5 Things to Consider When Talking to Autistic People

5 Things to Consider When Talking to Autistic People

Talking to autistic people around you can be quite challenging because they interact with people differently.

This is mostly a result of their differences from regular people.

They may find it difficult to talk to people outside their close friends or family.

As a family, friend, or regular person having a conversation with an autistic person, you need to be very conscious of how you talk and relate with them, depending on their communication style.

The most important thing you need to remember while talking to autistic people is to be clear about the message you intend to convey to them.

This would make it easy for you to talk to them and for them to respond to you as well.

In order to be clear when talking to them, you have to consider that they process information differently.

You cannot overwhelm them with too much information at a time.

You need to ensure that your sentences are short and your words are specific and concise when talking to them.

You must also consider your body language when talking to autistic people.

Autistic people are not very familiar with how to interpret body language, so you must be careful with your body language while talking to them.

You must also consider the environment you are in when talking to them.

It would be very difficult to talk to an autistic person in a very crowded or noisy environment.

You need to also consider if they are listening to you and how they are feeling while you are talking.

In return, you must also actively listen to them.

Anytime you talk to autistic people, you must also provide feedback after the conversation.

This would show that you enjoyed talking to them.

Here are 5 things to consider when talking to autistic people:

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Katie Bennett, LPCC, NCC

Katie Bennett, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Clarissa Mendez, LSW

Clarissa Mendez, LSW

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Marta Schmuki, LPC

Marta Schmuki, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Melody Reynalds, LPC

Melody Reynalds, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Alex Wiley, LPC

Alex Wiley, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Lauren Day, SWC

Lauren Day, SWC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Julia Rosales, MA, LPCC

Julia Rosales, MA, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342

How They Process Information 

Autistic people usually need more time to absorb and process information than regular people.

Due to their neurological disability, they also find it difficult to filter necessary information from a chunk load of information.

Whenever you are talking to autistic people, bombarding them with information would not help.

You must therefore ensure that you speak very slowly and make your sentences very short.

You can always pause after each sentence to give them enough time to process what you have said and also give them room to respond accordingly.

You can also repeat yourself or stress your words so that they can understand you better.

You can determine if they are processing the information well by asking them questions.

However, do not ask them too many questions so that they do not feel overwhelmed.

Difference in Communication Styles 

When talking to autistic people, the words you speak and how you communicate them are the most important thing.

Different autistic people have different communication styles that suit them.

You need to provide clear and simplified information when talking to them.

Also, try to ensure that the things you are talking about are in chronological order.

It would make it easy for them to follow what you are saying.

As much as possible, try to use very little body language when talking to autistic people.

The reason for this is that most autistic people find it difficult to understand body language or non-verbal cues.

Therefore, too many gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions may be misunderstood by the autistic person.

Using too much body language might also make it difficult for them to follow what you are saying.

And this would make it difficult to pass your message across to them.

You can use visual information such as symbols, pictures, or objects instead.

You can use these visual aids to complement your verbal words.

They find it very easy to process, recall and understand better.

The Environment 

You must always consider the environment you are in when talking to autistic people.

A very noisy place or a place with too many people might interfere with your conversation with an autistic person.

Environments that are less familiar or filled with unfamiliar places are also not good places to talk with them.

This is because most autistic people experience sensory overload which is mostly triggered by these sorts of environments.

Therefore, when you want to talk to them, try to avoid these kinds of places so that you can easily capture and sustain their attention.

Whether They Are Listening 

When you talk with autistic people, you must consider if they are listening.

You can tell if they are listening to them by asking questions.

The questions you ask should be direct and close-ended.

When you ask a question, you have to give them time to respond to it.

The answers they give or how they respond will help you to know whether you are communicating well with them.

In cases when you don't understand their response, you can gently ask them to clarify what they are trying to say.

Actively listen to them as well when talking to autistic people.

It would give you room to learn more about them.

It would also let you know how they feel about the conversation if they feel uncomfortable during the conversation, or how they feel concerning the particular topic you are talking about.

Giving Feedback 

When autistic people react when you talk to them, it is important to give them feedback on their reactions.

You can let them know which of their reactions is considered appropriate and which does not.

Let your feedback be respectful and specific about which aspect of their reaction was appropriate or inappropriate.

You must consider how well they have also participated in the conversation. Through your feedback, they would also be able to determine how well they engaged in the conversation.

And how to talk with other people.

Conclusion

You have to be extremely patient when talking to autistic people.

You must consider how difficult it is for them to process information and communicate as clearly as possible, consider your body language, and the environment you are in, and consider if they are listening to you and giving feedback when you talk to them. 

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May 24th, 2024

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