The Mute Button

autism When we first received the diagnosis of PDD-NOS, we didn’t really understand what that meant.

Then we realized that it’s on the Autism Spectrum, and we got a little scared.  Our boy has “speech delay” as a major part of his Autism, so it’s very difficult for him to say the words he so desperately wants to share.

I remember one time he came up to me, looked me in the eye’s – and even formed the words with his mouth – but nothing came out.  He was straining to make each word, straining to have that “voice”.

He ended up in tears at that moment, knowing on his face the struggle he was having in asking for something as simple as “juice”.  It was as if someone took a remote control, pointed it at our son at that moment, and clicked “mute”.

What I find is frustrating about the spectrum is the aspect of how diverse it really is.  I hear some parents who can’t get their kids to calm down or “shut up” for a moment of silence, or get some level of sleep – due to insomnia in their kids.  Another time I hear of a dad, who after 18 years – is still waiting for his son to look at him and say, “hi dad”.

We can’t take away autism, like placing a band-aid on a boo-boo, although we all wish we could.
I have to remind myself that our son has the amazing ability to know what’s going on – but has such a difficult time expressing it himself.

Have you dealt with speech delay in Autism?

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Joel Manzer
Husband to an Amazing Wife, and Father of a Child with Autism. Founding Lead Editor of this site called Autisable. Click here to join Autisable!
Joel Manzer

Joel Manzer

Husband to an Amazing Wife, and Father of a Child with Autism. Founding Lead Editor of this site called Autisable. Click here to join Autisable!

5 thoughts on “The Mute Button

  • September 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm
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    It should be something really hard because the autism is like a period of confusion actually I had gotten in the same way that child, I mean totally silent, but there are hope because I’ve heard that a pharmacy in England is offering medications to treat it.

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  • June 6, 2009 at 10:08 am
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    If he is in a program speech should be his major concern.  You can begin teaching him sign language or investigate PECS (picture exchange communication system) .  He will naturally show you which method he prefers.  Just remember whatever you choose to speak with him as well.  If you have any other questions or if I can be of any help please just let me know.  Speech is such an important part of being human.  Once he establishes a modality of speech you should see his frustration levels decrease.

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  • June 3, 2009 at 9:59 am
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    It’s hard, and I absolutely uncorked on one of my Sylvan students yesterday for making fun of me for it. It pissed me off. Kids are cruel though.

    However, I try to say what I intend to as quickly as possible. It’s difficult sometimes, as I do stutter sometimes too. I just deal as much as I can. It sucks, definitely. Oh well. I often know what I want to say, but getting it to come out is another thing, and it does frustrate me. 🙁

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  • June 3, 2009 at 2:04 am
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    That would be so difficult to see your child suffering so much. It’s amazing that we think something is so simple, but to some it is the hardest thing to do. 

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  • June 2, 2009 at 7:56 pm
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    My daughter was diagnoised with PDD-NOS.  Her main problem is speech.  She has trouble getting across to us what she wants or needs and it frustrates her alot.  So she will act out.  Also, you have to maintain some form of routine or she’ll crash.  Now, she can mimic really, really well, but when it comes to expressing herself, she just can’t.

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