She doesn't talk anymore (Pearl S)

Apr 05, 2023

Pearl H. shared that her daughter used to talk but she stopped about 8 years ago.

In this video, I apply the 7 practices to build 3 disciplines to increase independence to her struggle.

1 Accept: That her autistic brain makes it difficult for her to express herself verbally. What's the best way for mom to accept that fact?

2 Believe: What thoughts drive their beliefs past it's impossible to it's possible to it's inevitable that she can increase her independence.

3 Connect: What are Mom's thought/emotion combinations? What are her daughters? If we can record the thoughts their brains are offering (likely a pattern of them established over time), then we can see what outcomes they produce.

4 Anchor: What outcomes do we want to produce? Who do we want to be while producing them? Can Mom get a better understanding of not only her daughter's desired outcomes but also hers?

5 Think: Now that we know the outcome we want, can we go backward up the 3 Questions and ask first, what actions would produce the desired outcome, then how would we need to think and feel to generate them?

6 Act: Now that we know the outcomes we want and the actions that produce them and the thought/feeling combination that inspires them, what is the next right-sized action the daughter is willing to take?

7 Partner: Let's collaborate on the results of our recent actions, to celebrate our success and learn from our mis-takes.

For resources that help families with autistic graduates increase independence, go here:


hi it's Lynn your adulting coach Pearl wrote in to tell me that her biggest struggle was with communication her daughter used to talk but stopped about eight years ago so let's see what we can offer Pearl um you know that might help we want to start first with helping her help her daughter make good decisions this is that responsive discipline that helps make helps make our life more in line with who we are and what we want and who we want to be so the first thing we both have to do it's a two-way street we have to accept the fact that she inherited through the genetic Lottery an autistic brain that is hyper Alert in fear um and she may just have some genetic wiring that makes it really hard for her to produce words so she's got the input she's figured out the processing in the middle but it's the output that's hard for her and accepting those facts those traits that are never going to change is so important for us we know that anywhere between three and I don't know 10 of people have neurodiverse brains at least and so let's just keep in mind that she is typical of the people who have an autistic brain these difficulties these patterns of difficulties are similar and so once we accept that we realize that there are so many ways to live a good life and her life is still going to be good even if it's hard for her to communicate to speak so that's the first thing that we have to accept so that we can understand what we can and cannot control for her for the daughter I'm thinking that there's probably some fear going on some shame some doubt happening um you know I'm not good enough my life isn't going the way it should those types of thoughts we we need to notice so that she can evolve from those she can just wiggle them a little bit to say I can't talk and that's okay when we can get her to a centered okay place she'll be more likely to be willing to feel that fear that she in the shame and whatever the feelings are and do what's important to her anyway and the emphasis on what's important to her we need to figure out what that is because we need to cultivate the belief that we can make a difference that every little step will take adds up and when we look at our current thoughts about belief sometimes we see them producing it's impossible we need to move to it's possible and then it's inevitable and that just comes from shift in the watching those thoughts watching our brains offer us the automatic thoughts that come up um so much in a pattern that we've used over our whole life that we just want to notice what's going on where what is that thought where did that come from you know just to notice where the belief is and for the daughter you know for her daughter what does she believe do we even know is there a way to find out could she use a you know a Communications device text um a an iPad of whatever kind of tablet isn't there some way we can help her tell us about the thoughts that are circulating in her head I just really hope you can find a way to uncover what's causing that belief that is driving the emotion of fear or shame or doubt and um you know whether or not those can be looked at interrupted so that we can wiggle them a little bit because when we really do listen to each other we can create that strong bond that strong connection that helps us with these struggles I mean life is painful it's uncertain and we know we're going to have to do a lot to get what we want no one's going to hand it to us and there's nobody coming that's going to rescue us we have to figure this out ourselves and so when we connect with one another we share what we're thinking and we hope that they will share what they're thinking as well it's just so good to know what's going on in the other person's brain and you know we won't know a lot because there's so many more thoughts than there is time to share them we get somewhere between 60 and 70 000 a day you know if we're just getting a sample of two or three I mean it's better than nothing but just know that there's a lot going on in there that doesn't always get shared by