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As a child did you want people to talk to you?

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As a child did you want people to talk to you?

Postby Psychmember2 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:12 am

I would really appreciate if anyone here could tell me from their own experience if autistic children who are non-verbal (or limited verbaly) like people to talk to them, or would they prefer people to just go away?
A friend has a son with autism, whenever I try to say hi or engage him in an activity he seems like he would just rather not have me there. I don't know if that is just my misinterpreting his body language, or if it is actually irritating him for me to continue trying to comunicate.
I do not see them very often so he probably doesn't remember who I am so he may just feel shy around me, but I don't want to ignore him, but I also don't want to annoy him if he prefers to not have people interact.
Thanks for any advice or personal experience.
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Re: As a child did you want people to talk to you?

Postby ProudAutie » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:43 pm

hi pyschmember,autism is so complex you cant compare two people with the same diagnosis and functioning level.
just a little about my experiences but i was born in 1984 and was severely classic autistic up until i stabilized in adulthood after being housed in a specialist secure residential care unit for adults and children with severe or profound autism,and my severe challenging behaviors reduced and i became verbal after lots of speech therapy, makaton and PECS teaching,high support and ABA [the ABA was unfortunately a brutal form,carried out in a hospital while inpatient].
as a child and to lesser extent-adult,i had extremely limited understanding of language,i liken it to being in a foreign country and hearing noise rather than words that have meaning,which meant i was very distant from other people,i didnt develop any relationships with anyone including my own family-i just saw them as food givers or the person to get help from.
i loved the company of my own world and my pet cat,twinkle,i interacted with her in a way, unlike with people as there is no language involved,just love for each other.

as an adult,i am classified as moderate classic autistic,low functioning,i go to services for people with intellectual disability [many of whom are autistic as well,like me] and i dont interact with them,i only speak to my support staff if they speak to me,they think its because im not feeling good but its because i dont have conversational speech imprinted in my mind like neurotypicals learn,i do have basic scripts but i prefer to not be sociable,the term is asocial.

i think with your friends son,dont go on body language,thats something we typically struggle with showing appropriately,just do what he is doing-like for example building lego,use as little language as possible,let him approach you if he wants to,but dont take it as he hates you,i never had biases against anyone until adulthood as i see all people as the same generic shapes of flesh and i treat everyone the same,but all autistics are different.
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Re: As a child did you want people to talk to you?

Postby Psychmember2 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:11 pm

ProudAutie, thanks so much for sharing your experiences. It is good to know how someone who has autism actually feels about things.

I always see other people, who are around the family much more often than I am, ignoring my friend's little boy, as if he isn't even there! It makes me feel very sad to see that, but I wasn't sure if they did this because he actually preferred them not to talk to him or interact with him, or if they just assume talking to him and interacting was not necessary because he doesn't respond to them.

I have struggled with learning differences myself, and feeling unable to express myself fully at times, even though I don't have any apparent verbal difficulty.
I often feel drawn towards someone who is verbally or cognitively limited. For example I have a friend who is 90 years old and suffering from dementia she doesn't remember me and usually tells me the same things over every few minutes, but I love to just sit and talk with her because she enjoys it.

When I see this little boy with autism I feel like I want to be a friend to him in whatever way he may want a friend. I'm completely ok with him not giving eye contact and not talking. I do not mind playing a game of Legos or somthing even if he doesn't seem to join in. As long as interacting with him is not annoying him then I would definitely choose to interact even if it seems one sided.

I have always hated it when people ignored me because of any differences so I don't ever want to ignore someone else like that.
I will just continue to be myself around my friends son and say hi and try joining in with his activity and see how it goes.

Do you have any suggestions on figuring out when something is annoying to someone with autism who is non verbal, from your own experience?

I will also ask his mom about all this, but as she does not have autism it seemed like a good idea to hear from people who have autism, not just from a parents perspective.
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Re: As a child did you want people to talk to you?

Postby Rainbowgirlfan1 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:01 am

Yes I did but I didn't know how to make friends. I used to act strange. I didn't realize at the time how my actions were keeping others away.
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Re: As a child did you want people to talk to you?

Postby Psychmember2 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:52 am

Hi Rainbowgirlfan1,
Thanks for your response.
That's what I worry about for my friends little boy, that he may be wanting friends, but the other kids just don't understand his behavior and why he doesn't communicate the same way.
I think if the adults around can explain things and not avoid him themselves it would help the other kids just accept him and get to know him.
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Re: As a child did you want people to talk to you?

Postby leiladream » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:12 pm

Hi psychmember, I remember really disliking people to come over to our home and usually would be asked to come out of my room. I felt like I was on the spot, really, forced to talk to my parents friends or even family.

I did sometimes have one friend come over but did sometimes get really sick of spending time with them after a while. I only had one childhood friend who was a couple of years younger than me, who I really adored and was so attached to. We were friends well into adulthood, but grew apart eventually.

I think try to be friendly and trustworthy, it definitely helps to be fun :) I remember good memories of family members and adults who watched movies or TV with me, or made me laugh the best.
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Re: As a child did you want people to talk to you?

