Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Speech? What Speech?

Losing speech is a thing that happens sometimes, and it can be frustrating. It's not that I can't come up with the things I'd like to say- I just can't get them to line up and make the jump from my brain to my mouth, and getting them in the order I want to say them in is difficult. The getting them in order thing I sometimes have trouble with when I can talk, and I suspect that the two phenomena are related.
It's like part of my brain goes on strike when this happens, the part responsible for speech. Everything else works fine, but speech doesn't and organizing things into speech doesn't. Switching to typing gets around this roadblock quite well, though I'm not entirely sure why. In any case, get me a keyboard and everything organizes again. Even when I can't get speech to work, I still word things well enough typing that I can hammer out a first draft of a paper for school and have it be good enough to pass in as a final draft, so the problem is clearly not with language. It's with speech. There is a difference.
Language I am great with. I'm a fast reader, a good writer, all kinds of awesome language stuff. Nothing you've seen here was edited before being posted. I just started writing and that was that. Speaking, though, can be difficult. I've gotten comments even this past semester from a professor telling me that my way of speaking is "unique." I'm not sure if that's good or bad. It's... something? I remember in one book I read, the parent found it so tragic that their kid replied to "Would you like a chip?" with "CHIP!" I didn't understand. I do that. I've always done that. No one called it a symptom when I did it, though it is apparently an autistic thing and I have gotten a couple comments about it. Even when I am talking, my speech is odd. It's not wrong or anything- people think I am well-spoken, for all I may interject strange things like a whispered "Laaaaaaaadle!" now and then or call an object a "thing" or a "doohickey" in a brief failure to come up with the spoken word I need. I can get my point across with speech as long as speech is working. I can just do it better with typing, even when speech works.
Typing, you do not see the random "Laaaaaaadle" and I can tell you what I think as fast as my fingers can move. I rarely need to stop to organize my thoughts. I can do so while I type. The odd pauses in my speech are gone. I go from intelligent and reasonably well-spoken with some oddities as long as I can speak to what I have been told is extremely articulate. I can organize my thoughts much better typing than I can speaking, and I can come up with the nerve to type things out better than I can the nerve to say them. The only way I find speaking better than typing is that speaking is normally faster. That's it. I get my meaning across better typing, I am more articulate typing, I am more organized typing, I sound more educated typing, I can say braver things typing. Speech is because it is fast, not because it is good.
If it weren't for society putting such value on speech and for the difficulty of making sure I always have my laptop, which is currently useless because the motherboard stopped working, I would be much less bothered by the times I lost speech. Personally, I think constant speech is kind of overrated.

1 comment:

  1. It never occurred to me to integrate speech-to-text when speech didn't quite work for me.
    I find that their is an inherently different structure to text that can help when my speech kinda blanks out.
    I think the whole structure thing is looking for compatibility between your thoughts and words, and not quite finding it.
    Thinking lingually?
    It just seems akward to whip out my laptop for speech to text.
    Plus, I look at my keyboard.
    Sorry for any irrelevance!


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