Use your words

This is how the advice sounds when I’m exasperated. It’s not fair at all, because one of the things about Asperger’s for my kids is that it makes the path from idea to vocal cord very cumbersome indeed, and one of those concepts that I have to explain regularly is, “The words in your heart don’t reach my ears if you don’t use your mouth.” But it’s been a “Use your words” kind of weekend around here, and so I give you the advice I all but shouted to my children earlier today. (Parenting fail.)

Thanks for letting me vent, Trifecta. Hey, by the way, there’s a new kid in town over there. OK, she’s really not new. She’s been posting some fabulous writing for quite awhile now. But Draug has joined the editorial team with Lisa and Joules, and I find that to be kickass awesometastic.



About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Use your words — 42 Comments

  1. Oh sweet cheez-its do I know what you mean!
    No such thing as a parenting fail. I hope your weekend gets better and that S and C find their words.
    You know I’m always here if you want to vent too. πŸ™‚
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    • You are so sweet. My children would not agree. I’m well on my way to alienating at least one of them if I don’t get my act together.

  2. β€œThe words in your heart don’t reach my ears if you don’t use your mouth.”

    That’s one of the loveliest ways of expressing that particular frustration I’ve ever heard, Jessie. Wow.
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    • It originated in an argument. Sam was yelling. I said, “You sound mad. Are you mad?”

      “YOU KNOW.”

      “I know what?”

      “YOU KNOW I’M MAD.”

      “Why are you mad?”


      “Well obviously, I don’t or I wouldn’t be asking.”


      “Honey, I don’t know the words in your heart unless you say them with your lips.”

      “YES YOU DO”

  3. At least they’ve got you helping them realize that, if not always at the right level of volume. I still have a huge problem remembering to use words and I’m in my 30s. I could have used the early start.

    • For them, it’s an outgrowth of Asperger’s. They just assume that other people know what they are feeling/thinking, and it feels unnatural to them to have to state the obvious.

      • Possibly a case in point. That’s exactly what I meant, but didn’t articulate it beyond what I said in my original comment because I assumed that was enough for you to know all of what I meant.

        It’s a struggle. I mean that they are lucky to have you coaching them at it so young. They’re getting a jump start on it that I didn’t get.
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        • I hope so – but I am also learning from autistic people who didn’t get that coaching how to treat them with respect. I don’t want requests to “use your words” and things like that to wind up being me asking them to act like little neurotypical kids. But it’s a hard line to draw as a parent.

  4. Your writing helps me with my 8-year-old. I see my relationship with her improving based on your experiences and advice. Thank you for sharing this stuff. It means a great deal to me.

    hang in there mom
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  5. I’m flattered you refer to my new post as kickass awesometastic (:

    My sister says this to my nephew all the time now that he’s really getting into talking. I always thought it was good advice!

    • It’s really hard to say it as the kids get older. I don’t want to put them down or make them seem like they have to be neurotypical to be normal. And yet …. I don’t know how to help if they don’t speak!!

  6. This is great Jessie! I think most parents can relate β€” and as a stepmom for 10 years of a (now 16 year old) boy with Asperger’s, all I can say is if you’re not yelling every day, you’re doing an awesome job! πŸ™‚ And I love that line from your preamble too β€” “The words in your heart don’t reach my ears if you don’t use your mouth.” Beautiful!
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  7. Everyone else has already said it. But this is lovely. My child has no issues with communication. She has a current issue with regression. She thinks it makes her cuter and less likely to enter primary school in the fall if she talks like a baby. The words of the heart not reaching the ears? Mine is more like a, “YOU CANNOT DO THIS TO ME. WE ARE PAST THE BABY STAGE. THERE IS NO GOING BACKWARDS.” Now who’s got the parenting fail?
    Hop over and visit Trifecta’s recent post Trifextra: Week Sixty-TwoMy Profile

    • Ohhh yeah. We knew a couple of them who did that. It’s painful to the ears, not adorable at all, and the only good thing is that you can promise to use it against her at her high school graduation.

      • Oddly enough when I saw “mooncalf” I thought of The Game of Thrones (I’m pretty sure I caught THAT word somewhere in the 10,000 pages I’ve read so far of that crazy long book filled with words that I do not know and so very thankful for the dictionary integrated in my Kindle to help me understand yet which allows me to immediately forget the meaning of the word by the time I click to the next page). πŸ˜‰
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  8. I’ve used a variation – telling my peeps that I don’t do mind reading. If I don’t know what’s wrong, I can’t do anything to make it better.

    (Loved ‘mooncalf’!)
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  9. Well, everybody said it but this sounds like a wonderful way to get your point across. I can hear the words spoken and it just sounds like good advice too me. Maybe there’s a hint of frustration there? πŸ˜‰ Great write for the entry.
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  10. “Mooncalf me? Wow, Jesse, that’s a good one, and I got the whole eyes connection without a second thought. USE YOUR WORDS. There’s a derivation of that I used with my daughter when she picked up the habit of swearing: “Did you run out of adjectives?”

    The format is cute as all get-out. Wonderful! Amy
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  11. Fabulous line: The words in your heart don’t reach my ears if you don’t use your mouth.
    Wise advice for anyone dealing with children of any age, even the old sputtery ones.
    I hope your children are aware of how cool their mom is.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. You gave me two excellent words this weekend. Mooncalf and, what this post is: awesometastic!
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  13. I read this on Saturday..right? and texted you and honestly thought about it all weekend, “use your words” I said, more than once to my boys.
    but that “Put syllables on your tongue” was my favorite line. I love the word “syallables”,it’s like shenanigans or bodega to me. It just makes me smile without a reason.

    so while I was sorry that your child wasn’t using her syllables, I was glad you shared that line with us. I LOVED It. πŸ™‚
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  14. Love the expression “the word in your heart.” Love it. My kids don’t have Aspergers but I could still use that same statement with them from time to time when they get frustrated and tongue tied.
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