Please, use your words

We’ve been having another challenging issue with Mr.  Gavin,  that is less of a problem and more of an annoyance. For some reason,  he has been not wanting to use his words. This is really unusual,  at least for him. 

Instead of saying,  “I’m hungry,  can I have breakfast?”,  he simply walks around making weird noises.

When he was in the hospital,  instead of saying “can I have a drink?”,  he would grunt and point.  WTF…..????

He has exceptional language skills and the truth is,  most of the time we can’t get him to stop talking. His psychologist believes this is simply part of the current power struggle and I have to say that I agree.

We have told Gavin that ofbhe doesn’t use his words that we can’t hear him,  or something to that affect.

Do any of your kids do anything like this?  I realize Gavin is a bit different but I was just wondering how you handled it of this was something you have experienced?

Please keep in mind that he hasn’t lost the words,  he’s just choosing not to use them.  Does that make sense?

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

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This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct is working against me.

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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I have done and do this sometimes. I wish I knew why. Can you see what the therapist thinks about giving him another way to communicate? Maybe he is having more trouble at that time getting his words out? Not sure.
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Half a dozen different kids I see do this at different times for different reasons. When it’s a case of choosing not to speak, I’ll never do anything until they’ve verbalised, at least in part, what they want. For someone as intelligent as Gavin if probably say very calmly “I know you know what to say, please speak properly” and just wait. No additional prompting or engagement until he responds appropriately.
Hope this helps 🙂


My kiddos have all done this at one point or another–they definitely know their words, they're choosing not to use them. I simply tell them once to use their words, and if they don't, then I simply ignore their pointing and other requests until they use their words. As you said, they know how to say it. They're just looking for a power shift. Don't give in! After half a day or so of ignoring until they use their words, they started right back up again. What'dya know, they CAN speak! 🙂


Well said


We have similar issues with Serenity. She was chaining 'more eat please' in sign language, gut if everyone isn't on board with it (like school staff) the skill fades.


We had that problem with Emmett. No one thought he would ever talk. We had started to learn ASL and he picked up on it really well. We had the same issue with some not being on board.

Thankfully, something eventually clicked and he found his words. He\’s still very delayed and difficult to understand but I totally understand what you are saying.


My daughter is much worse about this than either one of my autistic boys. She will act baby-fied and whine when she's trying to manipulate me into doing something for her that she's just not wanting to do herself. I don't let her get by with it either. I make her speak to me without the whining & I make her do things herself.

I get what you're saying and I think Gavin is just trying to get you to do things for him without asking. If he's still pointing and grunting then it means he knows what he wants he's just not asking for it. Make him use his words. It's what I have to do with my daughter. She is doing that much less now since I don't cater to her every time she tries it.


We make my son use 'legitimate' ways to communicate. Vocalization (to the best of his ability), ASL, PECS, or his ipad. Every time he wants a donut from the supermarket, he doesn't get it until he says the color of icing. Because he is so non verbal, "ee" is green. "oo" is blue. "ed" is red. It takes a while, he will keep saying "peas" (please) and "Bap" (his catchall word), but we insist on something close to what he wants. We say "use your words" ALL THE TIME, often when handing him his ipad. (BTW did you see on FB it was stolen but the thief put the video on icloud? ANYWAYS.) If he seriously IS having some sort of difficulties, you can start off by saying that even "Drink" is acceptable, if you think that will help. But sounds like it is a power thing, yes. Good luck!