbal and nonspeaking have two different interpretations. Some people think of them as meaning the same thing, and others don't. I see both sides but personally do not like being called nonverbal very much because of this reason.
Nonverbal/nonspeaking are not umbrella terms, despite so many using it as such. Nonspeaking and nonverbal means always mute. It is not a word that can be used to describe a temporary experience. It is a word to describe the permanent or very long lasting state of a person.
Mute just simply means someone who cannot speak. Selectively mute means someone who is not fully mute, but goes mute in certain environments. I think it is important to note that the "selective" part of selectively mute does not mean "selects/chooses to be mute". It means goes mute in select situations. Some selectively mute people prefer "situational mutism" for this reason, to try and prevent that misunderstanding.
Semiverbal/semispeaking is also a permanent state, as nonverbal/nonspeaking is. Semiverbal/semispeaking is a term for a permanent state in which someone has an extremely difficult or restricted ability to use oral speech, and sometimes fully looses it.
Unreliably speaking is a term for people with apraxia, to describe their mouths not saying the words they want them to say. @perplexingluciddreams has explained the term in more detail though.
(tw! this next section has a mention of meltdowns)
Intermittently speaking is (I believe) a term to describe people who are primarily speaking but loose oral speech under severe stress like a meltdown.
autistic things 61
you're gonna need to learn different ways of communicating. AACs, ASL, communication cards, gestures, text to speech etc. And that's okay
"In Uberwald the dwarfs and trolls haven't settled their old grievances, there are large areas controlled by feudal vampire or werewolf clans, and there are also tracts with much higher than normal background magic. It is a chaotic place, indeed, and you'd hardly think you were in the Century of the Fruitbat. It is to be hoped that things will improve, however, and Uberwald will, happily, be joining the community of nations."
Vimes and Vetinari exchanged looks. Sometimes Carrot sounded like a civics essay written by a stunned choirboy.
"Well put," said the Patrician, at last. "But until that joysome day, Uberwald remains a mystery inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma."
Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant
Pixie make whole email to Best Buddies friend all with new AAC device Grid Pad !
speech therapist be so proud for Pixie work hard to learn !