Our journey in the Autism Spectrum

Shhhhhhhhhhhh! Please?

As our family journeys in this spectrum of Autism, a big part of my son’s make-up is that he talks out loud to himself. Almost incessantly. Trust me that I am not exaggerating this! He has several characters for which he also speaks out loud. As he has gotten older these conversations have gotten more sophisticated, less gibberish and jargoning and more recognizable speech. I hear them as delayed echolalia and some scripting. Henry calls them his stories.

He has an incredible imagination and his stories are mostly filled with adventures involving time-travel, space, and battling fantastic creatures with swords and lasers. Henry is a visual thinker. He does truly see in pictures. I want to encourage his storytelling as I’m certain what he is seeing in his brain is nothing short of brilliant. And I admit, there is a part of me that is envisioning him as the next Joss Whedon.

But there are days when his ramblings get on my last nerve and it just drives me plain nuts! The fast-paced jumble of words, partial conversations,  and special effects noises, loudly droning on and on and on and…

Shamefully, I admit that on those days, inside my head, I am screaming, “Just shut up for a while!”

What actually comes out is me pleading, “Henry! Shhhhhh! Please. A softer voice.” I hear myself say this several times a day.

Many days his voice is constant noise when I am longing for some quiet. I know this sounds harsh. Please don’t misunderstand me here. We are a busy and loud family of five.  Generally Henry’s talking is not to anyone. At least anyone we can see. He is only talking out his stories to himself. He is not engaging in conversations with the rest of the family. I often crave quiet; to read or write or even to just watch a movie or show without interruption. Watching TV with Henry is usually filled with his side notes of factoids about the topic you are watching or  about something completely different which is just as frustrating. And if it is a show or movie that he knows…well then most likely you will also get some live action acting, much like that of going to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show in a theater.

I have met some other moms with kids on the autism spectrum that have very limited speech or are completely nonverbal and I know they long to hear their child speak. Anything. When I remember this I feel guilty for letting Henry’s incessant talking get to me.

I do want to encourage him! How amazing would it be for him to learn to write or draw what he sees?!  A wonderful gift that he could share with others! Yes, some days I wish for a bit more quiet. But mostly  I wish I could experience this wonderful paracosm that Henry has created that only he can see.

Now if only he could create a bit more quietly. Shhhhhhhh…just for a little bit? Please?


Comments on: "Shhhhhhhhhhhh! Please?" (7)

  1. Henry sounds like my daughter. My NT daughter. She does so many voices ans stories, and she goes and goes and goes and goes and never stops. I kind of now hear just withe noise, but sometimes I tell her my brain in full and if we can just keep quiet for a minute or 5. She gets it.

    My son, In the spectrum, doesn’t speak that much but does a lot of scripting and ecolachia.. with his favorite characters. He has started to do the same his sister does. Story after story, babble after babble.. and he doesn’t get the “my brain is tu full” like his sister, so I just go in the bathroom and close the door. Of course after a minute he is knowcking o even opening the door and keeps going. And then the other starts with question after question of things that she couldnt figure out on her own stories.

    Yes. I completlly get you. And I do not think you are harsh. It is just to much. We need a pensive .. ( a pensive like dumbledore pensive, to spill there the extra information in our brains)

    • Thanks for sharing and understanding! To add to the noise my 5 yr old NT daughter is also a talker and hummer and noise maker! I love your idea about the pensive! 🙂

  2. My son is the same way. Sometimes I get headaches from the nonstop talking. Many times he’ll say “Hey Mom” or “Hey Dad” and then begin one of his “stories”. We’ve learned that if we listen for a short period of time, we can go back to what we were doing. He really just continues nonstop talking to himself, and doesn’t even realize we’re not part of the “conversation” anymore. I love to listen to his amazingly creative and very descriptive stories, but as you stated, sometimes I need quiet.

  3. Thanks for sharing about your child.

  4. Cassandra Cox said:

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂 I have 2 girls on the spectrum. A typical night is Zoe sharing factoids about the last commercial she saw during the last 5 minutes of my favorite tv show, while Lia dances 3 inches from me singing jibberish in her loudest “pixie” voice. I LOVE that they are engaged and happy. But mommy is on overload after a long day. So I get it.

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