Being Nonverbal

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I’ve been blogging throughout April on Autism Awareness Month. I hope that this is going to open some peoples’ eyes to what it means to be on the autism spectrum. Aspies are often misunderstood and we need to remember that we’re in the image of God also.

Last night, I wrote on how we need to avoid small talk when dealing with an Aspie. This includes with family. I was even on the phone last night with my mother and she was asking if I was being quick in conversation because I was busy and I said that I was a bit, but I just mainly wanted to talk about something, which led to us discussing politics some, a just fine topic to discuss.

However, having said we don’t do small talk, in many ways, most of us prefer to be nonverbal. Someone from our church once asked my wife and I if we wanted to be door greeters there. For us, that was a thought that gives us terror. Of course, I don’t mean anything negative about the person who asked us. They did not intend us and I don’t have a problem with greeters per se. It’s just that for us, it is an extremely difficult position to be in.

Why? We don’t like to talk if we don’t have to. Now if there is a topic that we want to talk about, we will talk about it. Even with just the two of us, we can be nonverbal at times. My wife knows that she can best determine my mood not so much by what I say but by any nonverbal sounds that I make.

Answering more than that puts us in an awkward position as the conversation involving small talk is not our area of expertise. Based on the way we think, it’s extremely difficult so without the intention of being rude, our goal is to simply move on past that point of the interaction as quickly as we can.

I do admit that this is an oddity of us. After all, we want people to understand us the best we can without being verbal, when all the while we say that we can’t understand people unless they tell us what is going on and I can admit that that is something that I and other aspies like myself need to work on. For all of us, we need to remember that most of our communication that we do will in fact be nonverbal.

What does this mean? When the Aspie is quiet around you and not saying anything, that does not mean that he is not care. As one autism pin I’ve seen has said “Just because I don’t speak doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say.” It could just take time before your aspie friend will be able to warm up to you and talk. However, if it can lead to bringing him into the Kingdom, isn’t that time worth it?

We shall continue next time.

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2 Responses to “Being Nonverbal”

  1. Fred Wolfe Says:

    Been following these posts about autism, and I find them fascinating. It’s not often we get the opportunity to peer inside the mind of others, be they autistic or not. Thanks for being so transparent!

  2. apologianick Says:

    Thanks Fred. Considering you went to college with me, maybe you can look back and see some of these traits.

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