learning how to communicate effectively is difficult for most autistic people. Please tell how you learned one important lesson about communication. Explain what you learned, how you learned it, and what difference that has made in your life.
Learning how to communicate effectively is still a process for me. Most people look at me like I am the “high functioning blogger” and can communicate very well. Actually I have a lot of communication issues. I really am Autistic and really am disabled. I may have learned to accommodate myself, but it does not make me any less Autistic, nor does that fact that I am also gifted.
I don’t communicate effectively under pressure situations or when I need to talk to someone about when I am being bullied. Some people may say I can be passive-aggressive, but actually I shut down from a sensory meltdown. I get sensory meltdowns a lot. I don’t like being in crowded, noisy places for long periods of time, however sometimes I have no choice. I push myself to communicate, but it does not come naturally. I have a big problem reading body language as many of you may already know, and a lot of times people can’t read my own body language. I have a difficult time focusing on a person talking to me because of my auditory processing issues as well. I am still trying to figure out how I can listen to someone’s words without the other person getting upset that I am not processing what they said to me. In any case, a lot of bullies have taken advantage of this issue I have.
I am not face-blind, but it takes me a long time to get to know someone’s own name. Even though I recognize the faces of people, a lot of times I worry too much about getting the names right. My motto of “Move Forward” has become signature for me as to remind me not to worry about what goes on and just define who I am by pushing myself forward. By pushing myself forward, I start to communicate better. Does this make me less Autistic? No it does not. I have had speech delay and didn’t talk with my family until I was around 4 years old. I started speech therapy at the age of 2. I stim a lot at my home and sometimes need to control myself from stimming in public.
When people talk about the “low functioning and high functioning” Autistics, they need to realize the similarities. Some parents of Autistic people, need to understand how an Autistic person interacts with the world in order to understand how the Autistic can communicate more effectively.
Communicating effectively with the rest of society is something everyone has to do, to be able to interact positively. Otherwise no one will know what or how the person may be feeling inside. In any case, the motto ‘Move Forward’ I have formulated for myself is a great prompt for anyone to repeat as they are moving along a street, a presentation, or even bumping into an ordinary person to have a conversation with. Sometimes the communication exchange can be long or sometimes it is just a quick ‘hello, how are you?’. In a nutshell, it is the feeling of communication even by the waving of one’s own hand to say ‘hello’. I have met many different Autistics, many verbal and many non-verbal, and sometimes I have learned that there are some parents of Autistic people who just give up on their children wanting to institutionalize them for life. Should this be the answer? Of course not!
We are the people too, and there is no reason for closed minded thinking of institutionalization. Autistic people whether you consider them “higher functioning” or you consider them “lower functioning” all come from the state of mind, being different in the way we think. Autistic people just need a mentor, teacher, or friend to help them with their difficulties. It takes a long time to learn to relate to and communicate with others effectively, but in the end it will be well worth it for the Autistic person who learned from a friend, mentor, or teacher.
By learning communication skills, an Autistic person can be more of an effective person who ‘Moves Forward’! By the way, I am finally going to try the dating thing to see if it works for me. I started a Jdate profile! We’ll see what happens…