Ask an Autistic #21 – What About Eye Contact?

Ask an Autistic #21 – What About Eye Contact?

Hi everyone! I’m Amethyst and welcome to Ask An Autistic. (music) I want a rennisance to shine a light, be the change we want, to set things right (music) we’ve been waiting in the dark for so long Today we’re going to be discussing a
topic that’s been requested by more than a few viewers and that is eye contact. At
first ones are thinking about this topic I didn’t think that there would be
enough to fill a 10 minute video but then I realized that while seemingly
simple there’s actually a lot to eye contact. Different cultures have different
ideas about eye contact and non-autistic people tend to have very different ideas
about what is appropriate amount of eye contact compared to autistic people. The term eye contact was coined in the
West in the nineteen sixties and it’s used to describe this meaningful or
important social connection in which to human beings look each other in the eye.
Eye contact is considered to be this important part of social communication; it’s a non verbal form of communication
and in Western society particularly in north America. there’s this connection between eye
contact and trust. Eye contact is thought to be important in the development of
children at the same time as researchers look more and more into eye contact and
nonverbal communication we’re learning that what we thought
about eye contact these kind of pervasive myths in society about truthfulness or
lying or paying attention isn’t necessarily true even for not autistic
people; for example a study conducted by British psychologist at the University
of sterling in 2006 looked at 20 British school children aged 5 and what they
found is that children would avert their gaze when asked a question that required
mental processing and the children would avert their gaze because these questions
were mentally demanding and it takes thought and listening to someone there’s a lot of mental processing going
on the children who would avert their gaze actually answered correctly more
often than the children who maintain eye contact while trying to answer and these are what researchers assumed
to be known to be non- autistic neurotypical children. So if not autistic children find
listening somebody and then answering questions mentally demanding enough to
need to avert their gaze to give full mental processing power to the question
then it stands to reason that that is what going on a lot of the time with
autistic people and autistic children. Another thing about lying they say that
a liar will look away and that’s how you know that they’re telling an untruth but UCLA professor of psychology Edward R. Gylerman
has been looking at nonverbal communication and asking
questions about eye contact for years and what he and his team
have found people who do look away or avert their gaze when answering a
question or ask a question are just thinking, and they’re not any more likely to be
lying because they’re looking away. And again you assume that most of the
sample size were probably not autistic. Autistic people’s brains work
differently, we have a different neruotype – we process information differently and
that’s a huge part of being autistic and many of our differences in information
processing are in the areas of communication and socialization. I think there’s two main reasons that
autistic people tend to avoid eye contact The first is because of sensory
processing disorder or sensory overload a person’s face is incredibly complex there is a lot happening up here all the
time. Non-autistic people are constantly searching each other’s eyes and faces
for little micro expressions, indications of pleasure or sadness or
distress, they’re looking for all these nonverbal
cues and they all happen very very quickly. The brain has to be able to see the
visual information process, it understand what it means, and then know what to do
with that information. A person’s eyes particularly convey a
lot of emotion, they can convey thoughts and that’s why in our culture eye
contact is considered to be so so special and valuable and a sign of
intimacy between two people and for autistic people and people with sensory
processing disorder all that information particularly in the
eye area is overwhelming. For myself when I make sustained eye contact with
somebody it feels very intense, it feels almost like trying to look into a very
bright light I’ve heard other autistic people say
that eye contact hurts, them makes them feel uncomfortable, confuses them and is
generally overstimulating and contributes to over stimulation overload
of the brain. The second big reason I think autistic
people tend to have atypical eye contact is because of our brains
cognitive abilities and processing. So even if eye contact doesn’t hurt an
autistic person or they’re not becoming overloaded sensory wise or visually,
they may still have trouble processing and understanding eye contact, and trying to listen to someone at the
same time, because our brains work differently. We might have central auditory
processing issues, we might have differences in communication, might have
trouble following a conversation when we’re in an area with background noise
going on then we want to be able to dedicate as
much brain power as we can to actually focusing on what the person is saying
and taking away the very large amount of rapid information coming at you that is the facial expressions and the eye contact can alleviate the pressure on the brain and allow the autistic person in question to listen and to process and
to follow along a lot better than if they were forced to make eye contact. And I know that this is true for myself as a child if I was forced to make eye
contact I would not be hearing what you were
saying and I know is true for other autistic people too. It’s either ‘would you like me to make
sustained contact with you so you feel more comfortable, or would you like me to actually be able to hear and understand and remember what you were just saying?’ So when it comes to eye contact because
in our culture you know versus some Asian cultures for example where direct
eye contact is considered offensive in our culture eye contact is given a lot
of wheat and probably more important than it should have that’s why a lot of non-autistic parents
will feel very hurt when their child doesn’t make eye contact with them or
their eye contact is atypical or not sustained. When a child can make eye
contact one day and not next, that can be very
confusing for parents and i find that parents often take it as a sign of a
lack of connection not wanting to connect, as if your child isn’t listening,
they don’t care what you have to say or even that they don’t love you. Chances are your child really does love
you, but eye contact may be painful or difficult or just not practical for them;
they may not be able to listen to you and to make eye contact at the same time. If you’ve been following along so far you probably know what I’m about to say and that is please do not force an
autistic child to make eye contact. It’s just one of those things that is
not worth it. Yes, there are some pervasive society amiss about eye
contact; people might be thought of as untrustworthy or shifty-eyed. That’s very
much rooted in ableism and even a little bit of racism, since other cultures don’t
make eye contact or value in the same ways that we do. The truth is that eye contact doesn’t work
for everybody and it’s one of those things that in the grand scheme of
things is so minor. I can’t really picture being the hill
that anybody wants to die on; trust me when I say that eye contact is absolutely
not necessary for living a happy fulfilling life, or even for having happy
fulfilling relationships. I mean, there are lots of blind and
visually impaired people who don’t make eye contact and they have great
friendships and great familial relationships and even romantic
relationships. So please don’t put too much stock into
eye contact because even though it does hold importance for non-austistic members of our society, chances are that is just not worth it
for autistic people and that we’ll l be happier and healthier and actually hearing and understanding what
your saying if we are not forced to make this eye contact that’s unnatural or
painful or difficult for us. I hope this video is helpful for you guys and for all the non-autistic
parents of autistic people out there and for the allosteric loved ones of
autistic people; i hope i was able to show you the other side of the story and
hopefully give you some insight into what eye contact is like for autistic
people Oh, and because i get this question
occasionally; yes, for me making eye contact with the camera is much
different than making eye contact with a person. Although it’s still difficult So if we ever so if any of you guys ever
meet me in person you can probably expect some pretty atypical eye contact. If you have a question that you would
like answered in one of my ask an autistic videos, please feel free to post
your comment in the comment section or message it to me. Thank you for watching ask an autistic! (music) I want a renaissance, to shine a light, be the change we want, we’ve been waiting in the dark, for so long. (music)

