Hyperverbal!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Hyperverbal!
15
Sun, 12-13-2009 - 12:07pm

I'm having an issues with my DS, and it's an issue that has been going on since he could talk. My DS talks or vocalizes CONSTANTLY. Combined with that is some Aspie-ness in that what he wants to talk about is one of his few interests. Worse yet is that his interests tend to be obscure or "geeky" (right now he's into World of Warcraft, everything to do with 9/11, and how much he hates the male tween/teen heartthrobs). It's driving us nuts, and when he was in school (we are homeschooling this year), it drove his classmates nuts and he had no friends.

We've tried all approaches that we can think of, such as the gentle reminders to change the subject or lower his voice (he can also be loud), the rational approach where we explain how others perceive his chatter, and the harsh/punitive approach where we ask him to stop and if he doesn't, then we send him to his room.

The rational and harsh/punitive approaches just seem to be eating away at his self-esteem (and turning him into an angry kid), and the gentle approach is simply ignored by him. We don't know what to do.

It was a little better (but not hugely better) when he was on a higher dose of Ritalin, but he'd also lost his appetite and was verging on having an unhealthy weight, so we went to a lower dose.

Is there anyone who's child has this same behaviour and has found a solution? We see the pediatrician tomorrow and I'd love to be able to ask her to try something specific.

Oh, and FWIW, he's been assessed multiple times (and recently) for ASD and it has been ruled out.

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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 12-14-2009 - 12:46am

Since it sounds like what he is doing is taking at length about a subject WITHOUT waiting for feedback, or for you to answer back, then it's a possibility that his chatter is OCD, Tourette's, or Non Verbal Learning Disorder.

My money is on NVLD, because one of the defining characteristics of NVLD is that altho these individuals may speak volumes, their speech tends to be concrete and to contain excessive detail, and it also shows little or no evidence of consideration of the interests or needs of the audience. Cumbersome monologues are another trait of a child with nonverbal learning disabilities. Normal conversational "give and take" seems to elude these kids. Teachers complain of a child who "talks incessantly" and parents say "they just don't seem to know when to be quiet". As a result, they are constantly being told, "You talk too much!"

Kids with NVLD are unable to "look and learn." They do not perceive subtle non-verbal cues in their environment such as: when something has gone far enough, the idea of personal "space", the facial expressions of others, or when another person is registering pleasure (or displeasure) in a nonverbal mode.

NVLD is often misdiagnosed or overlooked altogether. Altho it may be related to Asperger's Syndrome(AS), or Autism spectrum disorders, or PDD, the tendency to learn almost entirely by HEARING rather than seeing, and the inability to "read" expression and non-verbal cues sets this disorder apart.
The biggest problem with treating NVLD, is that it is a neurologic rather than biochemical disorder. That means, meds have little to no benefit. The child must be TAUGHT "what comes naturally" to the rest of us.

This first link discusses similarities and differences between AS and NVLD...
http://www.autismsite.ca/html/as___nvld.html

These links give more insight into the disorder, and also give you some coping mechanisms...
http://www.schoolbehavior.com/conditions_nvld.htm
http://www.ldonline.org/article/6168
http://www.ldonline.org/article/Developing_an_Educational_Plan_for_the_Student_with_NLD
http://www.ldonline.org/article/Students_with_Nonverbal_Learning_Disabilities

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Mon, 12-14-2009 - 8:17am

<<>>

*sigh* That's what I was afraid of. Any criticism of his chatter is taken by him as us picking on him. Maybe it will sink in as he matures, but his self-talk does seem to be quite negative these days ("see, I'm annoying"), and he seems no closer to being able to control it even if he's being made aware of it by us.

Hopefully the pediatrician will have something to add.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Mon, 12-14-2009 - 9:48am

Another thing is that he doesn't even need an audience to be talking constantly. He's quite often in a room by himself talking out loud to himself. I've told him repeatedly that he shouldn't do that (and why) and he says that he doesn't care. I think that he just can't stop himself and claims indifference as a coping mechanism. I'm so worried for his future. Is his social life doomed (rhetorical)?

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Apparently, my DS only had the hyperverbal issue during recess at school (during which time he'd drive his classmates bonkers), but during class time, his anxiety about getting in trouble, his shyness, and his eagerness to please kept him quiet. I can't help but think that if he could be quiet during class, why can't he control it other times?

