Okay, time for something random off the top of my head... Come on...wake up... It's too late at night.
For people with autism (ASD) (Autism spectrum disorder): Don't be afraid to speak up when something is stressing you. If there is a burnt out light that needs to be changed, speak up and get it done.
If someone is talking to you like an idiot, tell them so. Speak up and advocate for yourself. No one se can do so better than you.
For People without autism, try to listen to the autistic person and not judge. Don't expect them to make eye contact. If they repeat their statement, they may not have known you heard them. A head nod and eye contact does not mean much to someone who isn't looking at your face.
For me, me looking into someone's eyes feels painful. (Imagine a lazar pointer beaming into your eye). I use it sparingly. If I have to use it, it is often when I am very pissed and in that case am using it as a sign of aggression, hoping to give you the same tension that I feel. Expect a long piercing stare with very little blinking.
With that in mind, you probably don't want to force me to make eye contact. If I make occasional eye contact, then good. I'm not mad at you; I may be studying features of your face or mimicking “socially acceptable behavior”. But don't expect a long stare.
Most animals don't like to be stared at into their eyes. It makes them uncomfortable and if they are equal rank then a direct stare can lead to a fight.
If I am staring off in a distance with a blank look on my face, that doesn’t mean I am sad or depressed. It just means I am contemplating and deep in thought. I may be carefully listening into a conversation around me, planning my next move, or trying to visualize something in my head.
For NT’s don’t be afraid to share your viewpoint to an autistic person. I like to know other people’s sides so I can better my understanding. I am very curious about the world around me and like to learn new things.
Haven't heard from you in a while. I've been away too. Had a very bad spell with my health issue (may be MS; not sure yet - still testing me to death, lol).
I knew about eye contact being painful on an emotional level, but never realized there is a physical aspect too. I also never thought about using eye contact as aggression. I always like to try to learn something new every day - now I'm good for tomorrow too!
My grandma went to church. I would have gone too, but I stayed up too late (on the forums *sigh*) and couldn't stay awake. I woke up before she left to give her a hug and talk with her a little bit before going back to bed.
Otherwise it was a pretty uneventful Easter. That doesn't have to be bad. I think the eye-contact pain is sort of a perceived pain than a real physical pain... Sort of like the volume being turned up too loud on something. If it is slightly too loud, there's discomfort but not real pain...Go up a bit and then the feeling becomes more pronounced.
I never really thought of autistic human eye contact as aggression either until I was putting two and two together. (As well as reading an interesting article about Neanderthals) Animals, including (most?) primates don't do eye contact unless they want to show aggression and intimidate the other party.
If you have a couple cats, you get to see a pretty good version of this. Before they duke it out, or in-between sessions they will gaze into each other's eyes. (And thump their tails.) With that image in mind, I thought about myself.
I thought back to a time when I was crossing a street and someone had to turn right in the way. I had to run to get to the other side or he would have hit me... I looked right into the car window at his face and gave him an intense frown (and a catlike hiss) to express the rage I felt that he nearly killed me with his car.
There was also a time where I was walking home, a long way in seriously hot weather. I felt faint, dizzy, and probably on the verge of heat exhaustion... I was walking at a snails pace... I was crossing an intersection controlled by a 4 way stop sign. Some A-hole of an old woman in her car had the nerve to say, "Can't you walk a little faster?" All I could do was turn and glare right into her eyes or as close as I could to her eyeballs. I wanted to just drop down in front of her car like I fainted...but I didn’t. In retrospect I wish I could have had the guts to walk right over to her window and say hey, "I feel like I am about to faint here from the heat and no water to drink, and you have the nerve to tell me to hurry up? You are a very cruel person to only think of yourself! Bye!"
If the same thing ever happens again, I hope to give them that speech as well as a direct stare into their eyes. It may not change their attitude on the spot, but it is my desire to get them thinking hey…
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