Sunday, May 5, 2019

Early Verbal "Precocious" Speech In Autism/Executive Functioning Fails in Language and Writing/Former Best Friend Run Ins/ and an Explanation and Apology to Regular Readers

My executive functioning mishaps have been happening more often. It's sad for me because writing is the place I can often express myself best, but this last year, I have been unable to recall the words I want, even if the words are on the tip of my tongue. It is aggravating. I also can't seem to edit like I used to. It has always taken me a few reads after posting to catch most of the grammar and spelling mistakes...and punctuation and sentence structure will NEVER be my forte. I enjoy speaking in sentence fragments for some reason. Lately, I have been more appalled at mistakes I see when reading previous posts. I fix what I can.

I will always have weird sentence structure because in real life conversations, I also speak oddly. My husband says I sound like the tower of Babel. He says my multiple forays into differing accents (it's definitely not purposeful) and the curious ways I structure my sentences (often backwards) are always amusing.  It wasn't until season 2 of Shitt's Creek, when someone pointed out the Moria blended a bunch of accents together, that I realized her accent wasn't a typical accent. I talked like her and thought it was normal. I actually have to correct backwards sentences in most of my posts. And I still have them because it is my natural way of speaking. I put the subject matter in the opposite form that most do. I also learned most of my language by reading when I was young. I was self taught in many ways. I was an early speaker with full, adult sentences before the milestone ages. I sounded like an adult and often was treated older than I was. Which sometimes served me well but also caused issues with expectations. I was thought to be capable thus I had to find my own ways to work around my real struggles/ disabilities. This is often another sign of Autism which gets overlooked. See HERE for more. I still love to hear the sound of certain words, I love people who use challenging or "university level words" in books, and I can sometimes sound like I hail from another century altogether with my word usage.

When asked to describe how I talk, my husband replied, "Your voice is like a Siren and your speech drives me to irrational thoughts." The theory sounded sweet but I didn't understand what he was talking about so he finally clarified, "It's just so unique. I get to experience so many ways of Being through you and oddly they are all true. Your odd accents make you almost sound multi lingual. You have your own language. For instance when you tried to say 'Library' today you instead said 'Lib- rarey.' " This may be amusing to my husband but it's getting slightly scary for me. I've always had Autistic voice tics and different pronunciation or odd sentence structure...but having words sound different from what I think I am saying, while knowing what they should sound like often shocks me as much as it does my listeners. My memory recall for words I want is failing. (I talk about memory more in depth HERE.) I'm learning to laugh along with everyone else but when I am trying to get a thought out...well, let's just say I'm starting to sympathize deeply with Dementia and Alzheimer's patients. I will be staring at a glass, knowing I KNOW it's name, but instead I have to say, "Please pass me that vessel that holds water." It makes me sound even crazier but I try not to bring much attention to the fact that I am not getting my words out properly. As I did most of my life as an Autistic, for better or worse, I try to normalize. To pretend enough to get by or not draw too much attention.

So why do I write? This is my process. I encourage those not interested or frustrated to just skip it or skim it. There are years or posts that I practice concise, shorter writing. But other years or posts are about my process. Which is long, speedy, and already cut in HALF by the time it gets to the page. That's just who I am. Other Aspies have also blogged about this issue. We have so many internal thoughts rolling around, that we need an outlet. Often our outlets are writing or monologuing. Both of which we have received flack from the outside world on more than one occasion. I have never claimed to be a "professional writer." I am a writer, for myself because I engage in writing. I also then hope it can help someone who maybe had similar experiences. However, I am aware of my readers, thus at times I will go out of my way to edit a post in half, or in hindsight go back and make cuts and edits when I have more energy. In the end, this space is a healthy spot for me, to get out thoughts or words that I do not often have a forum for otherwise. Detailed writing provides an outlet for my mind. To have lost much of my writing ability this year has been quite the journey. I remind myself there are seasons to life. Some come back around. Some do not.

I understand accessibility and editing to the best that is possible. I do it in the ways that I feel I can. I have limited energy. Writing a long blog post often surprisingly restores my energy. However, I am finding it hard now to catch my mistakes. This communication derailment happened to my friend Cynthia (in this link.) Cynthia was WAY more articulate and professional than I could ever be- even at her lower communicative points. She taught me a lot. Currently, her lifestyle, stepping out of the blog and into the sensory living aspect of being, working with her hands in her garden ect, is teaching me that it is possible to still have forms of communication, even if my language does deteriorate. I am grateful to learn from her experiences. It makes me wonder if it is an experience that can happen more often to Autistics? Or hormones and phases? Or Autoimmune conditions?

