In my Last post, I talked about my five reasons why being non-verbal frustrates me, and today I’d like to share with you how someone can become non-verbal.
What Being Non-verbal Means For Me
Can I not make sounds at all? First, let me explain what I can and cannot do. I can make sounds but it depends on if I am relaxed. Say a person asks me to say the word ‘hi’. Could I say it? Maybe I can or maybe I can’t. It might just come out by accident. It is a hit or miss situation. Sometimes the word ‘mom’ comes out so clearly. My mom died in 2011 so I don’t say ‘mom’ much anymore. Other times I want to say something in my own voice and I can’t even make a single sound at all.
Causes For Becoming Non-verbal
What causes the inability to speak? It is caused by damage to certain parts of the brain, which impairs signals from certain synapses to misfire, or not fire at all. The lack of oxygen to the brain before the birth, during the birth, or after the birth causes the part of the brain required for speech to be damaged, rendering the person unable to speak. your vocal cords are controlled by muscles that essentially stretch the vocal folds between two regions of cartilage.
Breathing plays a factor in talking as well. Inhalation and exhalation play an important role in proper speech patterns. Besides all of this, the muscles in the mouth play an important role too in talking. It takes a lot of control to do that and people don’t realize that because it comes naturally to people. So talking takes many important parts of the body to work together that we take for granted.
Are there different degrees of ability to talk? The answer is yes. Some people can talk with a slur. It might be hard to understand what they are saying, but after a while, you might be able to catch on. Other times you might not understand the person. Sometimes it goes back to what I said earlier – it depends on how much damage the brain suffered at birth. This has an impact on how well they can control certain muscles. If facial muscles are tight, naturally their speech will be affected” more. With Cerebral Palsy, your body is constantly changing so during a conversation, speech can change. That is why every day is a new and frustrating day for people with Cerebral Palsy because they don’t know how tight their body will be. It helps to breathe properly and do your best to be as relaxed as possible.
People Respond To Non-verbal Individuals Differently
I find it fascinating that if I have a personal care assistant who is with me for a while, they don’t care if I am non-verbal or not. We communicate very well with other means. It is not like changing who you are because you are talking to me. It becomes easier to understand me and my non-verbal cues to interpret what I want or need. I find it interesting that a person gets so scared to try to talk to me and after a while, they feel so comfortable in talking with me. I am not implying that everybody is this way. It just depends on the person and if they really want to get to know me.
Everyone Who Is Non-verbal Has Different Needs
Every non-verbal person communicates differently depending on the person’s ability. Some people use technology like an iPad or another communication system. Other people use their eyes to talk. Still, others use a mixture of both technology and eyes and gestures like I do. As the technology improves, there will be other ways to talk. I think we are living in the age of increasing possibilities and in the future, there might be new ways to talk faster. I think that this will help everybody in the long run.