Chloe Rothschild gives us a glimpse into her world as she asks us to “be patient and listen, not just to spoken words, but to all words, all forms of communication.”
I’m speaking/ presenting at the Autism Society of America National Conference on communication. It is a topic I really want people to understand. It’s a topic that I myself didn’t understand for so long. If I am so articulate, and so verbal, why, how could it possibly be so hard to get words out, and thoughts into words? Why can I write or type but not say it? People have asked me, just tell me, and then inside a I panic because if I could just tell you I would. Believe me.
I think lots of things, so many things, and have so much to share, so much to give and to help others. I am funny, kind, caring, a great friend, smart, and more. But how will people know this if they don’t even get to hear the true and real me, to hear my written in depth typed words.
If all they see, all they hear and listen to is my verbal spoken words, then they’ll miss out, an opportunity will be missed. How will everyone know how much I know and have to offer if I can’t always tell them? This is why I keep continuing to bring awareness to this topic. There is so much more to communication than being able to speak. Speaking is a form of communication, but being able to speak doesn’t necessarily mean you’re able to communicate, and vice versa.
I say I don’t know, even when I truly do know. I wish so desperately I could tell you, that you to could know what I was thinking. Over the last few years this is a skill I’ve really been working on, trying to use my communication tools such as typing, writing and my iPad more and more. My communication and social skills have definitely come along way. I continue to make progress each and every single day.
Recently, while attending an autism workshop, I texted my thoughts to my support person as we sat and listened to the speaker. I had a lot to say! Recently I’ve started to use a break card more independently and more consistently. I’m typing more and more so on my IPad. I wanted to “speak” to the presenter at the workshop so badly that I typed a message on my IPad to show him, I required support to show him, but I was so proud of myself afterwards!!!!!!
Recently, I was frustrated, words are even harder when I’m frustrated. I was starting to perseverate and repeat things. A different staff member entered the room and I said, “I’m feeling frustrated with you!” And at that moment I kind of wanted to celebrate since I had just used words to express how a I was feeling in the moment.
Remember, never give up, keep trying. Improvement and progress takes time. And also remember to be patient and listen, not just to spoken words, but to all words, all forms of communication.
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