- Much greater fluency in writing vs. speaking aloud. Or at least much more *consistent* fluency in writing. I very much prefer to “meet” people for the first time over e-mail, etc., for this reason. My written vocabulary is also much vaster than my speaking vocabulary.
I am much better and more fluent at writing than at speaking. I also tend to use much smaller words when speaking than I do when writing. If I use big words whilst speaking (and I haven’t rehearsed the speech beforehand), I will usually stumble over the word, mispronounce it and/or miss out syllables.
- Much greater *endurance* in writing vs. speaking aloud (as in, I can engage in an IM conversation for much longer without getting exhausted or confused vs. a spoken conversation)
I definitely have much better writing endurance than speaking endurance.
- The longer I try and talk, the harder it is to understand what my conversation partner(s) is/are saying. As in, the more I engage expressive language, the more my receptive language starts crapping out. (My theory here is that expressive speech is very “bandwidth intensive” for me, and since receptive language is generally something I have to consciously enable in the first place, it is very difficult for the two modalities to effectively coexist for very long.)
My ability to understand what people are saying gets worse the longer a conversation goes on for. However, I put it down to my lack of attention (I get exhausted so zone out, I get bored so zone out, I get lost in my own thoughts, so zone out etc.)
- The longer I try and talk, the harder it is to actually maintain awareness of what *I* am saying. I.e., at some point if I go on long enough it’s like I lose all sense of context and rather than remaining “on message” wrt. what I want to say, I fall into this thing where I’m just making word-patterns.
I rarely get this, unless I’m really just ‘rambling’, which doesn’t happen too often. I always thought it was a completely normal experience for anyone who’s rambling though.
- Frequently I am only “fluent” about one subject at a time, maybe two. If someone asks me a random question about something I’m not already prepared to talk about they’re lucky to get 2 words out of me in response. (Which has, at times, come across as me “not caring about anything except [my special interests]”, when really I do care about what the other person is saying, I just don’t have any vocabulary to respond about it.
I get this too. For me it’s not really a lacking vocabulary problem though. It’s just that they’ve completely derailed my train of thought and I now have a completely blank brain, so I have no idea what to say to them.
- Sometimes my main problem is in the initiation of speech. As in, I get “stuck” trying to say the first word and nothing will come out. Often when this happens the only thing capable of unclogging the word-tube is when someone else starts talking about the same thing I want to talk about and it triggers something.
I have a lot of problems with initiating speech. The only thing that can help me ‘unclog’ in such a situation though, is if someone asks me a question. I think I have difficulty initiating speech because:
- I don’t know how to get the person’s attention
- I don’t know how to join into a conversation
- I know they won’t hear me if I just say something without getting their attention first (I have a really quiet voice)
- I’m too anxious to say something
- Unless I painstakingly script EVERYTHING I want to say in a given situation, I will often start “backing up and starting over”. Not like stuttering, more like backing up and beginning entire sentences in a different way because the first way just wasn’t working, or didn’t come out matching my thoughts the way I hoped it would.
Yes, I need to script EVERYTHING before I speak. I need to think of it all and rehearse it all in my head before I say it. I don’t really do the backing up and starting over thing though, because if I haven’t scripted it, I just can’t say anything at all.
I’ve always thought that ‘backing up and starting over’ was a fairly normal thing, since I’ve seen lots of normal people doing it. I always took it as evidence of them not thinking before speaking, and not scripting things first.
- Intervals where I can’t speak at all, or where I sort of stand there “looping my brain on the IDEA of talking” while someone is waiting for a response, but never actually end up saying anything.
There are times when I can’t speak at all, due to overload etc.
There’s also times I loop the idea of talking (i.e. thinking if I should say something or not). However, if I’m already in a conversation and someone has already asked me something, then I tend to always answer, even if it’s just a quick “yes” or “no”. Although if someone’s asked me something complicated and I don’t have a script at hand, or if they’ve taken me by surprise with a sudden question, then I tend to just do a weird sort of shy laugh and then sort of back away and leave.
I really liked your video. I think you’ve got a monotonic sort of quality to your voice which is common amongst autistic people. Could that be what you’re referring to?