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Featured Help designing a card explaining when I cannot speak

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by grommet, Feb 13, 2020 at 1:22 PM.

  1. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday I was waiting for a bus and when it arrived and the driver asked where I was going I had trouble speaking, I panicked and it got worse until I was only making strange sounds. She was very nice and helped me but I would like advice on what I could put on a card that helps people understand I am having trouble speaking.

    I have the equipment and software to make permanent CR80 plastic cards. They look like gift cards you may have seen or a gym membership card. They are colorful and very durable. If needed I can put a photo on them.

    What words could I use to explain to someone I would show the card to that I am having trouble speaking?

    I would also appreciate any ideas for design, including pictographics that could help.
     
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  2. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi @grommet, I think the bus driver yesterday would have guessed that you lost your words due to anxiety, especially if you spoke clearly at first, before she got the fare wrong. I am not sure if I understand how big the cards are, could you say something like, When I am anxious it is hard to speak. ?

    Do you want to tell them what may help? Should they give you time, or is there something else they could do that's helpful?
     
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  3. Alexej

    Alexej Active Member

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    How about the image of a speech bubble with a red cross over it
     
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  4. Cassiopeia

    Cassiopeia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Maybe

    Please be patient, I can't speak (well) when I feel stressed. Thank you.

    Are they around the size of a credit card?
     
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  5. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    "I am not sure if I understand how big the cards are"

    The cards are CR80, that is the exact size of a credit card. They fit in a wallet.

    "Do you want to tell them what may help? Should they give you time, or is there something else they could do that's helpful?"

    I want them to understand that for a moment I cannot speak, that I am listening and I understand but I cannot answer them verbally just now. I would very much like to be able to show them what I have on my phone so they can see the location I need to go to or why I am in a store.

    I would be open to carrying a tablet just for this but I think the phone screen may be enough and it would save money not having to buy another thing and be less weight to carry but the most important thing is to be able to communicate that I am not being unresponsive by choice when they ask me a question. People get very angry if they think you are not listening to them or think you are insulting them if you do not talk. I want to stop people getting angry because of the wrong impression.

    Thank you for helping.
     
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  6. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the exact size of a credit card. I would not like to tell them I am stressed but I would like to say something like "sometimes I cannot speak but I am listening, I can use my phone to answer your questions"
     
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  7. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    I just looked up "speech bubble". Thank you for the excellent idea. That graphic above a line of text that explains I am for the moment not able to speak might explain.
     
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  8. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  9. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    I found the above card. I could make something like that but leave out the lines about Noise, light or smell, the "Be calm" and the line about physical touch. I think this card looks very clear and would help.

    What do you think?
     
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  10. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Sounds like a plan. Keep it simple using a sans serif font like that. Laminated might be good as well...otherwise it will wear pretty quickly.

    Just make sure it clearly states that you are unable to speak when stressed.
     
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  11. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's clear, and says useful things. Simpler words might be better than 'nonverbal or uncommunicative' eg I may not speak much or at all, but I am listening.
     
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  12. Cassiopeia

    Cassiopeia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Okay, I see, without mentioning the stressed part.
    Maybe you can integrate the speech bubble idea onto the text side. I like the card example and the changes you already came up with. I also agree that simpler words might be better.

    I'm not sure how I'd reword that because I think it gets the message across and that quite well.
     
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  13. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for suggesting sans serif. The cards I make have a protective overlay and are extremely durable. They can last for years.

    I am concerned about using the word "stressed". I wonder if people might think it means I am unsafe, about to react in some way. I do not. I just start losing the ability to speak clearly or sometimes speak at all when I am stressed. This means you are perfectly correct, I just worry about people's reaction to that word.

    This is helping though, I think I am getting closer to figuring out the design of the card.
     
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  14. zurb

    zurb Eschewer of Obfuscation

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    A few thoughts:
    A crossed out speech bubble could be interpreted as ‘don’t speak to me’ which isn’t your message.
    The speech bubble (or maybe thought bubble) could contain a basic message like an ellipsis (...) or ‘I can’t speak right now’.
    Maybe use the word ‘anxious’ rather than ‘stressed’?
    Do they provide a route map that you could point to stops on?
     
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  15. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I think what grommet posted will do the trick.
     
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  16. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    There are route maps I think. What I just did was use the Notes program on my iPhone to write some things then I took a screenshot of it and save it to my photos. I would go to photos and show that to someone.

    Regarding the card, I think I am going to design it to be similar to the one I posted a photo of. It looks very clear. I will need to figure out my exact wording but I think that card is easy to read very quickly.
     
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  17. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I recently replied to a person who asked how I was by
    saying that I was anxious. I had walked up to the paved
    road and was on my way back, but there was a loose
    dog standing at the edge of a place I needed to go past.

    It turned out to belong to the person who asked me how I was.
    She was out walking her small dogs on a leash and had
    left the big dog home and he wasn't supposed to go out
    in the road.

    I was afraid to walk past the big dog because I didn't know
    him. Two years ago a big dog ran up and bit me, while
    his people tried to call him back. Summer people, not
    people who live her all the time. So that was why I felt
    anxious, why I replied that way, and the woman introduced
    me to her big dog who is old and gentle, which is not a
    thing that can be assumed about an unknown dog.

    I think 'feeling anxious' is a reasonable word to use on a
    card to say why you aren't able to speak at the moment.
     
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  18. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much for your thoughts. You are helping me to reconsider using that word.
     
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  19. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Definitely leave out the "Be calm" part, I think.
    The large print "Be calm" on that card seems to imply
    that whoever is displaying the card is behaving in some
    way that should arouse agitation in other people.

    Leave out any other part you don't feel applies to your situation.

    Can you print on both sides of the card?
     
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  20. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    autism front.png
     
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