Communication and Autism Personal Reflections

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Communication and Autism - What might it look like? Visual Perspective and Reflection
Quoted From:

"This is an interesting visual that I found at Facebook. The source is Melanie Martinelli from The Little Black Duck, A Visual Communication Consultant. Melanie Martinelli facilitates a group in Australia called the AspieGirls social network.

We have 3 on the spectrum in our family and I would say that mileage will vary depending on the person, their age, gender and the situation. When I was growing up (I"m in my 40s), I had no awareness of being on the autism spectrum, just that I was different and didn"t fit in with most groups unless there was a common interest in play that superseded the awkwardness. (For me that was primarily bowling, theater, writing and computers.) When I was with people who I shared a common interest with and felt comfortable, I was not aware so much of social self-talk but it was sensory issues that challenged my mind. (i.e. that person doesn"t smell right, it"s too loud in here, why are those lights so bright, etc)

However I distinctly remember in junior high, high school and college that I was more aware of my differences and wanted to "fit in" better so that I could somehow circumvent the "mean girl / bully" factor (negative people that take temporary joy and feel power in gossiping and tearing down others and sometimes bond together in cliques to do so).

I studied people and magazines trying to figure out how other people "worked" so I could emulate them. (I didn"t want to "be" them, I just was tired of being made fun of. Unfortunately, this insecurity on my part could be smelled a mile way because as well as I could learn to speak the foreign language of NT talk, I was always a second language learner.)

When trying to navigate through conversation with people I didn"t feel comfortable with, I would rely heavily on scripts that I would try to adapt based on the hypothetical responses. That is also when I was more acutely aware and distracted by the examples you see in the visual.

Communication was like a math puzzle to me (constructing algorithms of "if so and so says this, then I respond this way" responses) and as I would hear more examples of the way people talked or responded to a situation, I would plug that in and make adaptations. (Nowadays this might be called social scripting, however no-one distinctly taught me this, I just did it on my own as part of an attempt to socially survive.)"

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