100 comments / Add your comment below

  1. so, do autistic people typically prefer to never make eye contact, or is is something that they sometimes may want to do and other times not?

  2. My non-verbal autistic 3-year old sometimes makes intense eye contact for a while (and it makes my heart skip a beat, because it's such a wonderful feeling) and then he'll get a sort of shy smile for a second before he breaks away; the break away is almost like a flinch. Then he'll give me a second's smiling shy look again, before going about his business. So I think it's uncomfortable for him, but he does do it sometimes. I would like to encourage it and make it as uncomfortable for him as possible. What should I do? Should I break contact before he does? Should I break the contact before he gets uncomfortable and needs to break it himself? Will that make him feel safer? Or should I look him full in the eyes when he does that? It feels like a challenge if I stare as intently at him as he does at me and I'm afraid it will discourage him.
    Thanks so much for your videos, I've found a treasure trove of information on your channel.

  3. My girl friend thinks I'm autist partly because I don't make good eye contact, she has a degree in psychology, should I get tested????



  5. I was forced to make eye contact for so many years I can't help but do it. I hate it so much and I can't focus at all when maintaining it but I do out of years of punishment, which is awful because if I'm doing that I have no idea what anyone is trying to say unless I try way too hard to focus which usually makes me exhausted.

  6. yes I experience it too. I feel eyes contact is so intens mix with confusion. I'm social anxiety disorder sufferer. I wasn't until the age twenties I realized obviously that I got this problem. I keep searching what's the cause and what has to do. Thanks for sharing your experience it helps us. But anyway, are ASD and sensory process disorder the same with "Social anxiety disorder"?

