5 Reasons Why Autistic Individuals Avoid Questions

5 Reasons Why Autistic Individuals Avoid Questions

Many people mistakenly believe that autistic persons are being disrespectful when they don't react to questions, or they avoid questions.

However, this is not the case; with the right therapy for autism, they can learn how to handle such situations better.

But there are many reasons autistic people might avoid your questions, even though they don't mean to purposely ignore you.

One of the reasons why autistic individuals avoid questions is because of sensory processing difficulties.

The sensory data that an autistic person's body receives serves as the foundation for their decision-making.

It is considerably more difficult for autistic individuals to formulate a suitable reaction if their brain isn't accurately processing this information.

The problem of language processing difficulties is another reason why autistic individuals avoid questions.

They may not grasp what is being said or feel compelled to reply because of delays in language processing.

Here are more details on why autistic individuals avoid questions.

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Michele Ames-Hodges, PsyD, LPC

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Sensory Processing Disorder 

A category of disorders known as sensory processing disorders impacts how the brain interprets sensory data.

The degree of the symptoms varies according to the senses that are affected by the disorders.

Most of the time, the reception of the information itself rarely is a problem for the person.

When sensory information is presented, the problems result in improper responses, reactions, or both.

As a result of this, autistic individuals avoid questions.

Some people develop an oversensitivity to sensory information.

Some people might stop being as responsive to sensory information.

They sometimes need more time to understand and answer your question.

As a friend or family of an autistic person, something you can do is give them more time to process your question.

You can silently count to 5 or 10 after you ask them a question.

They may just need more processing time to understand and answer your question.

Difficulty With Processing Language 

Differences in language processing may prevent autistic people from understanding what is being said or the need for them to respond.

Communicate in a literal, clear, and concise manner when interacting with a person who has autism.

Please refrain from using slang, nuance, and sarcasm.

If you or someone you know is on the autistic spectrum, these methods of communication may be difficult or even impossible to decipher.

If you still don't obtain a response, try rephrasing the question.

Ask the question in a new way.

Perhaps they didn't grasp what you were asking the first time you asked them.

They may know the answer to your question, but they may struggle to get the words out of their mouth to respond to you.

You can help them out by verbally prompting them.


Communication is fundamental to our capacity to comprehend and interact with one another.

It can be beneficial to first understand how communication might be more challenging for those with autism before deciding how to improve your own communication.

As a co-occurring symptom, anxiety is extremely common among those who also suffer from autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Individuals with autism and anxiety often display challenging behaviors that get in the way of them being able to communicate and respond appropriately.

One of the most significant impediments to communication for people with ASD is anxiety.

This often exists alongside other factors, such as a lack of linguistic knowledge, difficulties with auditory processing, and motor speech impairments.

According to a recent study, anxiety worsens social communication issues in autistic children rather than the other way around.

The findings suggest that early anxiety treatment may lessen communication issues in later life.

The feeling of anxiety might be one of the reasons autistic individuals avoid questions. 

Fixation and Hyperfocus

There are numerous things going on in an autistic person's auditory, overstimulated, sensory world.

It's possible that they don't hear you because they are so engrossed in what they are doing or what they are interested in.

The relationship between autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is widely documented.

Hyperfocus is a phenomenon that shows a person's entire immersion in a task to the point where they appear to completely disregard or 'tune out anything else.

It is often stated to occur when a person is engaged in a very enjoyable or engaging task.

When an autistic person becomes interested in a video game to the point where they do not hear others calling them, this is an example of hyperfocus.

Autistic people with low functioning (an autism disorder) can become so intensely locked into hyperfocus that they are unreachable.

Hyperfocus is often less acute in high-functioning autistic people.

They May Not Like Talking 

Autism appears differently in each individual, and some people are more affected than others.

Some autistic persons, like the general population, are quite loud and sociable, while others are quieter and more withdrawn.

Some people may be unable to talk and must communicate through gestures or symbols.

Sometimes, they might simply not be in the mood to chat.

It's possible that the current social scenario has left them feeling anxious, overstimulated, and overwhelmed.

Autistic persons have a more difficult time reading others' behavior and body language.

Thus, they may be unable to determine when it is suitable to begin, finish, or join a discussion.

Talking requires a lot of thought for many people with autism.

They may speak slowly, stammer, in a monotonous tone, emphasize uncommon sections of a sentence, or go into considerable detail.

These are a few reasons they may avoid questions.


Family, friends, and supporters of people with ASD have a responsibility to encourage them, provide support for autism, and aid in their growth.

Although they might often avoid questions, with a little help and patience, communicating with autistic people will become easier.

Five reasons autistic individuals avoid questions include sensory processing disorder, difficulty in language processing, anxiety, fixations, and hyperfocus, and sometimes they don't like talking. 


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December 4th, 2023

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