Saturday, November 8, 2014

Acquaintances, Friends, & Conversation.

One of the things that has always thrown people off about me, is that I am hyperverbal.  When I was in 8th grade I had a graduate level vocabulary.  Thing is, command of the English language and it's meanings is not necessary command at its uses.

On a regular basis I find my conversations regarding ordinary events descending rapidly into deeply philosophical matters. My over-thinking nature & extreme lateral thought process can quickly carry a local conversation to distant galaxies.

I've never been called rude for this (exactly), but often get that glassy eyed look of confusion and confoundment on people's faces...They wonder how I manage to take so many steps in a conversation in so little time.  Often my conversations will move into personal matters, for which I have no shame or embarrassment, that others find uncomfortable.

In other posts I talk about confabulation and the "the fish is THIS big" syndrome, and this touches on the same area.  You see, those with ACC often are constant free-associators, one thought, leading to the next, to the next ad infinitum. All the time, it makes perfect sense to us, we can follow our ACC logic but those around us become confused.  If I had a penny for every time I heard "where did that come from" I'd be as wealthy as Trump.

I've been lucky enough in recent years to have people around me that recognized this within me, and didn't "excuse" it, but rather they made space for it.  It's "just Joe", etc...That's good, because I can't be anything but that!

I most definitely experience the "giftedness" of this condition, non-stop creativity, thinking outside the NT box, seeing things other people cannot see.  While the negative side of this has gotten plenty of fires burning in my life, the gifted side of it helped me to figure out how to put out the fire.  Now I concentrate on not starting the fires to begin with.

Talking with me, is largely an exercise in following stream of consciousness.  I've had doctors, prior to my correct diagnoses of ACC and ASD say that I was "the worst case of ADHD they ever saw."  I can understand how someone can think that, not knowing of my brain's differences.  People often find talking with me exhausting.  Funny thing though my ACC friend Sara Oliver, she and I can talk and talk and talk for hours covering a thousand subjects, and still be able to follow our conversation.  While we are inflexible with some things, we are hyperflexible with attention and conversation.

So, parents, your ACC child may blurt something out of nowhere, in a conversation or on its own that will have you going "where did that come from?"  Please understand that it "came from" that spark of creativity which is the associative thinking process.  The words make total sense to your child, and in his or her thinking are perfectly in context.  Think before laughing at, criticizing or ridiculing what may seem to you as an off the wall comment.  If you can follow our logic you should be able to backtrack the conversation to the point where "they left off."  Listen to their stream of consciousness, then let them know you heard them, but what about "______" (the thing they got "distracted" from.)

Thank you for listening!

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