  7. I love your name, it really suits you, I get a feeling of a purple amethyst stone whenever I see you

  8. when I'm forced to make eye contact for more than a few seconds it feels like looking at a high power florescent bulb ( I'm photophobic, all the bulbs in my house – except the bathroom – are 13w cfb. GE cfb's don't start buzzing for about 2 years) but the buzzing is INSIDE my eyeballs, like my eyes are having a seizure, i feel like my eyes are crossed, and they feel dried out, and i blink allot. once i get to the 'blinking phase' I'm pretty much in a fugue- state and have no idea what's going on. @[email protected]

  9. Oh god, the fact that this girl is looking through the camera is making me cringe, I feel like she is looking directly at me in the eyes, so I have to look at the books lol.

  10. I find it way too intimate and personal.
    Like being touched and flooded by all the emotions the other person is expressing and I can't really place or understand those feelings.
    And that makes me feel a lot that i also cant really place.
    It's just a big uncomfortable mess.
    And a talking/moving mouth draws attention.

  11. I really love that you're doing these videos. I've wondered forever about why I have so much trouble with eye contact, but any searches I do always come up with parents of people with autistic children talking about it and getting things completely wrong. It's so much better to hear actually autistic people talking about it since we have personal experience.

  12. a few weeks ago I didn't get a job in part became I didn't make good eye contact even tough I had gotten the interview trough an organisation that make it very clear I was autistic

  13. This is probably weird, but when I'm approaching shutdown, it takes a bit of conscious effort to move, and so I mostly stay still, and then my mom sometimes gets mad that I'm staring. Like, doesn't she usually want me to have more eye contact with people?

  14. Thanks for sharing. Definitely game insight and understanding. And you're right, EC is not mandatory to speak with anyone.

  15. While everyone else seems to notice people's eye colour, I never notice a person's eye colour even after looking into their eyes.

  16. Eye contact(loking atmsomeone in the eye) to me feels like someone is going to attack me. So I look away or close my eyes…

  17. I find conversations really awkward. And not just meeting people or talking to certain people. Every single word that I say or hear feels awkward because I'm scared that I'm not reacting "right" or that I'm not properly responding. I hope one day I can find a way to get over this.

  18. I just want to say thank you for making these videos. I am 38 years old and have just been diagnosed with Aspergers (6 months ago). Everything is now starting to make a little sense to me. All of my quirks, analytical thinking, my lack of emotional responses/connections/understandings and fear of eye contact have been with me from a very young age. I just thought I was different. How this label is going to help me I do not know as I am quite happy with myself already, but knowledge can only be advantageous. Thank you again +Amythest Schaber.

  19. Wow. I'm working on a book where the protagonist is severely autistic, so this has helped me a lot.
    I used to think that the only reason autistic people avoided eye contact was because they found it unnecessary.

  20. I've actually been praised on my great eye contact skills. I'm actually making my sight track their eyebrows or mouth to follow their physical movements. I don't look into the eyes. On the rare occasion I do it's because I'm looking at the color and patterns in the eyes themselves.

  21. Amythest you are a true blessing! You are so eloquent and well spoken and make HFA people like myself look so good! I'm so glad that I found your YouTube videos and that you tell the world things from our perspective so beautifully and eloquently. You are a true role model for HFA people and I hope you have continued success. I am so thankful that someone like you can share to the world our story and make us look good in the process. You seem like an excellent bridge builder between NT people and HFA people and it makes me very happy. May God continue to bless you and thank you for helping high function autistic people and finally giving our perspective!

  22. I really love your channel, i not only felt more understood, but learned quite a few things as well. Since I was recently diagnosed, i've been trying to learn more, and after watching just a few of your videos I realized that I had been informed wrong (primarily by autism speaks and books written by non-autistic people). I personally will look at someone in the eye, but immediately glance away, and keep doing that. I haven't thought too much about why I do it, but it's just really uncomfortable and almost painful. It doesn't really "hurt", like I don't actually feel pain, but it's like an intense pressure or burning and I can't hold the eye contact for very long. It's difficult because i've run into problems with it since my mom thinks i'm lying or people think i'm rude or not paying attention.