any of us I mean it's perfectly okay that we don't share all those sixty thousand thoughts it'd be a lot but it sure would be good if they'd share a few just especially the ones that are sticky that are bothersome and then let's structure our time so that more gets done that matters so when we recommend when we anchor in what um in what matters most to us and how we're going to create our days so that we can produce the outcomes that that are in line you know in alignment with what we want that's what this the structural discipline is going to bring for us that's the payoff so if we ask you know if we look at how is the evening routine because that always feeds the morning routine and then what are the three things that she's going to get done in any given day you know it's walk the dog it's I don't I don't know what it is but what are three things that she wants to do every day that are going to help her move her life forward and one of the best ways to do that is to ask her you know in in five years in three to five years where do you want to be what do you want to be thinking feeling and doing when we can figure that out then we can help them structure those three things that they need to do every day so what's the picture that she has in her head of how life's going to be in three to five years I mean it doesn't have to be um you know major steps from where she is it could just be a little bit of a step toward where she is but all of us all human beings want to progress It's just built in and what gets in the way sometimes are the way that we think creating fear or overwhelm or confusion or all those emotions that really block our our forward progress that keep us stuck so when we've identified those thoughts that are creating the fear we really do we can to help our kids feel that emotion now that's counter-intuitive we have been told and the way that we raised our kids was if they were having a hard time we were to distract them so we would come up with something else you know fun to do or something to eat or you know some activity that would distract them from the way that they were feeling instead now that they're adults I suggest strongly that we teach them how to feel the feeling and feelings come from our thoughts it's a miracle but our thought tells our brain which chemical to produce that causes a vibration in our body and so if we slow down and listen inside and really picture what is going on in there hmm it's fear for me it's just a ball of blue Lightning that just sends Sparks out it is not a comfortable feeling but I now I know what it is the other feeling I know really well is an urge because um you know chocolate so an urge feels like a pulsing um hourglass blue Hourglass in my body why is everything blue anyway um maybe because it just I just want to eat that thing I just want to have those chocolate drops or the chocolate cake or the whatever it is that's out there those feelings are so important for us to notice and feel and identify and that's not always easy for our kids because in particular sometimes the way that their brain is wired that enteroception that ability to feel what's going on inside is different from what someone without an autistic brain would be experiencing but we have encouraged them not to feel because it makes us uncomfortable when they have um a strong emotion and so here's what we want to do we really want to help them identify what those thoughts are producing that emotion and go ahead and feel and name that emotion it does not have to be poetic it can be happy glad happy sad mad happy sad man let's just do happy sad Mac frustrated is one that comes up in my household a lot overwhelmed is another one let's let's see if we can give them a little bit expand their emotional vocabulary just enough so that we know where they are what's the vibration that's happening inside of their body and then maybe we can wiggle it to an emotion that inspires the kind of action that they want to take so that they show up as the person that they want to be that they are making steps toward that future that they can Envision that they know is important to them and just right size that action to the smallest possible Next Step that they are confident they can try it's not up to us because we don't know what they're what's going on we don't know whether or not they're going to be confident with that particular action they know so let's make sure it's something that they have decided on it's an important enough important enough to them and it's the right size that's how we're going to get the action and then we have to partner by really connecting on how things went what went well and what could we improve what did we learn what can we you know it's just a mistake we just need to keep trying to figure out what works for them so I hope this is helpful I I know that we would all love to wave a magic wand and make some of these struggles disappear but if we can step back and recognize that in fact they are gifts they help us evolve I know that I have evolved as a parent so much with my kids and it's made me a better person overall and we know that our kids are going to evolve because someday they are going to be on their own some of these struggles aren't going to be optional for them and we need to level up their independence step by step now so that they have plenty of time to practice these independent skills while we're here to give them all the encouragement and warnings and collaborative support they need so please join me inside the art of adulting I would really love to help you with each of these practices bye for now