I am continuing to teach Philip from Soma’s book. Today I read some more of chapter 6 which addresses a parent’s question, “Sam began to talk when he was younger, but he lost the language he had. Why?” I asked Philip what he learned about the reading and what his experience was. Like the boy in the example, Philip had more speech when he was younger, but has lost some of it over the years.
(Philip’s responses are in bold)
What is the difference between language and speech?
Language is the ability to use words to represent thoughts. Speech is the ability to talk.
Can you have language without speech?
Yes. Each day I am using language without speech.
Why do you think you had more speech when you were younger?
When I was younger I could speak better because each day I readily took to learning. As I got older I took to stims more. This happened because as I got older always am I tested the same for years. Each day I no longer liked learning. Stims were an escape from repetition. I took to not caring about my life. One day I dared myself to understand the world as a typical person. I was not talking but I was listening always. I had a strong vocabulary from hearing too much. Now I can use it when I spell. I am spelling with new people now. It is tons of fun to talk to people now. It is important to learn new things each day. It makes life interesting. Someday I hope all autistics will have a way to communicate like me. I also want to teach people about autism.