Understanding cues and intuitive interpretations or not?
I came across this very interesting study yesterday and I could not sleep last night for thinking about it. you can use this link to read explanation regarding the study Here:
One of the conclusions drawn by the experiments/tests set up for this study was that social skills instruction for many autistic people may not be needed or useful. I had decided that this is true for me, at least, and wondered if it might not be true for many others.
No matter if I ( / we -autistic folk- if the study is correct) learn social nuances and learn all the scripts in the world for knowing the right thing to say and when to say them (please, thank you, nice to meet you… )
I find I lack the ability to intuit/ gather enough visual and audio information together from any interaction with others to know when to use those precious hard learned skills at the right time and place to have successful interactions on more than the levels needed when going to the grocery store or transacting business in areas where interactions are heavily predictable and scripted.
In making friends, interacting on a “purely social” level, I fail.
I have come to the conclusion that I simply don’t have the perception needed or the processing ability to succeed in being a social person in face to face interactions, especially in groups.
The study says that among interactions with others, the autistic person in the interaction is usually left with a good impression of the other, but NT people almost unfailingly say they will not willingly seek more contact with the autistic person.
This will not be a revelation to any autistic person who has experienced even the most limited social interactions.
At 68, my life has been full of incidents where I spot a person I have interacted with in the past at the same time they spot me, and probably 75 percent of the time or more, the other person will cross the street, duck into a doorway in the opposite direction, turn their back, turn their head, or otherwise take evasive maneuvers which are very clear to me, no contact is desired.
I understand more about why this may take place now that I understand about my autism.
The message is clear enough. I tend to drive people away instead of attract them.
At least now I know why this happens.
Knowing that my visual and audio processing is not reliable ( very low processing scores in neurological tests confirm this) I understand that I miss cues, misinterpret things said, misunderstand on many levels, “don’t get it”.
Interacting with me must be frustrating and confusing and just disappointing to many others. Knowing I am the root of the failure to make any social interaction ‘work’, I am discouraged from continually seeking interaction with others. Who seeks repeated failure?
This study is very encouraging to me on many levels. The attempt to understand “what goes wrong” in social interactions with so many autistic souls means that some others do understand , and do care! The study shows that we are learning more about the nature of autism and the sorts of support we may need in order to fully succeed and interact with others.
I recognize that many non-autistic people struggle with social interactions too. There is no guarantee of success in any part of life because of one’s neurology.
Not everybody can be a politician, rocket scientist, ballerina, or Olympic athlete. We as individuals all have strengths and weaknesses. Many have gifts, some have few or none.
But questions raised, points made, and close examination made in this study raises some fascinating subjects for study, which will be very interesting if analysis continues from here.
Watching with interest, feeling encouraged, sometimes it feels to me like we are “getting somewhere” in learning about autism.