Postby Psychmember2 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:54 am

Hi leiladream,
Thanks so much for sharing how it was for you to interact with people visiting. That will help me to be aware to not overwhelm my friends little boy. And to not let his parents insist that he come out of his room and interact.

I'm not on the autism spectrum, but have anxiety all my life, I can fully understand the uncomfortable feeling of beeing asked to come out and see my parents friends. I used to feel overwhelmed when people would come visit and I Had to stay in the living room with everyone. I hated it when they would ask me one question after another, "like how is school, what are you learning...". And i hated it when they would talk about me like I wasn't sitting right there.

I liked adults who would have conversations about what I wanted to talk about. I think I liked it best when they did not ask a lot of questions. It was better if they would join me in coloring, and would tell me what they liked about coloring. Then I did not feel like I was on the spot.

I always remember hating to be around people who seemed to not be genuine. I felt like they were just putting on an act of liking me and that made me uncomfortable, and I did not trust them.

When I hang out with friends who I see a lot I spend time playing and drawing with their kids and we have a lot of fun. I personally love doing art projects and I love taking apart electronics and building things with the parts. I have found that kids like doing those things too. Robot bugs made out of old cell phone parts was a big hit with my best friends kids! And I like to play video games with them, and watch YouTube videos they like. So I just try to be myself and play if they want to.

Thanks again for sharing your feelings, it will help me be aware of not putting my friends son on the spot. I will also try to be aware of not making my visits too long, that way the family can get back to the normal routine and maybe their little boy won't feel overwhelmed.
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Re: As a child did you want people to talk to you?

Postby ogr » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:37 pm

I don't have "classic" autism nor Asperger's... I am in between both, I am medium functioning autistic.

I can talk, in sentences that make sense to me, and my family have to work hard working it out. I really hate talking, didn't say my first real sentence until I was 5, even then it was basic English, we have it filmed, I said, no eating a biscuit (cookie). I can type and make sentences way easier than talking.

We had a big family over 50 cousins, who would all come around, or we went to theirs. I hated it so much, my aunties would shout, and tell my mum she was a bad mum due to me being Uncontrollable, having "tantrums"... they were autistic meltdowns, I would... and still do get very violent.

When I went to stay with my dad and step mum, I was a calm boy, my elder sister would translate everything that I said, she still does... as people have no idea what I want as my body language was "off"... reason why I was calm you may ask, it wasn't due to my mum being a bad parent (which my dad tells my mum if they speak)... my step mum's niece who lived with them had a cat... so did my dads mum... I was calm around her house too... it was just me and my sisters.

After my mums dad died over 20 years ago now, did the huge family break up. It was just me, my mum and 2 sisters. I was still me, having daily meltdowns though but by this point I was speaking basic sentences and at a main stream school, I had 1 friend who helped me in ways I never knew. At age 12 I was diagnosed with Asperger's.

We now have 5 cats at home, and my meltdowns only happen a few times per week now, my cats know how to help... we have a huge special bond.

So my advise, try and find out what could set him off into a meltdown, with me it's my ears, mouth and nose sensory issues. I hate being touched but can now handle a hug. I never played as such when I was a child, I tried to learn British battles (using plastic army men) I was happy on my own. My family even now still want me to at least say hello to visitors, and bye, but allow me to do my own thing... sometimes this annoys my mum as she would love to just relax, but looking after me is more than a full time job...

I would try finding out about your friends child's interests are, play may not ever happen, but you can interact with him? Or her? By helping him with his interests... like mine is world wars... I love to learn about them, so maybe try and be knowledgeable in these subjects, he could start asking questions, telling you facts he knows and "coming out of his shell" and accepting you as someone to trust.
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Re: As a child did you want people to talk to you?

Postby Psychmember2 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:15 pm

Hi ogr,
Thank you so much for all this helpful information about your experiences. Your comments made me realize I have only been around my friends little boy when there is some kind of party, so he is probably stressed to begin with because of all the people. I will have to try getting together with just their family. I found out from his grandma that he likes Winnie the Pooh movies and books, and he likes music. So that's a start.

I have several friends who are uncomfortable being touched too. One of my friends is ok with fist bumps though. He does not feel trapped by a fist bump compared to a handshake. A hug is totally off limits.

I love cats too. They are so calming. I have an orange and white cat.

This is a little funny, I had to read your name 4 times to be sure if it was ogr and not org. And even just typing that I had to check again...
I most likely have undiagnosed dyslexia. They did not test for it when I was a kid. I was just a poor reader and speller as far as my school cared.
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Re: As a child did you want people to talk to you?

Postby Audrey1 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:33 pm

I have Aspergers and for me several different factors determine weather or not I want someone to talk to me. The first is my emotional state, like if I’m really anxious or upset about something I generally don’t want people to talk to me. Also if I’m in the middle of doing something or am just about to start something and someone talks to me it REALLY annoys me!!!
There are also things that make me WANT other people to talk to me. For example if I’m in a social situation where everyone else is talking and hanging out I want someone to talk to as well. The problem in these situations is I am unsure of how to approach people and strike up a conversation.
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