Asking for eye contact saps Ira Eidle’s energy. Trust him, he is engaged in a conversation even if he looks distracted.
There are good reasons why many autistic people avoid eye contact. And “when we look away, it doesn’t mean that we are not listening. We are not disrespecting you.”
The third row is one large panel. It is a close up of the eyes and nose of a white person with straight long purple hair and bangs, with eyes wide open. Black all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background at the top of the panel reads:
“If we try and make eye contact with people, it can totally distract us from what is being said because of how horrible it can feel and the effort involved.”
Eye contact, who’s it for? It’s not for the autistic child. It’s for the recipient. It’s for their own validation to reassure them that you know they exist. That you are aware they are speaking that you comply. That you acknowledge them.
Cynthia Kim musingsofanaspie.com There is a moment I dread in conversations with strangers: the moment when that stranger — that person I’ve been talking to for a minute or two or five — decides I’m “a little slow.” It doesn’t happen with every stranger, but it happens often enough that I can pinpoint the moment a conversation turns. To start, we’re both on our best interacting-with-a-stranger behavior, a bit wary, a bit too friendly, whatever. Then I slip. I miss some key bit of information, ask the other person to repeat something one too many times, stutter, backtrack, repeat myself, interrupt again, lose the thread of the conversation, take a joke literally, perseverate. There are a lot of ways it could play out. The response — the one that makes my skin heat up and my heart race and the blood in my ears pound — is subtle but sudden.…
Brenda Rothman mamabegood.blogspot.com It was a coolish summer day, no humidity, a perfect day on the porch. We have an old-fashioned front porch, meant for eating, for socializing, for calling out over the railings to neighbors and friends. A large, narrow-planked porch with columns, rockers, sofas, ceiling fans, and lemonade. We dragged the sand box, literally a box filled with sand, to the middle of the porch. I lugged buckets of water from the kitchen and kaplooshed the water into the water table. I fetched a spoon and a tin of baking powder and Jack was set. Jack: Then a little salt and a little more sand and stir, stir, stir. I could watch him do this all day. When he was three and the other three-year-olds at preschool were doing this, Jack wasn’t. He wasn’t talking, he wasn’t interacting, he wasn’t playing. And he was worried. More worried than…