Hi, humans on the internet NeuroRebel here and this week, we’re going to talk about eye contact.
[00:00:43] What’s the deal with eye contact? Oh, I sounded like Jerry Springer and that is not what I was going for there.
[00:00:49] Okay. Let’s get serious for a minute. There is a rumor that autistic people cannot or never give eye contact and that may be true for some autistic people, but that is not always the case. So let’s dive in and talk about this.
[00:01:04] So yes, there are some autistic people who can not do not, will not and never give eye contact, but this is not how it is for every autistic person. A lot of us, myself included can give situational eye contact depending on the person that they are interacting with. For example, I can and do give eye contact to certain people who I feel very, very comfortable with.
[00:01:40] But eye contact feels like a very intimate experience for me. It is a bit like making out with someone or – it just makes me feel really naked if we are staring into each other’s eyes. So really, even though I can give eye contact with some people, I don’t give eye contact with all people. And there are actually people I literally cannot give eye contact to.
[00:02:09] Uh, for example, there was just this one woman that I had to buy a storage shed from once for work. And I couldn’t even look at her face because something about her eyes just – I couldn’t do it. I can’t even explain it to you. Uh, so yeah, sometimes I can give eyes contact with certain people and that’s my experience and I’ve heard a lot of you say the same.
[00:02:30] So let me know in the comments below, if you can give situational eye contact with certain people and you are autistic because I love to test this theory because I’ve had, I’ve heard a few of you say this already. And so is there anybody else who can do that? Um, let me know.
[00:02:44] And then the other thing about eye contact, Is that a lot of autistic people? No. Huh? Fake it. Fake it till you make it right? Fake making eye contact.
[00:02:59] How does that happen? How do you fake eye contact? Well, my mother used to tell me when I was a very small little autistic person. Look at my notes. Look at my nose, look at my nose, look at my nose.
[00:03:12] She would tell me about all the time. And just to spite her, I would look at her eyebrows or her mouth that’s because I don’t like being told what to do. Uh, but really actually I look at people’s mouths more than I look at their eyes because I also have audio processing difficulties – differences – and I am not a good lip reader.
[00:03:32] But sometimes reading people’s lips, looking at people’s mouths gives me a little bit of a clue as to what someone may actually be saying in the event that I have completely misheard the words coming out of their mouths. Uh, but a lot of autistic people can do this. You know, they will be looking at your nose or your eyebrow or something behind you or your ear or your mouth.
[00:03:57] And they are not actually looking at you. They are just looking in your general direction and giving you fake eye contact.
[00:04:06] Let me know if you are a person and you do fake eye contact in the comments below because I don’t think I’m the only one who does this, either.
[00:04:14] All ofthis brings me to the other reason we shouldn’t be pushing so hard for eye contact or that eye contact may be something that autistic people are not giving in social interactions and during communications.
[00:04:29] Yeah. And that is a lot of us. We are visual processors. And at least for me personally, sometimes looking down is how I compose my thoughts or how I think and so I’m processing. And so I can be thinking and looking away and trying to process something, or I can be looking at you and looking like I’m paying attention while I’m not actually paying attention because I’m too busy trying to make contact with you.
[00:05:02] If I have to explain something that is not easy for me to explain or requires a lot of recollection, it’s not as noticeable here when I do these computer things. Uh, but you probably noticed, I like, kind of look off to the side. I look up, I do it a lot. I’m always like looking at all of these visual things in my visual thinking brain and I can’t do that and stare at a face a lot of the times or something that is distracting. I just need to kind of find a little place off in space, gather my thoughts and I, then I’m back – I’m back.
[00:05:37] So I don’t need to look at you to hear you. In fact, if I am hearing, because I am drawing mental pictures in my head, sometimes that can be very counterproductive because then I’m not able to think and process because I’m too busy looking at you instead of building the mental picture. I need to understand what’s being said.
[00:05:56] Guys, thank you so much for hanging out today and listening to this video, talking about I contact, let me know if you relate to any of these experiences or any of this is true for you as well as an autistic person.
[00:06:08] And of course, if you found this content helpful or useful, because that is always my number one goal is to make educational, useful content that brings value to your day. Please don’t forget to subscribe and share in case someone else might also find this content useful.
[00:06:23] I will talk to you guys next week. Bye .
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