I suppose this is my form of an apology and explanation for those who have caught it or those who want to keep reading. Right now, I still write for me and for those who have told me they needed to hear my words or that enjoy the odd ways I connect aspects of life ... Quirky and all that...

Currently I am reading with my family, "The Healthy Brain" by Aileen Burford - Mason. I am hoping that the diet, vitamin protocol, and suggestions can aid me on a path back to recollection, word formation, and sharper cognitive ability. But if it doesn't, as I have learned in other aspects of life, I am still worthy, I will still contribute to the world, I can still grow and become in new ways, and pursue love until my time is up. And if I can- you can too in most areas of life. Your struggles may be tougher or lesser but they all matter. There is a fine line walked between acceptance of what is and fighting for growth and what could be. In all areas of life we have the chance to become MORE but to also accept our own BEING. It's that line between laziness and too much doing. Between giving up and holding on too tightly. Between being too conservative and being too liberal. The line we all face between dark and light...and often I do best in the gray where some prefer not to go...or in fact judge and deem unworthy.

For those who have followed my journey you know that I recently broke up with my former best friend. (Posts found HERE and HERE.) I feel this ties in to this post because recently we bumped into each other at the Dentist's. I knew we would, because I had a warning dream the night before, thus I was prepared. It was easy actually. We fell into comfortable chatter immediately. It felt like home in many ways. I thought at one point, "Oh I have missed hearing her voice. Maybe we could occasionally hang out and it would work easily enough." But then, walking away later, I was immensely happy that we quit while we were still wishing each other well. I realized that girl I wondered about a few weeks ago...ME without her...well, she is a better person than I ever realized. I am liking the new version of me. I am freer. I have more energy, more of an ability to give, I am tapping into parts of myself that I squelched a bit on behalf of her...or forgot about. I am also able to give more time to my husband. He describes me as a lighter being. However, I still credit her with many beautiful contributions to my life, I can still see us being occasional friends in the future or a morphed version of what we were, but I CAN NOT see us ever going back to what we were before. Nor do I wish to.

We still talk to each other with the same excitement and respect. I do believe we really love each other. We are just not meant to journey with each other the way we were before. I read a quote that says, "You gotta be mature enough to understand that you have some toxic traits too. It's not always the other person." I can't speak for her, but I know that recognizing my own part and role in our separation made it a lot easier.  Plus, I am an INFJ whose personality gets memes like this one below:

I know I care and cared (past tense) but my care no longer is what it was. Some aspect of life change forever, some become more or less, and some circle back around. But I don't have to convince myself that I don't care anymore. In many ways I don't care. I don't care to know what she is doing, or her thoughts on everything or what she thinks of me anymore. But I DO care that she is alive and that I loved her and still do in a different way. 

It has been another lesson to me that changes that we often fear, can sometimes be surprisingly good. I feared losing her for years. I thought I would feel panicky often, sad even more so, and alone and unsupported. For the most part, I actually feel the opposite. Not because she was bad...but because we were already on a path to deconstruction and we were enabling each other in many ways. But I couldn't have known any of that until we were both brave enough to face our own paths and truths. That is also why she was one of my better halves for many years...because she also knew when to walk away and choose boundaries, be seasonal, or when to quit, stop, and choose alternative paths. We both understood that life is not linear. Which also makes us good partners in breaking up too. As I walked away I was on a high. I was relieved our first outing was easy and amiable. I was happy that I am who I am now without her but also partially BECAUSE of her. I was grateful. I liked that I no longer owed her my opinions, thoughts, my giving, my loyalty or any sort of self giving I used to give. While I owed her kindness, gratefulness and the love I truly have within, I did not need to go beyond. I was free and so was she.

The lesson is not lost on me. If I loose my articulation while living, life will find another way for communication and connection. I can not fear what is not fully mine to hold on to. Or what may not come to pass or has a lot of time left until it does. I may as well enjoy and be grateful for what is left. Yet, at the same time, while it is still in my life, it is not bad to fight to hold on to it either. Or to fight for alternative ways of being or overcoming or going around, under, sideways or beyond. Whatever... Life may also bring beautiful changes when we let go of what is already beautiful but needs to morph. A caterpillar is intriguing and so is a butterfly. Both are wonderful ways of being in the world. I would assume the caterpillar as a butterfly probably valued both phases…or maybe not, but often, what we fear as a step down, sometimes is exactly what brings unexpected gifts…even if no one else sees it but ourselves. Sometimes we need to be almost forced out of what we see as bliss, to discover more potential, beauty or connection. Or to see those who are truly in our lives for the long haul in a different way…or to find new people to enhance our lives and to enhance theirs as well?

