Pause Button (a.k.a Is This The Wrong Course For Me?)

I’m autistic, and whilst quick at taking in information through text, the speaking/listening skills are extremely difficult for me. (Perhaps the best illustration of this is that, as a child, I didn’t learn to speak until after I had learned to read.) My brain just doesn’t seem to process information unless I see it written.

I already knew some Welsh but I had hoped this course might be the way to force my brain to improve its listening skills, with the ultimate goal of being able to listen to Welsh radio. (Spoken conversation is not a realistic aim for me. My speech is halting in English, and I tend to communicate via tablet if I have anything complex that needs to be said.)

So, there are three questions I have in relation to these issues and the course:

  1. Is it a problem if I use the pause button extensively to get through every challenge?
  2. Is it okay to write my answers as opposed to speaking them?
  3. Should I even be attempting this course when I have so many problems with auditory and verbal processing?

I’m currently slightly despairing as I feel I’m doing the whole thing “wrong”. Any reassurance or advice will be gratefully received.



Your post is important and valuable in that it may also be relevant to others in a similar position. I suspect, however, that it can and should be addressed only by people with appropriate professional expertise. I believe there are such people on this forum who will give you honest, expert advice.

As a long-term beneficiary of the SSi approach, I can say that “Spoken conversation is not a realistic aim for me.” may present a challenge for you because the SSi approach is specifically aimed at speaking and understanding Welsh. However, my old boss used to say that every challenge is an opportunity. :smile:

I wish you the best of luck with Welsh and your other challenges.

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Hi Jenny,

I have no official answers for you, but I can share a few things from my experience in case they may be helpful:

Pause button: I used it A LOT. I did try not to use it, but there was no way for me to say or process anything that way.
When I started I was worried, so I asked and read through several answers (also from Aran) on this topic. And I’ve understood it’s ok - especially in the beginning - to use it as much as you need and feel comfortable with.

By the way, one thing that may be worth reminding is that all you really need to aim for, with this method is saying something in the pause. Not necessarily the whole sentence.
I followed this tip and even though doing the challenges I couldn’t remember most of the English phrases and just uttered a few mixed-up sounds in Welsh…it worked! (I can see it in the long run).

Another thing that might be good to remember is that here nobody’s hearing what you say. You can mess it up real bad and…nobody will hear and judge it.
So you may try and go forward and in the worst case, after a few lessons, if you feel very confused and lost you can stop and repeat the challenges or slow down until you find the right pace for you.
And/or ask for more tips here.

Writing: I don’t know the official answer. I can tell that when at some point I felt completely lost, I tried writing down the English sentences. So when I paused, I could read what I was supposed to search in my memory and say in Welsh. I don’t know if it’s “right” but it worked well for me.

One last thing I would add is that some of the things you wrote remind me of my experience learning my first language. Oddly enough, with Italian I was ok with reading and writing but had a real hard time learning to speak. I just wasn’t able to handle long sentences cause they’d come out all messed up (I’ve improved through the years, though still not a great speaker, especially in Italian).
But if you’re patient and take it easy, one amazing thing you’ll find out about Welsh is that it’s really one of the most concise languages ever! And for sounds way less confusing than English!
So as soon as you become a bit more confident and familiar with the structures and the basics, stay relaxed and enjoy yourself…I’m sure you can do great! :wink:


Hi Jenny,
Whilst I am not an expert (I have a son with Asperger’s who does not have the same degree of difficulties you have described), my question/answer back to you is this; as long as it doesn’t stress you out and you feel you will achieve your learning objective, by whatever means are necessary for you, does it really matter if those means are alternative? One size does not fit all and, not everyone’s objective in language learning is the same.
I know that @aran and the SSIW team will suppport and advise you well so try to engage with them.
I wish you all the very best in everything you do.



Hi Jenny,

Some good advice from the others. I would just add that do whatever works for you. But it’s most important that the process doesn’t stress you out or frustrates you. Enjoy the learning, take a s long as you need.You will get there. Be proud of your achievements however small they may be. We all have our different ways of learning.

Just take a look at the thread that I started and you’ll see just how different people learn and the difficulties that they experience.

Best wishes,



Thanks for your input everyone. It’s much appreciated.

Whilst the speaking element is disastrous for me, it’s true that I have made significant improvement when it comes to writing out what it is that I want to say. I’m able to think of and write out quite long phrases from memory… so I perhaps shouldn’t be discouraged that I’m not doing this in the intended fashion; especially as it seems that many others have slightly different approaches too.

Thank you for your encouragement and understanding. I’ll definitely persevere.



Helo Jenny! I am so glad to come back today after thinking about what to say to see your message that your are feeling better and that you are giving yourself credit for all your hard work and successes! Dal ati!

I have always considered myself a visual learner, so if I dig deep enough I am sure I can find posts in this forum from several months ago where I was a bit panicked about the method. :sweat_smile: I supplement my Welsh learning with other methods as well, and I thought of one of them you might find useful. Have you heard of Anki? It is a spaced repetition flashcard app, and I have been making flashcards in this app (Welsh-English and English-Welsh, putting the total at nearly 4000 now! :open_mouth: )

This app makes it super easy for me to review the material that I have been learning in a visual format so I don’t have to feel worried while I am listening to the SSiW challenges that I will miss something or that it will not “stick.” I just remind myself that I am going to be adding it to my Anki deck later… deep breath… and continue.

You get several answer choices in Anki based on how difficult you found it to get the right answer, and the easier you say it was to answer, the longer the space before you see that card again. That way, it helps me make sure that my review time is spent working on specifically the words and phrases that I am having the hardest time with.

Another perk: the app generates statistics with bar charts, line graphs, pie charts… I have no doubt now of my progress, and I have the numbers to prove it! :grinning: There’s a web version, but I downloaded the app to my phone and laptop - the app syncs between all devices. You can also search for other people’s decks they have created and made public, and download them, too. Hope it helps! Pob lwc!

EDIT: I also want to add that I think Say Something in Welsh is still a wonderful method for you to learn, just as it is for anyone else, because of the way the material is presented, learning the chunks of information, the edges between words and phrases and how they connect, the organic learning of grammar without studying the rules… all of these wonderful things are happening in your brain as you learn, even if speaking it out is not your main goal. Best of luck.


Hi Jenny,

My son has autism that sounds quite similar to your expression of your autism.

He uses SSiW by writing the English sentence and then finding the flashcards that have the correct Welsh words to make a reply. He has quite a written vocabulary at this point. He still does all his primary communication via written words at 30 years old even in his native English.

I believe you are making the program work for you and that deserves a huge and hearty congratulations,