Look At Me

I started reading Look Me In The Eye:  My Life With Aspergers last night.  I didn’t get very far, it made my heart hurt so I had to put it aside or forgo sleeping entirely.  I’ve been reading elsewhere that it isn’t good to ask an autistic child (a child with autism?) to make eye contact to ensure they’re listening.  I am definitely guilty of this, I ask G to look at me before I give him important instructions.  I don’t make him look me in the eye, but still.  Today I had an opportunity to talk with him about it.  I asked if it is comfortable for him to look at my eyes and he said no, it is not comfortable.  Then just to see what else is and isn’t comfortable I asked about looking at my nose, ears, forehead, etc.  All are uncomfortable to G.  I asked if there was anywhere that was comfortable for him to look when he needed to listen, expecting him to pick something off in the distance, but he said my mouth.  I confirmed by asking again and it seems he prefers to look at someone’s mouth when he needs to listen to what they’re saying.

It was really cool to be able to talk with him like this.  I know I should take him at his word, but still I worry.  Is it ok to have him look at my mouth when I need his attention?  Is this something that helps with auditory processing?  Maybe I should work harder to come up with some other way to confirm I have his attention?  The one thing I know for sure is that he’ll be able to grow up and write a companion memoir –  “Look at my mouth:  my mother was nuts.”

Published in: on October 5, 2008 at 3:46 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. When we first started we were very much encouraged to seek eye contact by the experts. It was very tough and made me feel pretty uncomfortable.

    Later I found a different expert who suggested that ‘general body orientation’towards the audience was easier / better. That’s what we aim at these days and it’s nothing like as stressful.

    Best wishes

  2. I’m betting that your son’s book will be entitled: Look at my mouth: Mom knows best.

  3. yes, all I heard for the first ten years was “tell him to look at your eyes”

    “Evan, look at my eyes so I know you hear me”

    now I realize how painful that must have been for him.

  4. I think it’s beautiful that you had this conversation with your son. Beautiful. 🙂

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