What is The Language of Aspergers
Over the course of time I have been involved with the development of Aspergers children, my step son and some students I work with at my Muay Thai school I have realized a great dynamics in the consideration of the language of Aspergers.
The language of Aspergers can be filled with many words. In fact there might be a a mild form of hyperlexia, which means large vocabulary. There are also some words you might not want to hear at times. I know I have certainly heard my share, good and bad.
What causes this excessive use of the language, could it be an attempt to fit in, to be noticed. Perhaps. I have my theories about the use of profanity and lashing out. It is usually based on fear and being hyper sensitive to a particular situation.
One of these more common episodes for our family occurred around Christmas time. We would have a Christmas Eve party and although the house would fill up with people we knew there was an excitement about the night that was overwhelming for our son. As the night wore on we would try to keep the excitement under control but at some point in time it would spill over and the profanity would be delivered or the inappropriate thing would be said.
As he got older the hyper-sensitivity became less drastic but unfortunately he became more withdrawn from the activities all together. Even when we would ask him to participate in the gathering he would refuse and spend his time playing video games.
Do You Really Hear Me?
Many Asperger's voices are sometimes monotonous and emotionless but sometimes when you engage them one on one they will begin to have more expression in their delivery. It's like you need to attempt to make a direct connection, focused and engaging. You will see an acknowledgement from them and a realization that someone is really trying to connect with them and sometimes they react to that. My experience is the more stimulation you can give the more connection you can get. Of course each case is different but I have experienced this with my step son and many of the students I teach in Muay Thai.
The communication process is a challenge but throughout the work it is rewarding to see the changes that take place when a connection is made. There will be difficulties in reading facial expressions and body gestures so it is important to work steadily and repetitively to make sure the message is clear. In my work with kids in the Muay Thai class I work a lot in the mirror. Sometimes that is very distracting to an Aspergers child. To help them work on verbal and body language it is important to keep them looking at you and repeat things.
So the language of Aspergers is multi-dimensional in my opinion. There can be such brilliance and articulation and at the same time complete withdraw. When you think there is no connection you can discover a complete connection in the next moment. The process of working through the difficulties of reading facial and body language can be overcome with some repetitive practices and some verbal acknowledgment that the point of idea was understood.
I have realized some growth in my own ability to communicate and make sure my point was understood through this process so once again, I am not sure who is the teacher and who is the student.