Rick asks: How are the best ways for people to introduce themselves to you, talk to you, and interact with you?
I like talking to people. I am interested in learning about others and getting meaningful friendships. But learning to interact with people is hard work. I get nervous around people. This is because of lots of things. I mostly get nervous about not being able to meet people’s expectations about me. I am smart but my body is not obedient to my mind. It makes me look stupid, misbehaved, and foolish. That is why I am anxious in public. I can appear like I am rude and uninterested in you. Please don’t take my lack of eye contact and the way I walk away as a sign I don’t like you. I am not in control of my body.
I like when people can see past my weird behaviors and be patient to listen to me. Make me more comfortable by peaceful patience. Learning to be social is hard but I want it badly. Please say hi to me even though I look like I am not interested in you. I mean to say, “Hi, how are you?” but it won’t come out. Be patient while I type. Be persistent with getting me to learn about you. If I walk away from you while you are talking, it means my body is nervous and needs to move to calm itself. Please don’t take offense. I wish I could stop myself from walking away. You can follow me or wait for me to come back.
I love my relationships in school, church, at home, and on Facebook. I can communicate pretty well but I am slow. I think the Internet has been a wonderful thing for people like me. I can talk to many people at once. I can teach people about autism. I can write my friends letters and texts. My good friends are people who love me and accept my autism.
My friend Kevin loves to take selfies of us with my iPad!