ASD speech

Late or early speech

Some autistics and Aspies start talking very late. This need not necessarily be something to be alarmed over. First of all, it is more common in boys to develop speech a little later than girls. Secondly, it is no indication of intelligence or latent capability. Einstein, for example, was thought to be somewhat retarded because he started speaking so late, but as we all know, that turned out not to be the case…

Others start talking unusually early.

“I started talking very early, about six months old. I never talked ’baby-language’ but correct Swedish with good word variation.”

‘missbutterfly’, Aspie from Sweden

According to mom, I was talking fluently by the age of one. Whereas my cousin, who was just one month younger, could only say a few words, and still grew up to be a successful lawyer and wonderful father, while I’m struggling to use my voice and am no longer able to work at all.

Ing, site-author

Monotone voice

Some Aspies have a rather monotone voice and speak in a stilted, pedantic style that sounds more like they are giving a lecture than holding a conversation. Some get nick-names like ‘the little professor’ by their peers. This is perfectly normal for the non-passionate, mentally oriented personality type who is more focused on the conveying of information than on how it is delivered and received. However, not every Aspie or autistic has this characteristic; the majority talk just like everyone else. I think it might be somewhat more common in male Aspies than in female.

“When I was younger I had a very monotone voice. This tended to put people off, perhaps because they couldn’t judge my emotional state. The only time my voice would chance was if I got very angry or sometimes if I was having a lot of fun. This has changed with time, mostly through practice, but my voice is still flatter than most people’s.”

William, Aspie from USA

Poor volume control

Some Aspies, both male and female, have difficulties adjusting voice volume & talking speed to suit the situation. Some have a very soft voice that is hard to hear. Others may talk too loudly without realising it, and are unable to turn it down a notch even after being made aware of their unusually loud voice.

“I’m less quiet than I used to be but I’ve always had that problem of talking too quietly for the people around me.”

Carrie, adult Aspie from USA


Some autistics are prone to echolalia. Possible reasons:



  1. Interesting. I often will “mirror” just to make sure I got things correctly: “Now, if I understand what you’re saying, (exactly what they just said)”. And on the phone talking to a stranger, which is almost everybody because I isolate to keep from having to deal with other people, I sometimes will not understand what they said, and when I ask them to repeat it they will start to paraphrase it, which is not what I want: I want them to repeat EXACTLY what they just said, and I end up saying, “No, I want you to repeat EXACTLY what you just said, because I didn’t hear you the first time.” This usually pisses them off.

  2. Bluestar said,

    i used to repeat the questions and even the whole conversation word by word whenever i spoke to anyone but silently only my lips are moving. Sometime u can hear me whispering. If i didnt do this i couldnt really understand anything and i have to tell the person to tell me what he said again so i can repeat it to myself. i still find it very hard to instantly talk before i repeat what anyone said to me then wait to process it then think and reply. I usually take more than 10 seconds to respond to unusual simple questions which i dont encounter everyday.

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