Some Things You Need to Know- Language

This leads on from my cognitive learning post in terms of traits of Asperger’s and how to recognise them easier.

One of the first traits is pronoun reversal. This is when someone may refer to themselves as “he”, “she”, “you” or “them”. Personally, I do not do that but when I was younger, I sometimes used to refer to myself in third person. However, I don’t do that anymore so this isn’t something that you’ll find me doing unless I’m joking.

Another one is excellent vocabulary. I wouldn’t say I do when I speak as I tend to get words mixed up somewhere between my brain and mouth, which is why I tend to struggle with sentences and sometimes stutter or say something that doesn’t make any sense. Although, I would like to think I write well. I always have done for my age. Additionally, conversation can become stilted, meaning very formal. I wouldn’t say always but I have been known to speak formally and I can do so very often, depending on who it is.

Furthermore, it is usual that I use stock phrases, or phrases are borrowed from other situations, or people. Even before I was diagnosed, I was perfectly aware that I copied people and their sayings, especially from television, books or movies. Nobody would notice and I always managed to fit something in. I copied a lot of jokes because humour doesn’t completely make sense to me. If people laughed to the joke I copied then I would keep it. Usually, I got told they’d already heard that one, which makes sense since I usually don’t come up with any of my own. I am unable to do that. I am, however, very good at sarcasm and that is the only thing I can use for humour.

Makes honest, but often inappropriate observations. This has to make me laugh because this is me all over. My whole time at high school and sixth form is littered with honest but inappropriate statements. This is often accompanied by people assuming I was a bitch. Fair enough. There aren’t many that I should repeat and wouldn’t want to, mainly if anyone who I directed this to is reading it. If you’ve met me in real life, you’ll know what I mean. Let’s just leave this at a few examples so you get the jist: “You need to get your bikini line waxed”, “You have no talent. I don’t know why you’re here”, and “I don’t like the way your hair is dyed. It looks terrible.”

I have difficulty adjusting volume and speed in my speech. I understand I have a boring voice, okay? I have been told that before and I can’t necessarily disagree. My voice is very monotone most of the time and I speak very quietly. Sorry, but that’s how I sound. If you point it out then one) I don’t give a shit and two) there’s nothing I can do about it so complain all you want. My voice does change but only in certain moods such as panic or excitement. That’s about it.

Additionally, another aspect is literal language. I don’t always take things literally. I can usually tell when people don’t mean it but there have been a couple of occasions where I haven’t understood why I’m being laughed at or yelled at when people have told me to do things. Don’t say things if you don’t mean it, basically. Once my dad told me, sarcastically, to put the kettle on the hob. We have an electric kettle. So I put the kettle on the hob and when he told me off for nearly turning the heat on, I couldn’t understand why because that’s what he told me to do, sarcastically or not. So, I can take things very literally. Sometimes.

Two aspects I don’t have but I’m going to mention them anyway because they are common in Aspie’s. One is that speech may have developed earlier than usual or started then stopped for a while. This may be hard to spot if it is a first child or if other children developed quite quickly, but usually it can be picked up quickly. Another trait is echolalia. This is when a child will copy what someone else is saying frequently, as if mimicking them. Usually this is mistaken for a child being naughty but can show a lack of understanding when conversing with someone else.

Lastly, a lack of understanding concerning some language, such as directions. I have a lot of difficulty understanding directions and before I was diagnosed, I thought it was because I was simply just too stupid. It wasn’t hard to find a place when it’s only a two minute walk away and you take a simple left but to me, it doesn’t make sense. You can describe the place where I live and the areas within five minutes radius but I still wouldn’t know what you’re talking about, but if you show me visually, I know exactly where I’m going. Visually, I could go for ages but by spoken direction, I have no idea what’s going on. It’s pretty annoying.

So, those are some of the traits of Asperger’s in terms of language. I hope that made sense and if it didn’t, google it.

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