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How to Communicate with Your Autistic Friends

Posted on : 02/04/2016 - 12:16

Autism Awareness Ribbon.png

The annual World Autism Awareness Day is on April 2, 2016. ASD is the name used for a specific set of behavioral and developmental problems and the challenges that go with them. A person diagnosed with ASD will mean that the person’s communication, social, and play skills are being affected in some ways.

Here, we celebrate the big day of World Autism Awareness Day 2016 by sharing tips to you on how to communicate with our autistic friends. It’s not hard, we only need to understand them.

 

  1. Presume competence.

 

Assume that your friend can understand you, even if they don't look at you or react immediately. Autistic people can normally think, listen, and speak better when they don’t make an eye contact with you. Talk to them using the same level of language that you use to their siblings or your classmates. Respectful communication does matter.

 

 

  1. Get their attention first.

 

Most autistic people won’t start the conversation. Say their name so they know you're talking to them (and not to someone else). Wait for them to look at you or in your direction. Pay attention to everything they say. If they say it, then they mean it.

 

  1. Speak clearly to your friend.

 

Speak with them using the same way you speak to your other friends. If they misunderstand something, use full sentences and explain things as needed (for example, explaining that something is upsetting you).

 

  1. Ask specific questions.

 

Questions like "How was your day?" may be confusingly broad, and they may not know where to start. "How did your Science class go?" allows them to narrow in and figure out how to answer you.

 

  1. Use visual cues when asking questions.

 

When you are asking them a question, try to use visual cues so that they can understand more about your question. Since they are sensitive to touch, try to avoid sudden touches.

 

  1. Don't rush communication

 

If an autistic person feels pressured to provide a quick answer, they may have a harder time garnering their thoughts into words. Use patience and let them take as much time as they need. Add pauses in the conversation and give them time to think and react. Your flexibility can reduce the anxiety around the communication and will make talking easier.

 

Autistic people are different, they are a special gift for us. Recognize their abilities and individual strengths, issues may vary from one person to another. Some of them may sound flat or not use their actual voice tones to you; but believe it that once you respect and treat them as equals, you will be able to see that they can be a good friend. Autism is not a joke, the 2nd of April 2016 is the day when we celebrate the differences between us and our friends. Happy World Autism Awareness Day, everyone! Have fun with your friends!