Tourette’s and Autism challenge in a communication world
Communication; the imparting of ideas and information. Conversation; a talk between two or more individuals sharing thoughts and ideas.
Communication turns the world we live in but when you have difficulty in communication the world and its inhabitants become obstacles to get around or avoid.
I didn’t always know that I had a condition let alone that condition had a name, Tourette’s. I love words but I hate to talk. I’ve loved words since I can remember. Some words bring me joy, the way it feels on the tongue, the image it brings like kaleidoscope. The word sends burst of color to my mind like a high. I was binging on a popular television show called, “The Big Bang Theory” and the character Sheldon says, “you know how some numbers are a certain color?” and I thought, well I know it was most likely meant to be funny, but letters do that for me. They fly through my mind like on a wave.
Reading, writing brings me great joy, it is one of the ways I can express myself without tics showing or the body language I can’t help myself from reading of others. You know you can tell when someone isn’t listening or understanding the words that are coming from your mouth to their ears. When emails came along, what joy! I can write to you without looking you in your face. Then text messages, you might think text messaging would be a delight for someone like myself. But no texting for me is a horror. They are intended to be short I thought they came around for those hard of hearing, but text messages are not only short they contain alphabetic slang. The first time I read brb (be right back), I thought the person was telling me about burping. So, I typed no need to announce your burp I can’t hear it. I can only imagine the laughter. I laugh too but those kinds of things happen to me all the time.
The thing about communication is knowing your listener or audience. What will hold their attention? How long is their attention span? What are their interests? The listener has a job to uphold in a conversation and that is to take in the information, understand it and if needed share the information with the next.
The same is true in conversations, with the exception being adding information to the conversation to keep it going with interest.
Here comes the issue I have with communication; I can’t read people and chit chat isn’t a skill set of mine. Beyond the weather or food finding common communication topics depends on common interest otherwise its’ called teaching.
People don’t like to be talked to and since I can’t read people a conversation that I thought was going well turns sour and I never know where I went wrong. I try to shorten my responses when I can but that doesn’t work either because then there are variables lol. I work on this every day.
The thing about many individuals on the spectrum we tend to hyper focus on things, subjects of interest are devoured, and we become experts on a subject. I think we all are on the spectrum to some degree. I know people who only have one interest in life. They become experts or specialist, many artists in my humble opinion are on the spectrum. Their focus is on music and they absorb all they can on the topic. R. Kelly we now know has difficulty reading but can write music. We rely on medical professional to tell us we are different and to label us one thing or another instead of just being ourselves and having patients for everyone.