Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Body Language

This post is a response to a comment from Anonymous:

Hi Philip! Since you are writing about some myths can you write about this? I hear very often that autistics have difficulty reading body language of those around them, especially in social interactions. But my personal experience is that autistics are very perceptive and often pick up on very small details. What is your experience?

I am very good at reading body language. I am good at reading facial expressions too. Many times I have to maintain my distance from people because I have too hard a time not getting distracted by small details like a fearful grimace or an unfriendly sneer. Those faces make me feel badly. I like faces that smile and relax. I am so soothed. I am sensitive to the moods of others. The hardest emotion to see is anger. It’s the worst because it makes me fear being helpless and unable to think. You should really control your anger around us. We can easily lose control of ourselves. In my case, I can get aggressive with people or injure myself. I practice staying away from angry people. It is good for me to be around positive people. Making life more relaxed and loving is good for me.

Copyright 2015 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.


  1. Empathy is the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions, and direct experience of others. It goes beyond sympathy, which is a feeling of care and understanding for the "feelings" of others. Both words have similar usage but differ in their emotional meaning.

    I think you will enjoy reading.

  2. I love this!! I recently went in to see a doctor to "officialize" my Autism diagnosis & was told it "cannot be autism" because I can "read non verbal cues" & "Autistics can't do that without intense, prolonged therapy to teach them how". I tried to defend myself & explain that I've spent a lifetime teaching MYSELF these skills & that I rely on them to fill in the gaps in spoken language (I'm bad with subtlety, casual lies, etc) but he wouldn't listen. He went so far as to tell me that the fact that I was so self analytical was ALSO proof I can't POSSIBLY BE Autistic. I'm now struggling to find some place I can go for a second opinion. :(

    I think I may have to print this out & mail it to him along with other literature - the guy seemed to only belive in Autistic stereotypes.

    1. i think many doctors don´t understand autism. mine did not. please listen to other autistics instead. body language is easy for me to read but hard for me to do. philip.

  3. hi Philip, thank you for posting about this. I am a mother of an 8 year old autistic child, and I myself am probably Asperger although I have been given the same line as Katherine above regarding why I can't be. but I am extremely sensory hypersensitive as is my son, so I can perceive what he does. and it is our experience that it is actually the neurotypicals who do not have empathy for OUR experience. And I think that because of that, and our problems communicating, they reach the erroneous conclusion that it is US who have the empathy problem. what do you think of that? it sounds to me like you are describing the same concept.

    we live in an alternate sensory world. they are just two different worlds that exist in parallel. they see us respond to stimuli they cannot see, we see them ignore stimuli that are right in front of their faces. we each think the other is crazy. I know what that world is like because I wasn't always this way. somehow we must show the neurotypicals that our world is just as valid as theirs, and not to be dismissed.