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Downs syndrome self talk

denise2denise2 Posts: 3Member
edited June 2014 in Autism and Aspergers
Our daughter lisa is 31 and has Downs syndrome, as she has got older she has developed a habit of constant muttering to herself. Even while doing activities, you cant hear or understand her and she stops when we speak to her. Sadly it makes people stare even more when we are out. I wonder if any other parent of a downs syndrome adult has experienced this.

Replies

  • StuartMillsStuartMills Posts: 6Member
    Dear Denise,

    From our experience at the DSA lots of people with Down's syndrome self-talk or talk to themselves.

    People often use self-talk to let off steam, direct their own behaviour, to think out loud or to entertain themselves. In the vast majority of cases; self-talk is not a cause for concern. It is normal and appropriate for people with Down's syndrome.

    What we have heard from families is that self-talk is an important coping tool and only rarely should it be considered a symptom of mental illness or psychosis.

    When to perhaps be concerned is when a dramatic change occurs in the frequency and/or content of the self-talk. This may indicate a mental health or situational problem. Self-talk does appear to allow adults with Down's syndrome to problem-solve, to vent their feelings, to entertain themselves, and to process the events of their daily lives.

    Having said that I can fully understand your concerns that it draws attention to your daughter in public.

    Brian Chicoine & Dennis McGuire (authors of Mental Wellness In Adults With Down syndrome) have written a list of 'Self-talk Do's and Dont's' :

    - Don't make the person with Down's syndrome feel bad because she uses self-talk.

    - Don't try to eliminate self-talk.

    - Discuss self-talk with the person: self-talk is ok but some people don't understand or are bothered by it, so not doing it in front of others is polite.

    - Do encourage appropriate (socially acceptable) places for self-talk and gently discourage inappropriate places (such as at work or at school).

    - Consider having a private signal to remind the person if she is doing self-talk in public.

    - Discuss self-talk with others who come in contact with the person with Down syndrome (explain the normalcy).

    Warm Wishes
    Stuart Mills
    Information Officer
    Down's Syndrome Association
  • denise2denise2 Posts: 3Member
    Hi stuart, thank you for your reply, it was very helpful. We will follow the advice and to maybe have a sign that will discourage lisa in public. Is it possible for us to buy this book, lisa is a member of The Downs Syndrome Association.
    kind regards denise
  • StuartMillsStuartMills Posts: 6Member
    edited September 2015
    Hi Denise,

    The details of the book are as follows:

    'Mental Wellness In Adults With Down Syndrome' by Dennis McGuire & Brian Chicoine (Woodbine House, 2006).

    You can purchase the book via Amazon

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mental-Wellness-Adults-Down-Syndrome/dp/1890627658/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339401859&sr=8-1

    Also by the same authors a very useful guide to good health for teens and adults with Down's syndrome (Woodbine House, 2010).

    Best Wishes
    Stuart

    Stuart Mills
    Information Officer
    Down's Syndrome Association
    Website: www.downs-syndrome.org.uk
    T: 0208 614 5100 | F: 0208 614 5127
    WorkFit - a direct link between people with Down's syndrome and employers Visit the new central hub - www.dsworkfit.org.uk or view the WorkFit film to find out more

    Down's Syndrome Association - the only charity to offer help and advice on ALL aspects of living with Down's syndrome
  • StuartMillsStuartMills Posts: 6Member
    As an afterthought, the father of a woman with DS that I know says 'Who is your friend?' to her if he feels that she using too much self-talk in public. This makes her laugh and reminds her to stop self-talking.

    Best Wishes
    Stuart
  • denise2denise2 Posts: 3Member
    thank you stuart for your advice, much appreciated.
    kind regards denise
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