My son is becoming a “low talker”

seinfeld "low talker"

Seinfeld: "low talker"

If you’ve ever seen the episode of Seinfeld, where he dates a low talker.. you know immediately what I’m talking about.

For those that haven’t, let me give you a run down of the situation.

Cameron LOVES his video games. Some would say obsessed… but he has proven to be able to live without them. He can spend time at the cottage without video games and even here at home, he only gets to play during the week-ends.

Still though… he loves them so very much that generally, it’s all he ever wants to talk about. On the drive in to school, he tells me all about the levels he has to beat and how to beat them. He describes the actions that characters can and will most likely take. He recounts entire levels that he’s played previously… even though I was there playing with him.

He’ll tell me, his mom, his cousin… anyone. He talks and talks and talks.

Now, if you know autism, you know that many children with autism never do learn how to talk. They may or may not find other ways to communicate but talking just isn’t one of them for some people.

I know this and I’d never want to discourage my boy when I know not take this sort of thing for granted. Still though… how many can you listen about Mario or Sonic? A day? A week? Months? Years?

So anyway, even if we don’t ask him to stop, he realizes that we’re not nearly as interested. He knows that we’ve moved on to other things or are simply too busy doing other things to really pay full attention to what he’s telling us.

As a result, he’s slowly becoming a “low talker”. What I mean by that is… he continues on talking about video games, but he does so quietly, not really to himself, but such that only he can hear it. So he’s still telling us, or anyone, but no one will ask him to stop… people can go about doing what they’re doing while he’s talking… he doesn’t interfere with them.

There have been times where he’d talk about a video game for a solid hour, as if talking to himself, only… he’s actually talking to someone. He just doesn’t care if they’re listening or not.

Everyone in the house is aware he’s been talking away for an hour. Everyone knows what he’s talking about. But no one can hear the words he’s saying. Not even the person he’s talking to.

On one hand, I’m impressed because he’s found a way to continue on without bothering anyone. On the other hand, will this behavior be looked at positively by others later in life?

As I said, I don’t want to discourage him from talking about the things he loves either.

For now, he’s found a solution that works for him. So I’m more than happy to let him keep going with it.

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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4 Responses to My son is becoming a “low talker”

  1. Bliss P April 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    They can be so darn smart. I have a 7 year old on the spectrum who has recently become obsessed with Star Wars (it began with a video game…) and does this exact thing, the low talking, when he can tell our interest is flagging. He mostly wants to recite facts about the characters gleaned from his multiple readings of the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia. Lately, he has asked my permission to stand outside the bathroom when I’m showering and just tell me “facts.” Party on, I say – I’m enjoying a nice warm shower, and he has a captive audience. 🙂

  2. Connie April 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    One of my sons does a similar thing when he’s talking about math. (my older son still doesn’t recognize when someone isn’t really interested and continues vying for that attention)

    The other thing my younger son does is start spelling his words and sentences. This is mostly when he’s overstimulated though. We know he needs quiet time and holding when he stops speaking altogether and simply fingerspells his sentences (using ASL)…his is a newer thing though. A year ago, he simply stopped talking at all.

    I think it’s so great how they find their niches and ways to communicate.

  3. Michelle April 11, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    My son, now 11 does this in private. I have walked into a room thinking he is talking to someone. What we do now is sit in a circle and take turns talking about a set topic. Like video games…then we explain to him that we must all take about 2 to 3 minutes each and talk about this same topic. No more or no less than 2 to 3 minutes. Then we will change to topic to something boring like dirt…and again follow the same rules. Hopefully as he gets older this will teach him more “socially appropriate” communication skills.

  4. booksonaspergersyndrome January 19, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    I’ve read in forums like wrong planet and aspie central that obsessions can change, that many dont last forever. as a child, i was obsessed with animals, nature, and swaying treetops. although i still love these things dearly, i’m not obsessed by them.
    neurotypicals are also obsesse with company, being part of a group, latest gossip, etc.
    as children on the spectrum grow, they learn better social codes. Cameron knows when people lose interest. some autistic people dont know that. he knows how not to drive people crazy with his special interst.
    and believe it or not, some people on the spectrum dont have an obsession. i dont. i was obsessed with marshal arts, but my obsessions come and go. i dont have a life long obsession and i’ve heard about aspies who never had one.
    an obsession is something one loves to do, something that brightens up one’s day. it’s a good thing, except others dont always want to hear it. the best thing is to bring together two autistic people whose special interests are the same. this could be a very strong friendship that benefits both sides.

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