  23. I tend to overdo it with eye contact and invite people into conversations that I don't want to have. It's like everyone gets the same attempt at welcoming eye contact from me or nobody lol. And I don't realize that the person coming over to talk to me might be sending red flags that they will make me uncomfortable or be a little threatening, even, until I get overwhelmed enough to feel trapped in the conversation. Then I'm just too good at pretending. But also I usually still can't tell for sure if their intentions are friendly or something else, but later I'm like still trying to sort it out and other people are aware that the person wasn't good to interact with. I couldn't see it, though, and because I always give that friendly eye contact these days, almost so habitually that I can't stop anymore, it makes them come out of the woodworks.

  24. My 3 yr old shows a lot of traits but is not yet diagnosed. You have help me understand why his meltdowns happen so randomly. But i was wondering if you could help me with understsnding how to identify his personality. I know his likes and LOTS of his dislikes. But the only times i see him smile is when he gets ALOT of sensory inputs like daddy throwing him on the bed or our night time routine of family hugs and kisses or bean bag squishes….i know he has more in there….

    courious mom

  25. wow, I've always found it so hard to concentrate on what people are saying when trying to make eye contact. The more i learn about high-functioning autism/autism in general/ my entire childhood is starting to make so much more sense to me now.

  26. I can kinda fake eye contact well enough if I have to. I won't make eye contact if at all possible because it's just something that makes me very uncomfortable and I'm not exactly sure why. Just because I'm not making eye contact doesn't mean I'm not paying attention, and I don't see why it's such an issue here in America.

  27. I find eye contact easier with the video than a real person. Cameras can be just as hard, but I am getting more confident with that. I tend to look at people's mouths so I can focus on the words they are saying.

  28. i had a teacher in eighth grade who did not know anything about autism, i had to stand up for myself, and a friend with adhd, said friend took so much abuse from the teacher, that this year, he is a completely different person, it's hard to watch.

  29. I can’t see the other‘s eyes, I’m one of the lucky ones where people are happy when you put your face in their direction. ?? I’m nearly blind and in case of eye contact I thank god for that. Maybe it sounds strange for you, but for me eyecontact feels as if the other person undresses my soul, my coreself, that feels horrible.And I don’t want to stick to the other person‘ face just to see the eyes. For me they have no importance if I want to get information. And I’m afraid ? contact I could use would Puzzle me because of many details.

  30. Thank you Sooo much for your video on Eye Contact! This info makes total sense & is Extremely Enlightening! I never heard this info before & now have some real info to share w my daughter's teachers & many others! I will even use it to explain why I listen better without eye contact myself! Our daughter used to & still does often look off to the edge of her eyes when we would tell her something, & I could tell she was processing what we were saying. She was often reminded to use eye contact which she learned quite well. But Our society has forced 'eye contact' upon the Autistic community as a requirement for social appropriateness, acceptance & a sign of respect, based on 'our' traditional viewpoint. Unfortunately we didn't realize if this was truly necessary. Now, after hearing what you said, I think it's possible that an Autistic child's learning could be hindered at least to some degree possibly, as well as their joy of learning, esp if e.c. is uncomfortable for the Autistic. At least it should not be constantly demanded. Eye contact certainly has definite value & is an amazing method of communication. However; your incredible insight from an Autistic person's point of view shows that we (doctors, teachers, therapists, parents, caregivers, etc) Must Look at life Through the Eyes of the Autistic person, in order to Best Help Them! Thank you abundantly for your insights! I will continue to follow you! ~ A mom with Hope and fully trusting in God!

  31. Thank you so much! I've been trying to understand and express why eye contact is often uncomfortable and in myself the antithesis of attentive listening, and you put words to it. I just wish my teachers in school had respected and listened when I said I listened better when I wasn't looking. I also noticed lately that one of the ways I've coped is to let my eyes just go out of focus when I look at someones face, at least when I'm not looking at their lips to better understand their words.

