Can we all speak? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

One of the aspects you find of people on the spectrum is some are said to be non-verbal. I say said to be because there have been cases of people who are on the spectrum and yet when they are alone around horses, they are observed to speak. We could also say some people do speak through the medium of the internet which means they express themselves through typing, but not through orality.

I am obviously one of those who is verbal. I am a public speaker and many of you have seen me speak and even debate. At the same time, I can be exceptionally shy and introverted. I like what Hugh Ross said once and even if you consider yourself a YEC, I urge you to really listen to this. He is also on the spectrum and has said he would rather speak to 100 people instead of to one.

One of my requirements is going door-to-door doing evangelism once a week when regular classes are in session. We don’t have anyone go individually and I never initiate. I generally wait and see if I can get an opening and jump something in. If it’s an intellectual conversation, I can usually do it very well and then I’m quite animated, but when it comes to personal communication, I struggle with strangers.

Never mind also that I consider much of our evangelism is done wrongly. We have too much of an emphasis on going to Heaven when you die as if that’s the point. I much more prefer to speak of Jesus being the king and we need to get in line with Him. Other than that, I’m watching a conversation go on and wondering what I can say and it seems like people already know what’s going on and how to speak.

I recall one time my then roommate and I went to a Kingdom Hall where Jehovah’s Witnesses meet as we had had some visiting us who asked us to attend. In the end, we got lovebombed as I describe it where people swarmed around us wanting to meet us. This was a horrid situation for me. So one of them comes to me and takes my hand and introduces themselves. I’m standing there in total disarray with everything going on and I hear my roommate say “Say your name.”

Now understand, I know I needed to do this. I knew what social etiquette required of me, but as is said, knowing is half the battle. It’s an important half, but half still. However, I can say his saying that gave me the necessary jumpstart I needed.

Many times if I’m in public, I just don’t speak a lot if it’s someone I don’t know. I work at the campus Post Office and if someone walks by with mail they want to mail and plan to put it in the slot, I will reach out my hand. I find it difficult to say “I’ll take that.” When I go to the grocery store and I need to get a barrier to separate my order from the next, I can’t say it. I wind up pointing wildly trying to get their attention.”

I never seem to.

If I don’t speak to you, it’s because I don’t have that form of trust with you yet. Many times, I still would prefer to speak non-verbally if I can. I do enjoy speaking at times as one thing people learn about me often is I love to say things to make people laugh.

Also, sometimes if people ask me vague questions (“How are you? The question I hate the most.) I don’t know how to answer. I have heard people speak about me supposedly under my breath as if I was rude. It is not my intention to be rude. I find many people who stress on people being polite so much are often some of the rudest ones that I meet. I don’t answer because I don’t know what to say. It’s not a goal to be rude.

Please remember if you meet someone who is quiet that it could be they are on the spectrum. There is no desire to be rude. Being Miss Manners around them won’t help. It only makes it harder.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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