Autism awareness month: 7 April

Let’s talk about eye contact. This is the thing that I have seen teachers most frequently make a mistake with.

People with autism can focus on one thing at once. We do that with laser focus usually. It’s what we need to do in order to get the thing done. That’s why we can be engrossed in a task and totally not hear someone calling our name or miss an event happening nearby. We aren’t being ignorant, we are autistic. That’s all.

👁️‍🗨️ look at me when I’m talking to you

Is something people expect all the time but we just can’t do that. I can either listen to what you are saying, or look at you. But I can’t do both. I really struggle with eye contact, I find it really hard – bordering on physically painful. If I’m forced to do this I completely lose the ability to listen to what the person is saying.

The way I get around this to ‘appear normal’ is that I focus on a different facial feature, so my eyes are vaguely pointing in the right direction. For some it’s the cheek, noise, lip, whatever. You get the idea.

2 thoughts on “Autism awareness month: 7 April

  1. Good to know, I’ve met people in the past who won’t look you in the eye, which gives you the impression they are lying about something.

    • Thank you for the comment. I’m sure there are some of those shady people around. The fact is autistic people often CAN’T.. it’s not a case of won’t.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.