  32. When I'm thinking of a response or responding to someone, I always avoid eye contact. I can't think well or lose my thought when looking at eyes. Sometimes I've found if I make eye contact when listening, I don't always focus on what's being said (though I usually always look at people's faces – I've noticed while watching these videos I've been looking at these books. Perhaps it's in part because the shelves aren't level and the books aren't all lined up that is drawing my attention). If I don't know someone, I tend to avoid eye contact. If I know someone, I don't mind eye contact (though it can still be distracting for me as that's generally the focus). I've never forced someone to make eye contact nor do I think that's appropriate. Eye contact can be nice but it can also be too much, depending on the emotion.

  33. Eye contact… making eye contact with me can and will make me burst out laughing. Not to mention even if I don't laugh like a maniac I will feel intensely uncomfortable, like people can suddenly see directly into my soul. It's so uncomfortable. I usually eye the torso, neck, or shoulder of the person I'm talking to.
    I don't laugh when looking into people's eyes on YouTube but even though it's pre-recorded it's still a bit discomforting. TV is really easy because they aren't looking at me, and I learned all I know about writing facial changes in my stories from watching actors.

  34. Direct eye-contact for me is both distracting, and painful. I have to put extra effort into looking like I am listening, on top of actually listening, which takes only half the effort to do. Even then, my eyes start shifting at many points, because as Amethyst said, a lot goes on in the face. In the end, I almost never remembered anything that was said. However, I found that I am good with peripheral vision/Indirect eye-contact. Usually I find it easier to look at a person’s shoulder or neck, if not away from them.

    (this may come off as an odd place for me to look if you are a woman, but trust me I never look THERE!)

    (Also I got bitched at in school countless times because I “wasn’t listening”, because I wasn’t looking directly at the teachers when they were speaking, or when I wasn’t looking at them when speaking to them; note: my classmates probably noticed this too, they just didn’t seem to mind as much)

  35. I know a person who looked me dead in the eye while lying, so meh. For myself, when I try to make “appropriate “ eye contact with someone, usually job interviews, I feel like I’m in a trance. Like, a literal halo like aura is around them… or maybe their image is being burned into my retinas ??

  36. I'm lucky that I naturally look at peoples mouth area and people can't tell that I'm not looking them in the eye. I don't know if I always did this or just learnt it at a young age to cope.
    I'd suggest it as a strategy to try and see if it helps, especially when your required to make eye contact like in a job interview.

  37. I consider eye contact as completely unnesecary in contact. Eyes are for vision. Nothing more. Deep inside i still totally dont get staring at others eyeballs…

    Even tears do not mean someone is crying… cold weather or catching a cold or eye irritation also cause tears…

    ..I dont like faces? telepathie would be very nice??

  38. Sometimes I feel like I just don't fit in a neat box and I don't know who to go to about it. I'm a 24 year old college student. I have auditory processing disorder and sensory processing disorder but I'm not autistic. I feel weird. Like there's no place I fit in. I'm not autistic but I have qualities of autism. I have one foot in the neurotypical world and one foot in the autism world. It's puzzling for me

  39. Any adult with autism willing to help?? I would like to know if you are able to view 3d image books?? If so can you do it instantly without trying??

  40. Interestingly enough, I have no problem looking people on a screen in the eye, especially if it's a girl who have pretty eyes, it's just IRL I have issues.

  41. Thank you for sharing this. I was a person who assumed someone wasn't paying attention or lying if they didn't give me eye contact, now I will be more open minded and understanding about it.

  42. I pretend to look at people's faces by looking slightly above their heads.

    When I worked in food service I actually had several customers get really angry at me for averting my gaze. it suuuucked. *sigh

  43. I can’t speak when I use eye contact. When I do I say like one word or study. Since I’ve moved up schools, I’ve got really into psychology and I learned this thing on eye contact on how it’s important. For me I’m just like, why and how? I don’t think I will every try to use eye contact any time soon, it will just make my conversations worse.

