Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Autism Severity: Verbal Communication Doesn't Count? Crows Say Otherwise!

Photos by Harold L Doherty

One of the more irrational features in some autism discussions is the claim that being non verbal is not a significant indicator of autism severity.  Anyone who thinks that  verbal communication is not a significant factor in daily functioning is fooling themselves.   Communication is important for humans as it is for birds.  Crows are often reputed to be the smartest bird species and YouTube abounds with clever activities of crows. Anyone who has walked in areas populated by these very smart birds has heard the loud oral communication that goes on between these marvelous, high functioning creatures.  

As with crows, so too with people, oral communication is important in daily functioning and the absence of oral communication abilities is a serious deficit in daily functioning.  My son has severe autistic disorder and limited communication.  His lack of communication ability seriously limits his everyday life.


farmwifetwo said...

But if you do FC I'm certain he can write epics.


Mine will tell you something when he's put the words together. Otherwise, stick with yes/no, it's the easiest way he can reply.

His writing is amazing but no epics. It's a lot of dictation from You Tube video's or transcribed from Wikipedia. Things like Blues Clues, Sesame Street and Octonauts episode lists, how to use XP or other news (he's facinated by ours lately)/"how to" articles he's interested in etc. He writes the way he talks.... no epics, no perfect grammar, no amazing incites... yet, he can out read (orally with the words in front of him), spell and take dictation better than most 6 graders.

Trust me... he's very severely impacted socially, and expressively by his autism and expressive language is one of the biggest issues he has.

Anonymous said...

I love your photos.

Parenting various extraordinary people, I've come to realize the point is not "verbal" communication. It is, rather, communication - the entire give-and-take process, and maybe also the underlying security that one's communications are worthwhile efforts. I would be thrilled with motoric/gestural efforts - anything for self-expression -I just got a flash - back of Jules Feiffer's series of cartoons featuring a leotard-clad interpretive dancer: "I will now do a dance for..." :-)

Anonymous said...

I've often wondered when reading your blog if Connor uses an iPad or similar device...