Being Autistic has taught me more about finding alternative ways to many aspects of living. Adaptation. Acceptance. Change. Cognitive therapy has taught me stoicism even though a large part of me is the opposite way. Paradoxes. Holding two opposing beliefs within and being authentically true to both. Spirituality. Enjoyment. Suffering... All these have been brought home to me with Autism as well is Chronic Illness. So perhaps this is a new stage or maybe it will pass quickly and be a memory? (Well if I get those back...ha ha.) And if not, well, I lived, I used this forum to my best ability, and I still became. So thank you for ignoring the parts that are flawed, embracing them or enjoying in spite of them, if you are here to read. I felt I needed to express that with a heartfelt thanks.

To Life! To Freedom! To Changes! and Dreams! And all the in between! "I'm celebrating this life I've been given from now on...It feels good don't it? Livin' your life in this quick moment, and you never, ever think it's gonna go away, but I swear one day you'll wake up and say yea I go things to do, Yea I got mountains to move...Come on and sing- It feels so good to be alive."- Megan Trainor lyrics

Song Choice: Good to be Alive- Megan Trainor

Don't Speak- No Doubt


Glynis said...

Oh my goodnesss!! I've had this all my life!! In my twenties , the doctor was going to send me to a neuro psychologist because I had a hard time reaching for words and would call everything an " apple" ( if I couldn't get to the right word ).

It's slightly worse now on occasions and it's terrifying , at times until i remember my twenties and having the same problem.

I find it's worse when under stress that I am unaware of emotionally.

It feels like falling into water, shocked, trying to find some land or a hand hold .
Grasping for something. Anything.
Only it's a word.

I have the accent thing too. I was on an airplane once ( I was fifteen ) and the flight attendant asked me if I spoke English 😳.

This was another awesome post.
I wouldn't worry about grammar etc ( although I know it's a personal thing). Your writing is full of insight and depth and that's never lost.


"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." - Joseph Campbell

Kmarie said...

Well phew! Maybe it is an autism thing then ??? Or chronic illness since we both have long term Lyme and Autism? It must affect our memory Center ... I mean it does affect our pre frontal cortex and executive functioning so it probably makes sense ...

I have yet to call everything Apple but I do call differing things the wrong names all the time to the point my kids constantly are translating for me and immediately know what I mean. Which saves me a lot more frustration than I used to have. They are amazing at just translating and continuing onward in that regard - although my accents are continually laughed at - ha ha but that’s ok.

Yea I’ve been constantly asked if I was American instead of Canadian. Also French, Spanish, Italian, African, Pilipino, Chinese ect. Sometimes I’m speaking ( to me) clear English and I’m not understood at all - and it’s different from not being understood because I speak fast ( which also happens - my kids hubby and former best friend were the only ones who not once have told me to SLOW down which is so refreshing because that has been the bane of my existence since I could talk fluently at a younger age than typical which can also happen to Aspies...)

You are right - it’s worse when I’m tired , not realizing I’m stressed, or not feeling well or low on iron... I guess I did have a bit of garble in my teens too and maybe this is as bad as it will be ?;)

Yes totally! I love the water analogy!

Thank you for that;) it’s why I write - not because I’m succinct or concise ect but because I’ve been told I give unique insight or depth most don’t verbalize which shocks me but I’m glad some recognize or enjoy it. I also find that in you and others I follow ;)


Anonymous said...

I do the same thing sometimes about. It finding the right word! Wow crazy. I can describe it but not find the correct word. Baffles me.- C

Kmarie said...

C; Well hmmmm you do have chronic illness too and hashimotos which shares a lot of qualities and affects similar areas as Lyme so I do wonder if this is a quality that’s just not explored by “ professionals” so they don’t explain to us immediately what is happening - I find that a common experience in nuerological differences and autoimmune. It is a very very frustrating experience ... I’m doing it now with names of people I am supposed to know well too! Or even whom I am friends with - ha ha it makes the whole out of sight out of mind theory was easier!:) also easier to move on from when someone insults me cuz unless I write it down or tell someone else who reminds me - I won’t remember!;) hidden positives I suppose... but it can be hard :( love K

Ashe said...

