Teaching Autistic Kids How to Speak (Autism & Communication)


Hey guys. So this week I saw a question on my YouTube video, “How can you teach or help an autistic child to speak?” and so this week I wanted to dive a little bit more deeply into that question. So stay tuned.

[00:00:56] Now that you’re here, I’m going to admit this probably isn’t going to be the video you thought it was going to be. So I’m glad you’re still here. First, I want to say, like, when I read this comment, I was disheartened. And there, there are a few reasons for this. Um, you know, the first being, there are many different forms of communication and all of them are completely valid.

[00:01:26] Uh, and some autistic children are going to grow up and be autistic adults who are not going to communicate in the typical way. Using words using spoken words like I am doing right now. Um, and unfortunately we have a lot of favoritism for clear spoken and well organized communication and using words in a typical expected way.

[00:01:58] Uh, and. If you know a bit about autism already, you might know that autistic people, we are not very typical kinds of people, and that is going to vary across, you know, all autistic people. We’re all very different. We’re all very unique. We all have different ways in which our communication, um, differs from what would be considered neuro-typical or non autistic, um, standard communication.

[00:02:24] Uh, But, you know, some of us, you know, our communication is different. That should still be okay. And that should still be valid. Uh, and w- w- I wish we would see a lot less of the, this one type of communication is the gold standard of communication and better, um, communication, uh, because that’s not how everyone works and communicates.

[00:02:49] So, you know, there are many ways to communicate. Uh, some autistic people are potentially, always going to use technology and tools, alternative communication devices, things like that to help them communicate if they do not have verbal speech or if they have times when speaking, uh, verbally becomes difficult, you know, for example, you know, even I – well, I’m very clear to you right now and get into why and a little bit I’m very clear with you right now, have difficulty  communicating, uh, say if I get anxious or I am overwhelmed, uh, or you know, a few different scenarios where it can be hard for me to speak in this way where I am used to being able to communicate and sometimes it all just falls apart. Even sometimes if I’m too tired, it’s words, words, you know, they’re just gone, they’re not there.

[00:03:42] Um, but you know, there’s also, you know, sign language, which is really great, you know, in elementary school I had a friend who spoke with sign language and I don’t think it’s fair to those who communicate differently to say, Oh, this one form of communication is, you know, the goal for everyone.

[00:04:01] Uh, I wish we would do a bit more of empowering people to communicate in the way that suits them best instead of forcing everyone to adapt, to communicate to the majority. You know, of people’s way of communicating, because we all have very different  ways of communicating even between like neuro-typical people, don’t all communicate the same way with each other.

[00:04:26] You know, there are little differences in nuances, um, Between communication.

[00:04:31] So know with me, I mentioned that actually kind of share why I’m so organized with you on screen today. One, because I can cut whenever I want and edit the video together, but also, you know, I take a lot of time to prepare and process, um, before I get on the screen.

[00:04:51] And so I’ve actually typed out all of my thoughts and read through them a few times and reorganize them.

[00:04:58] Um, because you know, if you, if you, uh, if you see me in conversation face to face, um, yeah, no, everything is very inline, you know, right now on the computer, but, you know, I’ve had people tell me, um, that in conversation I can confuse people because of, you know, the order of things that they come to my head, I ask, ask poor David.

[00:05:24] Um,  you know, I- but, you know, when I’m up here on my soap box, um, there’s been a lot of preparation going into everything that I doing – that I, that I’m doing.

[00:05:34] I am not at all. Someone who can just BS my way through something and wing something. Uh, there is just a lot of preparation and work and planning that goes into everything that I do, actually, not just these tasks.

[00:05:50] Uh, I do tend to be very planned out as a human being and so needing to be able to take that, that time to plan and process, um, and get things out there in an organized way is really important to me.  So that’s one way, you know, my own communication differs as well.

[00:06:10] When I get up all on, you know, my, my soap box and I do like a presentation or a talk, you know, I have practiced through it and I’ve organized myself and I know exactly what I’m going to say, you know? And I, I need that goes back to me needing that time to process and prepare, um, Especially, you know, if I am going to discuss something that is a more abstract idea that doesn’t translate, um, very easily into visuals, uh, like feelings or emotions.

[00:06:45] Those things are probably the most difficult for me to talk about. Um, because I think. In a very visual way. So I’m sure that impacts my communication as well. Um, you know, because in communication, there is an extra step there’s extra time that goes into flipping my visual thought into a words and being able to explain it.

[00:07:13] Um, and honestly I do spend a lot of time, you know, in, in like more social casual settings sitting in the background. Uh, and I might have actually a very deep desire to say something, but I might not know exactly how I can get it out in words. Like I will know what I want to explain and I will know what I want to say.

[00:07:36] Um, But the words are not there, or I have words that just don’t actually do what I’m trying to explain justice and so I sit just not saying anything because I’m, I’m stuck. Um, and some of these concepts and feelings, because, you know, I guess this virtual- VR -visual thoughts, they don’t have words, um, and that makes things really impossible to explain.

[00:08:08] And that’s really frustrating too. Cause sometimes it’s like, I know something and I cannot share with you what I know, because as far as where I am right now, there are no words for it or I have no words for it, uh, and I can spend a long time ruminating and processing and trying to work out the words for something.

[00:08:35] Um, so that those are just, you know, some, some thoughts there, uh, about communication and how it can be different for autistic people and why I don’t want spoken communication to be the gold standard. Um, a lot of us communicate better written when we have time to work out our thoughts and to process things and to get that out in, um, a space where we can more easily organize it.

[00:09:01] Um, let me know in the comments below, how is this for you? Are you like me? Do you work better with typing things out?  How do you communicate? Do you use communication tools? Do you use ACC devices? Let me know in the comments below let’s share and learn with each other, uh, so that we can all learn about how communication differences are between human to human already guys, thank you so much for hanging out.

[00:09:27] I’ll talk to you next week. Bye .


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