  44. What a wonderful explanation. Thank you so so much. You are a great presenter and you have a lovely voice.

  45. my whole life i never put any thought into eye contact, it all was just natural i didn't even notice when i was or wasn't making eye contact, about 2 years ago a lot of friends would get mad that i didn't make eye contact when saying hi to people or when talking to people, this was around the same time i started to get anxiety and panic attacks in a social phobia type environment, anyway for about a year all i can think about whence around people is eye contact, when is a good time to look in them or look away, when in conversation or just walking past someone, now it is so hard to actually focus on what the person is saying to me when all im thinking about is eye contact. anyway i think now its a sensory awareness thing slash ocd, this video really helped open up to me that im not the only one to find eye contact overwhelming and its normal to not maintain as much as i thought i should

  46. I know somebody who I believe is on the Spectrum who does not know how to make proper eye contact. He was told by counselors to make eye contact so he always stares into my eyes and he does not look away, he has no facial expression when he talks, he just stares into my eyes and it's very uncomfortable. Some people have been told to make eye contact but do not know how to use it properly.

  47. I remember when I was younger, I worried a lot about my first relationship. People in love in the tv always share long and deep eye contact while I just couldn't.
    So now I still can't, still never had any boyfriend but it doesn't matter anymore.

  48. My adopted 4 year old daughter with Down Syndrome just got diagnosed with autism and I have her in ABA. I have began to see some things which I do not agree with at the center … making eye contact is a major one. It drives me nuts to see the therapists ask a child to look at them and say hello or bye when it obviously is difficult for them. Any dummy can see that. Yet it is an enforced rule. We adopted another girl also with DS no ASD diagnosis. But her safety is averting eye contact, & the therapists try to get her to look at them “saying ‘I’ll have you looking at me soon enough’” I finally brought up this subject with my limited knowledge. They just said “well ask the BCBA she will know” wait. The therapists just do what they are told? What a messed up system. We will be taking our daughter out of ABA. I really wish I saw your video before I had the conversation with the therapist. Thank you so much for this. And ALL of your videos! You have opened up my eyes to the world in which my daughter lives in. I will shout for her any way I can as I learn and grow. You are awesome Amythest.

  49. Hey! I really enjoy your videos but would you mind putting the explainations (like at 7:54) on top? When using subtitles they get in the way and you have to pause and turn them off to properly read what's on the screen

  50. Hmmm could this be why I have trouble looking people in the eye when I talk to them. I'm o confused eye contact is hard for me feels too overwhelming to maintain eye contact long

  51. PS I find it interesting that eye contact is directly proportional to trust, but if you read literature on lying, the more eye contact someone makes, the more likely it is that they are lying. For example, Paul Ekman’s work.

  52. Probably people are also shy and/or socially anxious. Or people might have a bad day or be angry with the world or be depressed. When I'm in a bad mood, my eye contact is bad. I was a socially anxious selective mute who avoided eye contact and people but after medications and CBT, I'm much better off with eye contact and verbal communication/socializing. I don't know if I am on the spectrum though.

  53. I've not been diagnosed, yet, but lately I've been speculating I may be on the spectrum. I cannot retain information if I focus on eye contact. It's so frustrating because I am made to feel stupid when I don't understand instructions and have to ask a dozen times what something meant, how I was supposed to do it, et cetera.

  54. This helped me (a non-autistic person) understand and accept my difficulty with eye contact while speaking, so thank you for creating this. I also have great appreciation for the rest of the videos in your series – your explanations and analyses seem to me to be exceptionally thoughtful and yet concise.

  55. When I first was in health class in middle school, they had a whole week or so dedicated to interpersonal relationships. One of the classes was spent on listening and how to portray to the other person that you're listening. I participated sort of. I looked at my practicing partners in the face at the forehead or nose, but the whole time I was wondering in my head why we are learning how to look like we're listening. I was also wondering how anyone could look at someone else in the eyes and listen to what they're saying.

  56. I had a pediatrician (as a teen) that my mom said she didn’t like because he didn’t look her in the eye. I thought the opposite, I liked that he wasn’t forcing eye contact!

  57. I'm always looking at people's mouth when they talk because it helps me understand what they say, it's less stressful and I'm prosopagnosic and teeth/smile, along with hair, are the two things that helps me recognize people.

  58. I don't recall avoiding eye contact, I do have some medical record of a diagnosis of Autism, but, I don't recall avoiding eye contact now or from the past, I just look into peoples eyes, just to be simple!

    If you would explain what eye contact I make because I am in fact Autistic, but I don't have known issues with looking into peoples eyes, to some people like me, there would be a small issue to no issue with eye contact, wired, isn't it?

