Speech Delay, Echolalia, Pragmatic Issues, Word Retrieval: Speech in the Time of Autism

So now the new wall is done. They worked all day yesterday and cemented the end of the granite block edging. Interestingly my oldest spent the entire day talking. He just loves the DragonBallZ manga series. I made a mistake however, by buying the new DragonBall movie on DVD. I had no idea that the movie changed things so much that it was practically not the same story. Everytime something was off in the movie, he told me until he finally got fed up and turned it off. You would think that the powers that be that create movies would have somewhat of a handle on their audience. I bet they have no idea why this movie flopped. You cannot change such a story line on aspies. It’s hard enough for an NT when they mess up a book in order to turn it into a movie, never mind those that exist on sameness and familiarity. So anyway it began a day long conversation all about his mangas and how they  interest him. He talked all day to my husband and to our younger son, when he was outside helping with the wall, too.
The oldest actually even commented on how talkative he was that day. Needless to say it was encouraged. I like it when he finds a topic to talk about. Oh, he has lots of topics, but he generally keeps it all inside. I think that’s why his anxiety gets the better of him and he seizes. They say men suffer heartattacks at a great rate than women because of the fact that they don’t talk out their anxiety and problems, I am glad that my son is starting to feel comfortable about yakking. I am actually thanking the therapist and life skills counselor for this new habit. They allow him to talk without being judgemental and I think it makes him feel comfortable. I like that he is happy.
Now I know that when it comes to school he can’t talk to his heart’s content. Even though he brings up some very pertinent and informative questions in class. But at home it is a joyful experience. There are a few things we do though to keep him on track:
1.  Teach him to interact in his conversation; 
2.  Taking turns if part of how to deal with people and we make him stop and allow input from others; 
3.  Accept that others have a different opinion and learn to respect that (we are talking about appropriate differences of opinion);
4.  Allow him to segway into peripheral topics but tell him that he is on a tangent, just so he learns to identify the nuances;
5.  If the tangent can be applied to the main conversation go with it or direct him back to the original topic;
6.  Teach him the appropriate way to ask a question and model it for him;
7.  Teach him the proper way to acknowledge someone’s differences;
8.  Let him know that because someone disagrees with him, it doesn’t mean that they don’t like him;
9.  Let him be funny and make jokes, just direct them. Joking is a great icebreaker. It’s something he can use at school;
10. Allow him to be himself, and expect people to respect him for who he is and what his beliefs are.
It’s fun when a child who has had speech and word retireval issues his entire life, begins to come into his own. His speech delay was significant and then turned into echolalia. Then his auditory processing issues came between him and speech. During middle school and high school his pragmatic skills were very poor. Now it is really a word retrieval issue alone. It sounds somewhat like a stutter, when he tries to organize his thoughts and words, that is why it was so exciting that he could really carry on this day long conversation, with interaction and thought provoking analysis.
I do have to say, that the only time he never had this problem was when he speaks to my father. Whether they spend hours discusiing world affairs and politics or him telling my dad how we don’t treat him like a grown-up, he never lacks for fluency. I guess its comfortable talking to grandpa. It’s what a good grandpa is for.
Unfortunately we don’t see the grandparents as much as we would like and he says the phone is not for yakking. It is more a tool to get information that he needs or support against me from his father. But maybe I can get him to talk to the grandpa a little more. It would be great practice for him. I think I’ll give it a try. Heh, you never know, maybe he can regale my father about how the jerks messed up the DragnBallZ story. I am sure the grandpa will be thrilled.
Until next time,

About Elise "Ronan"

#JeSuisJuif #RenegadeJew... Life-hacks, book reviews, essayist...
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One Response to Speech Delay, Echolalia, Pragmatic Issues, Word Retrieval: Speech in the Time of Autism

  1. Unknown says:

    Hi Elise: In my previous job at Microsoft, I worked with your sister, which is how I found out about your blog. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for posting this. My ex-wife and I also are the parents of two autistic children (16 and 17 years-old) and have really gleaned quite a lot from your writing/experience. Things like this show us that the boys are going to be way better than it looked like it might be when they were little. They\’ve come farther than our greatest hopes already and we\’re so proud of them. Thanks again for sharing your story!Tom and Krista Archer

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