AUTISTIC NICK’S GUIDE TO HOW BEST TO COMMUNICATE WITH HIM
Communicating as an Autistic person is an exhausting process, it is more hard work for people with Autism.
We’ve got to remember such a lot of things and pick up on social cues and it’s a tiring part of our daily life.
But we do it and we muddle through but if we didn’t have to do it we’d be truly thankful!
There is nothing worse than having a conversation with someone and they think that you understand what they are saying.
In their head what they are telling you makes total sense to them, and they remain blissfully unaware that you are like a startled deer looking directly into the headlights of an oncoming car.
If you are Autistic this can feel like you just wanna scream and yell out
“STOP, WHAT YOU’RE SAYING IS MAKING NO SENSE TO ME”.
But you don’t because you don’t wish to draw attention to yourself and because you need a sensory time out to collect your thoughts and process the information.
You take this necessary time out, but it is still irking you.
You don’t know what to do.
You attempt to compose an email, but then you stop yourself and think.
“Am I making too much of this?”
You attempt to reason with yourself, but you can’t it simply isn’t going to happen.
So, you ask for some advice and see what a friend or a family member.
You maybe cannot see it from that person’s point of view, and another perspective is what’s needed here?
You remain unconvinced and you want to initiate a conversation with that person but are unsure how.
Every time you begin in your head or in a fresh unwritten email it doesn’t sound right, the words don’t want to make sense, the syntax is wrong maybe? The tone?
Emails are a bastard to send, because you have to read them a thousand ways in case what you’ve written is a smidge offensive in any way.
Communication for an Autistic person is a frustrating process.
When it comes to communicating as an Autistic person, I am having three-way conversations in my head whenever I interact with other work colleagues, ensuring that I am interacting with them and communicating by giving measured responses to their questions.
The only way I can describe this is imagine that you are at UN conference, you sit down, and in a booth not too far away another person a translator sits down and puts on a pair of headphones.
Then the conversation begins, and I hear it, the person with the headphones on, translates it for me and then provides me with a response.
I must translate what that person says into what I class “Autism language”, then it’s processed into English and then I repeat my answer back thanks to the translator which is a tiring process.
If you do find yourself in a conversation with me or you’re not sure, then I’ll help you out with the following bullet points.
1. Address the person that you are talking to as you would any other adult.
Do not assume that this person has limited cognitive skills. An individual’s disability may be more language-based and not related to his or her ability to comprehend the content of the conversation. In other words, they may understand every word you say, but may have difficulty responding verbally.
2. Say what you mean.
When interacting with an adult with Autism, be literal, clear, and concise. Avoid the use of slang, nuance, and sarcasm. These forms of communication may be confusing and not easily understood by a person.
3. Take time to listen.
Being an active listener. If you do not understand what the person is saying, ask more questions to clarify what he or she is trying to convey.
4. If you ask a question, wait for a response.
If someone doesn’t respond immediately to your question, do not assume they haven’t heard or understood you. individuals with Autism sometimes need a little more time to absorb and process information before giving you, their response.
5. Provide meaningful feedback.
Be prepared to provide specific feedback. Also provide feedback that is honest, non-judgmental, and clear so that it can help the Autistic individual gain a better and clearer understanding.
Off course you can always check out this post here which is another hand guide on how to talk to an Autistic person. https://autisticnick.com/2018/03/23/how-to-talk-to-an-autistic-person/
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
Do you have any tips how what works for you when someone is communicating with you?
Let me know in the comments section below.
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.