  59. eye contact gets me kinda dizzy… and also, i tend to pay more attention when i have atypical eye contact. Funny, i also have ADHD.

    oh… another thing. you see, I stim byopening-closing my legs. for obvious reasons, my parents don't like that particular stim. i live in a Latinx American country… pedophilia is… not so very well controlled. What shall I do?

  60. I don't have any kind of official diagnosis of ASD, or anything like that. My whole life, though, at least as long as I can remember, I've had a very strong aversion to making eye contact.
    It makes me physically uncomfortable, in a way I can't really put into words. Nobody in my family has ever noticed, though. I think it's because I cope so well. Because I know eye contact is virtually expected in our society, I've "trained" myself to fake it. If I'm talking to someone, I'll keep looking in their general direction, and just try to stare "through" them, so to speak. It still makes me extremely uncomfortable, but generally gets me by without anybody catching on.

  61. I've always been able to make eye contact though I'm also looking at everything everywhere while talking to someone. I started wearing sunglasses (preferably with a reflective lens) to mask where I was looking. I loved that it made people as uncomfortable talking to me (I'm also an 6'5" truck shaped ogre) as I was talking to them. Me because autism (hooray) and them because they couldn't even see that I had eyes. Take that normies!
    When it comes down to it I can also "fake it" really good. Passing was an art form for so long. Mostly until I found out (I was 33/34) that I was in fact autistic. I no longer felt the need to "pass" and the extra stress it had on me because we're not CHOOSING any of this. You don't like it, that's your problem since we aren't hurting ANYONE.
    Either way. Love the vids even when they're many years old.

  62. i don't like looking at people's faces. i learn and listen when i don't look at people's face's.

  63. Person : What do you see when you look into my eyes?
    Me : Nothing. I just see eyeballs.
    Person : But how can you tell—
    Me : I just like to study a lot of psychology that makes up for it.

    Life tip : Read lots of psychology articles, find one of those free online courses on psychology, or get into a class. You need this shit if you’re a human being at all. If any supernatural or extraterrestrial intelligence sees this, then consider it How to Human 101.

  64. Eye contact is painfully scary, because, my mom understands how I feel now I almost never look at her at all when I talk to her. She's fine with that and it's very stress relieving that I don't have to. ^^;

  65. With me, I could perceive what people were thinking or feeling about me, their attitudes and feelings of frustration, anger, disappointment with me. When I was really young I hid behind my parents because I was actually afraid of some people and saw them as threatening. It was as if I could see their inner most being through the expression in their eyes. This extended beyond eye contact to fear of being photographed by cameras or being stared at by others.

  66. What do you feel about eye contact when the autistic person is requesting or addressing? We have never forced eye contact while listening, however, we do tell our daughter to make sure she sees the persons face if she is requesting something or asking something of another person so they know she is talking to them.

  67. I am a high functioning autistic man, and sometimes when I am sitting still I notice I start rocking. Do you know why some autistic people rock back and forth?

  68. Thankfully people don't insist on it as much in Germany, I was "only" forced to once by some idiotic teacher that thought she was some sort of hero/martyr in "helping", but really all she would do is use "that" tone to shout/talk to me about her absolutely delusional interpretations of me ("Saying that you don't think you're better than everyone isn't going to fool me!" "Stop flip flopping between being a narcissistic bitch and pretending to have awful self esteem, you SHOULD be somewhere in between!!!") and even with the whole looking at the nose trick I just couldn't.

    Now, how bad it is depends on who the person is, my little sister and such I can actually look into the eyes, if not for very long, people that seem threatening I usually just can't look AT, period.

    Interestingly this one would probably tell my mother quite a bit, I haven't really looked directly at her in years…

  69. 'There are lots of blind people that don't make eye contact and they have friends' or something like that, I have a blind friend that is scarily great at eye contact when we are sitting and talking

  70. I hate making eye contact! One time when I was at the hospital my doctor thought I was scared of my case manager because I wouldn't make eye contact with him. I had to explain that no I had Autism and making eye contact is hard for me.

  71. The real reason we don’t make eye contact is because there is a 1 percent chance that making eye contact will activate our eye lasers at whoever is speaking to us.

  72. Great video! Do you announce to others that you have challenges with eye contact or do you just keep it to yourself?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *