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How to Interact with People with ASD

Amanda Swank, Editor-in-Chief

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ASD, or autism spectrum disorder, is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as, “any of a group of developmental disorders (such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome) marked by impairments in the ability to communicate and interact socially and by the presence of repetitive behaviors or restricted interests”. An estimated 1 out of 68 people in the United States has autism, so it’s probably not uncommon for you to know (or be) a person with this condition. Here are a couple tips on how to create meaningful interactions with those with ASD.

1. Don’t worry about eye-contact:

Most people with autism feel uncomfortable when making eye contact with others, so don’t feel offended if they aren’t looking straight at you.

2. Find a peaceful area to hang-out:

Sensory-overload can make life very difficult for people with autism, so make sure to be in an area that’s not too overwhelming.

3. Keep in mind that communication difficulties are common in people with autism:

Understand non-verbal behavior and developing proper language skills may be difficult, so try not to rely on non-verbal behavior too much.

4. Be patient, and explain things if you have to:

Again, communication can be difficult, so make it easier for your new friend to understand.

5. Don’t get offended:

People with autism are often very blunt and get straight to the point, so don’t take it personally.

6. Speak clearly and understandably:

Autism is a disorder that makes it hard for a person to process things, so make sure to not slur your words.

7. Speak literally: 

Avoid using sarcasm, irony, metaphors or other figurative language, since people with autism take things very literally, and might get confused.

8. Don’t force communication:

If they don’t want to talk to you, don’t force them to!

9. Be open and receptive:

Be willing to learn, about each individual person, and be open to new ideas and thoughts.

10. Always show respect:

This is the most important one! People with autism are still people, so treat them with the same respect.

To learn more about autism, please visit http://www.autism-society.org, ans please come see South Carroll Stagelighter’s show: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time on November 8th, 9th, and 10th.

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How to Interact with People with ASD