The term minimally speaking or minimally verbal describes those people who are physically able to speak only a few words – generally accepted as less than thirty.

Often minimal speakers are grouped in with nonspeaking but those thirty words can be a vital form of communication, so this deserves its own post.

People, including autistic people, who are minimally speaking are often fluent in verbalising ‘on paper’. The inability to speak is no reflection at all on intelligence – it is purely a disconnect between what the mind wants to say and what the speech area of the brain is willing to process.

You may find it useful to read related glossary entries:

It might also be helpful to read about selective mutism, to explain the difference.