Thursday, May 10, 2012

10 Tips on How to Communicate with Autistic People by Steve Summers

Hi everyone I would like to introduce my friend Steve Summers an Autism father and also on the spectrum himself so he has lots of experience with Autism, he has written 10 Tips on How to Communicate With Autistic people. Steve lives in Hawaii with his wife Amy and two sons. Here is what Steve had to say about himself:  I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (part of the Autism Spectrum) as an adult. I was diagnosed following my 11-year-old son’s diagnosis with Asperger's. I am happy to have my diagnosis. It was like a light being turned on that illuminated my entire life in a new way. Now I understand why I never really ‘fit in.’ It is like having a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders to have my diagnosis.
I don’t feel that people should make divisions between parts of the Autism Spectrum. I am autistic and I want to work to make the world a better, more understanding and accepting place for all autistic people. We need to work together for the benefit of all on the Autism Spectrum. 
I wrote this list due to continuing difficulties that I have had with the give and take of communicating with others. Many people seem too easily offended because they fail to understand these things about me. We all need understanding and acceptance.
Now here are the 10 tips:

1. Please always keep in mind that communication difficulties are common with Autism. We have difficulties in reading social cues and body language. Be patient and understanding.
2. We tend to take things literally and have often trouble reading between the lines. As a result, we may ask a lot of questions to clarify what is meant by something that you say. I have been told that I ask a lot of questions. Don’t be offended by this. It is our way of being sure that we understand what you are telling us. We may repeat back to you in our own words to try and get on the same page as you.
3. If we misunderstand something that you say, please be patient and expand on what you said and explain what you meant. Don’t assume a negative or hostile intent from us if we misunderstand something that you said. Keep in mind that communication can be difficult for us. Things that come naturally to you take extra effort by us.
4. Please don’t get offended by our communication style. We tend to be frank, honest and matter of fact. Some people may interpret this as blunt or rude. We don’t intend to offend you by not sugar coating the things that we say. We don’t intend to be rude. Please don’t get defensive or assume that we are attacking you. Remember that communicating is hard for us. Don’t make negative assumptions. Too often we get corrected or attacked by someone who fails to give us some slack and the benefit of the doubt.
5. Please don’t expect eye contact. We may be able to force eye contact, but it is not comfortable for us. Making eye contact takes a conscious effort. This effort may take away from listening and understanding what you are saying. I tend to look at a person’s mouth more often than their eyes. Other autistic people will rarely look at your face. This is ok.
6. Please keep in mind that we most likely have been rejected, excluded, ridiculed or bullied in the past. If we seem anxious or insecure this may be due to living in a world that misunderstands us and is often hostile to us. We have to work hard to reach out to others. Please work at reaching back to us with understanding and kindness. If we feel that you are ignoring us we will feel bad about that. We may persist in asking for feedback from you. Please be reassuring and clearly express your support for us.
7. Please don’t speak down to us. Treat us as equals. We may sound flat or have an unusual tone to our voice. We may not speak with our voice at all. We may need to type our words. Please be patient with us. It may take us a while to formulate our answers.
8. Please don’t talk too loudly or yell at us. It is very jarring to us. It makes me jump when someone comes up to me and talks too loudly. It is like having someone jump out in the dark yelling “BOO!” at me. It causes an adrenalin dump in my body. I don’t like this.
9. Please do NOT touch us without warning. It will make us jump. We don’t like unexpected touches.
10. Please don’t assume that we lack empathy or emotion. We pick up on negative or judgemental attitudes. We know when people look down on us or are hostile to us. We will shut down if you show us a lack of respect.
Please keep in mind that we are all different. These issues will vary from person to person. The above tips are written from my perspective as an autistic person. This is just a guide. Feel free to ask me any questions so that I may expand and clarify any areas that aren’t clear to you. Thank you for reading this guide. ~ Steve Summers


My Review of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Hi there, normally I do my movie reviews on but I thought to give you taste of my other blog,  I would show the review on my main blog.  I enjoy watching a lot of videos & have a huge collection of old and new stuff. Don't Worry I provide links too..

Extremely loud & Incredibly Close stars Tom Hanks (Forest Gump), Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), & newcomer Thomas Horn. Supporting players are the legendary Max Von Sydow, Viola Davis (The Help), John Goodman,Jeffery Wright, & Zoe Caldwell. This movie is about a child who lost his father to the 9/11 tragedy, he also has Aspergers (although he says his father doesn't) but I think he does with all the mannerisms, I thought wow! he's very much like me in some mannerisms, you know talking a mile a minute like an encylopedia, Aspergers is a high functioning Autism, which is what I call it anyways since they are making changes to the DSM manual and my testers said it was hfa anyways too, since Autism runs in my family. Back to the movie, The movie is based on the book of the same name:

Oskar who lost his father after finding a mysterious key decides to plan and go an adventure to find out where and who the key belonged too, along the way he meets new people and gets to know there stories and takes information to make a scrapbook about his adventures and learns more about his father along way and he meets an elderly gentlemen known only as "The Renter" who's renting a room from his grandma,watch the movie to find out further about why the two connect.  For information about Autism and spectrum please see my previous postings.

Other than the R word mentioned once by the kid it was a great movie and this was a nominee for best picture of 2011 too,this movie is directed by Stephen Daldry and the regular dvd is better unless  
you insist on getting a high def copy here are some links:

The dvd contains a special feature called Finding Oskar with necomer Thomas Horn and rated PG in Canada and PG 13 in US

I rate this movie a 7.5 out of ten while the acting was great the R word is mentioned once by the kid here is the to educated society against using the R word thank you and have a great day! :)