How to Communicate with an Autistic Person

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Skip the Small Talk

The concept of small talk is of no particular concern to someone with autism and that they often struggle to engage in it. However, bring up a subject close to their heart and you will find that it is almost impossible to draw the conversation to a close. Try to accept that it will be a struggle for them to hold their concentration when discussing things that do not capture their attention.

Explain Clearly

A 2011 Notre Dame study found that when it comes to autism communication strategies, those with autism not only struggle with varying inflection and tone in their own speech, but they also struggle to catch on to the meaning of tone in others. “It’s not that they have trouble producing changes in tone of voice. It’s that they have problems understanding it and how it’s meaningfully used,” explains study researcher Joshua Diehl, an assistant professor of psychology at the university.

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