The words we use influence our own and other people’s perceptions. Non-verbal communication is something we all do — sighs, eye rolls, smiles, stomps, laughs, blinks — but what does it mean when we label a whole person as “non-verbal”?
Nonspeaking doesn’t mean I have no ideas or no way to communicate them. Nonspeaking doesn’t mean I can’t learn to read or write like everyone else. But I can’t if you don’t teach me how. And calling me nonverbal is like saying I can’t learn to read and write.~ DJ Savarese
Read the whole blog: NonSpeaking ≠ NonVerbal | Listen2Us
I prefer to be called non-reliably speaking. I am perfectly capable of thinking and making intelligent choices regarding my life if I have the facts to analyze. However, my speech is not always reliable, so I have to slow down, think about the placement of my mouth and my articulation, and spell out a word, letter by letter.~ Rishi Jena
See Rishi’s blog: Rishi’s Totally Optimistic Journey!!
I prefer nonspeaking. Much of what comes out of my mouth is unintentional. I am nonspeaking because speech is not how I communicate.~ Wyatt Dutton
See Wyatt’s blog here: Young Man Replete with Love
I prefer non-speaking as I understand all language. Non-verbal suggests I don’t understand language and doesn’t represent how I love language.~ Matt Crittenden
Read more from Matt here: The Joy of Communication
I think that non-speaker tells a more accurate story about the person because that person simply uses a different way to communicate. Other non-speakers might think differently.~ Mitchell Robins
See Mitchell’s blog here: Differences in Non-Speakers | Mitchell’s Life with Autism
I like to call myself nonspeaking because i can communicate by spelling words instead of speaking. nonverbal implies i do not understand words. how can i communicate with words if i am nonverbal?~ Philip Reyes
I am fully capable of speech, I just can’t let you know by “verbalizing” it out loud. Just because I need to use a letter board – or another form of Alternative Communication – to share my words with the world does not at all imply I not saying things worth hearing.~ Ben Breaux
Follow Ben’s Facebook Page: Ben B. – “My Own Words: Reflections of a Non-Speaking Autistic and check out this review of The Reason I Jump.
Non-verbal brings forth a slew of assumptions about me that are entirely inaccurate – including lack of understanding language, aggressive behaviour, lack of emotional intelligence, and cognitive impairment.
I prefer non-speaking as it is a short description that encapsulates who I am more accurately. It also makes people stop and think instead of relying on what they know about me based on what they observe.~ Jordyn Pallett
The topic of what to call autistics powers the future momentum of our lives. I hate being called nonverbal. It shuts us out of the places we belong. It lowers the places we are in. The places we try to get to are very loud. They are kept for the people with loud voices. Let us be nonspeakers. That’s the gateway to who we are capable of being.~ Tejas Rao Sanker
Writing for Autistics, makes Autistics learn how to use words carefully. Going to Autistics, getting their in-use words, informs the power autistics have over their words. Let us use the word nonspeaking for Autistics who cannot use speech reliably or at all. It best describes the situations we are forever in. Its future is ours. Trusting words to mean the same in our Autistic movement is the way we go further together.~ Tejas Rao Sanker
Check out Tejas’ articles on NeuroClastic.
Being nonverbal means I have no words, which is as far from the truth as it can be. I have words, but I can’t get them out with my voice.~ Gregory Tino
Read more from Gregory here: The Autistic Mind Finally Speaks.
I prefer to be called a nonspeaker.People may think I am not smart because I lack speech. I know better than anyone that Labels are not important.~ Arun Chand
Check out the latest issue of In Words We Trust, V3 issue 1, for which Arun was assistant editor.
I have words so nonverbal does not describe me. I speak but my words dont reflect my thoughts. My ipad and keyboard are my voice. I would like to have a word that describes me accurately.~ Jake Reisman
*As always, respect the individual person’s choice, but when referencing a group, go with the preference of the majority.
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