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 12:10am

Maybe he is afraid on the playground, and talking is his way of coping. From what I've read, and what I've seen(I've known 2 NVLDer's) constantly talking is one way of releaving stress. One was my dental patient, and he would talk incessently about everything he'd seen on the weather channel. He could spew the hour by hour predictions for Des Moine, verbatim. I would go UhHuh, for a while, and finally I just said, right over him, OK--we're gonna count your teeth now, and I stuck my hand in his mouth when he opened it to speak. And we counted his teeth, and then we shined them up, and then he told his mom he LOVED coming to see Ms. Sue. I've found with many of my disabled patients-- ADD, Downs, whatever; and my kids--the best way to get things done is to be very matter of fact, and brook no nonsense. No yelling OR begging. Sit down NOW. Open your mouth NOW. Put em in headlock and get going. I don't hurt them, but I don't sit too long waiting for them to compose themselves, or do what they've been told. The longer they think about something, or think they have an OPTION, they will carry on, & make themselves distraught. I think too many people over explain, or even over ask. If your son is talking too much, just GENTLY but FIRMLY, put your hand over his mouth, and say "stop NOW". Look in his eyes when you do this, so he learns that the way your face looks = stop NOW. You can do this with other emotions, too. When he violates your personal space, or grabs something away from someone, hold his face, look him right in the eye, and say, "I am MAD. This is a MAD face" and then physically stop him from what he is doing.

I'll never forget sitting at the kitchen table with my niece-in-law, when when my great-nephew came home from school and announced, (his teacher)"Miss Smith had a MAD face today!!" After about two minutes of hugs and high fives with the boy, we stopped and looked at each other and said, "WHY did she have a mad face???"

It was right up there with the day my 4th grader came home and said, "I had a GREAT day at school today, Mommy!! I didn't hit anyone and I didn't steal anything!!"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 12:48am

The pediatrician suggested that we make a "deal" with him and allow him five minutes of chatter at a time (and to tell him that it's because we can only focus for 5 minutes at a time). At the end of the time, we firmly remind him of the deal that was made, and that his time is up. The idea is that he's not being stopped from talking because he's annoying and talking too much, but stopped because his time ran out. It can then be a rule that's enforced, rather than an irritating personality trait that needs correcting. It may not work, but we've not tried it yet.

After listening to our description of his behaviour (and the history of the behaviour) she asked that we bring him in for an ADOS assessment. Apparently, she can use it to assess areas of weakness in his social communication (even without an ASD dx). She said that once she's done that, she might have some more specific suggestions.

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Neither of those things are really much of an issue for him. The closest that he comes to violating personal space is the chatter/vocalizations (I'm actually more "Aspie" than he is and the "noise" feels like my head is being squeezed) which can feel like a violation at times.

He's never grabbed anything away from anyone. He's ultra-passive, a little too passive. He also avoids physical encounters (although he's quite affectionate) and that would probably be too close to a tussle for his comfort. He's never liked play-fighting or being playfully tossed around. It's too much for him, stimulation-wise.

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He's never had difficulty in deducting emotion from facial expression. He has difficulty with reading comprehension WRT figuring out the motivations (greed, fear, friendship, ect) for why the characters do what they do, and what they might do next. He ALWAYS gets those questions wrong.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2007
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 4:23pm
Hi - I don't know anything about your problem but I have seen it and read about - what I am curious about - because your child sounds young - why is he play WOW.

Denise

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 4:28pm

<<>>

Because he's been given permission to by his parents.

<<>>

Riiiiight!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2007
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 4:43pm

It really wasn't like you think and by the way - i don't look at this game as geeky - it takes a lot of critical thinking - which my son always needed - and I did give him permission at 16.


What use to get me upset is that he was talking and playing with grown men and that made me nervous.

Denise

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 5:13pm

<<>>

Perhaps you could have monitored him while he played.

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My kid doesn't play with earphones on.

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My DS isn't hooked on playing (he actually doesn't spend much time playing during the week), he's *hooked* on TALKING about it. And if it weren't for WoW or 9/11, ect, it would be something else he'd chatter on about for hours.

The problem isn't what he's talking about (and the subjects have changed over the years...Thomas, Blues Clues, Star Wars, Pokemon, Michael Jackson, Chuck Norris, WoW, 9/11, and all the male tween/teen stars who he hates), but there is a problem about how much he talks about them (literally hours), and the manner in which he does so (in a lecture-ish kind of way that leaves no room for the back and forth of a normal conversation). He's not making friends doing this.

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Not in our situation.

Whether or not a parent lets their child do something (like play a particular video game) is a judgment call. There's a whole thread about it on the iVillage Parents of Teens board where I gave my opinion about it. I'm not feeling up to doing so again here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-16-2009
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 6:23pm

Has your son been evaluated for Autism? Sorry to jump in here Just lurking and your DS sounds a bit like my cousins son....He is high functioning autistic.

He has his favorite topics he likes to talk about but doesn't do a lot of give and take in a conversation. he likes to spit out information and for you to listen. He has a hard time with reading anything fiction. he can't process metaphors or see hidden meaning. he is smart but not in the normal since... he completely misses social ques. He also has texture issues with food and clothes. He has to be kept on schedule. He is a very shy and polite boy very naive you could say.

I don't know a whole lot about autism other than what I see with my cousins boy......but there are different degrees just like in ADHD. I would get further testing and Hopefully your pediatrician can give you some ideas as how to help your son or send you to a Dr. that can help.

Just my 2 cents....Michelle

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