Egads, the bizarre word choices, jumbled sentence structure, hide-and-seek with words, and attack of the accents... Bane of my communicative life. (I also frequently have incomplete sentences that I have to go back and expand on with pronouns and articles of speech.) Probably why I never noticed any of your writing snafus, my brain just processed them as "oh, yes, this is correct based on our own patterns, please continue". I have an Irish accent that comes out unexpectedly, which I try to excuse as having listened to too much Celtic music, but the random Australian one I can't explain. I don't even know it's there until somebody is asking if I'm an Aussie, and honestly is probably more Brit than Aussie. There are a few others, but they come around much less often.

I am very happy you had a good reunion! Life is fluid and ever changing. I'm glad you two were able to roll with it and have a good time. :)

My mom says I was talking in sentences when I was a year and a half old. The only autoimmune problem I'm aware of having is a patch of psoriasis on an elbow. Apparently it's a family trait. Other than that, professionally declared "touch of autism", but not written down on any charts and now too "high functioning" for help with nuisances such as rampant sensory issues and slow processing, and a ton of stress that is most likely chronic by this point. Stress is probably what warps my memory the most.

Kmarie said...

Ashe: Lol My communicative life too is very similar. Lol - ha ha I love that "please continue" Maybe it is an aspie thing...your journey sounds very similar.

Yes it was good and I wave a cheery hello if I see her on the streets as I am genuinely happy to see her. Otherwise life is exactly as it needs to be right now:)

Oh me too! I said mini sentences at 9 months. My daughter's first words at 9 months was "see ya!" She had early speech too...
Oh I hate it when that is diagnosed like that...most women are unless we are non verbal. Its very aggravating. Yes, stress is terrible and probably the constant sensory overwhelm contributes to memory loss too!

S said...

"I also learned most of my language by reading when I was young. I was self taught in many ways. I was an early speaker with full, adult sentences before the milestone ages. I sounded like an adult and often was treated older than I was. Which sometimes served me well but also caused issues with expectations. I was thought to be capable thus I had to find my own ways to work around my real struggles/ disabilities. This is often another sign of Autism which gets overlooked. See HERE for more. I still love to hear the sound of certain words, I love people who use challenging or "university level words" in books, and I can sometimes sound like I hail from another century altogether with my word usage "
---This is ME !!
I also learned most of my languages by reading when I was a toddler ! I was an early speaker too ! Nobody, not even my parents taught me to read. I could read all by myself at a very young age much before I went to school. I could not verbally express myself in words properly although I was a good writer. I still speak backwards or put one word before the other when it should be in proper order. My school life was horrible and I suffered a lot.
Anyways, of late, I am noticing that chronic illness, hormonal issues, wrong foods, etc. makes my overall situation worse. But apart from these factors also, there is something that I was born with and I know that my brain functions in a different way than most people. My values, beliefs, thoughts, ideas , the way I relate to others, etc. are not mainstream at all. But at the same time, if I push myself, I can accomplish a lot of things which I never thought I could do, originally ( like cooking, cleaning, travelling, doing physical hardships for a few more hours ). So, I am pushing myself a bit. What I cannot tolerate however, no matter how much I try is -small talk ( including having to listen to boring conversations), prolonged hours of socialization (even one to one conversation), conversation which have no philosophical or deep thoughts involved, ultra feminine behaviour, staying outside for too long, doing physical activities ( even housework) for too long, talking for too long, etc. etc. What I love most are- Intellectual activities ( reading books, watching debates, philosophy), Art, painting, Silence, left alone in my own room, plants, flowers and gardening - everything that has nothing to do with other people's lives ( or very little to do with other people). Call me selfish but I am more into art and books than relationships. The only relationships I love having are with people who are peaceful, make zero or very little demand on me, who talk about positive and encouraging things and leaves me alone, most of the time. However, I am also a feeling oriented and highly emotional person ( as well as an emotive/expressive person) and so, cannot form very solid bonds with people who have very less emotions. Don't know where that leaves me or puts me !

Kmarie said...

S; 😂yea that’s my life conundrum in aspects too! Ha but the arts and books truly are the concepts of the soul. I’m so glad you could relate and found yourself in the words! You do strike me as a self taught learner. It’s so impressive what we do to figure out ways of life around what we can and cannot do. I find those situations hard too and food and outings also make my health worse if I’m not careful 😊 we are two peas in a pod that way!