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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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Mumble

Approach or Be Approached?

Approach or Be Approached?  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you/your child with ASD find it easier to have some form of conversation if:

    • People approach you first and ask direct questions
      15
    • You have to approach people and 'open' the conversation
      1
    • Neither/both - they are as hard/easy as each other
      2


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Mumble   

Well it's self-explanatory really :D - Do you (with an ASD) or your children (with an ASD) find it easier (in a comparative sense - these things often are not 'easy') to have a conversation with someone if they approach you (one to one) and ask you a direct question (and not, the how are you trick type, but proper specific questions! :shame:) or if you have to go up to someone (one to one) and begin the conversation by talking to them? :unsure:

 

The reason I ask is that, provided they really are specific direct questions and none of this feelings stuff, I can do quite well at the someone coming up to me and talking, that is until I misunderstand something non-literal and everything goes wrong :rolleyes:

 

However, the thought of having to go up to someone, especially someone I don't know/doesn't know me, and start a conversation of even ask a question often fills me with dread.

 

I'd always put these differences down, at least in part, to my ASD.

 

However, someone very unhelpful told me these situations were exactly the same and as I was talking to her (she approached me and asked a series of direct questions) I both couldn't be autistic :shame::wallbash: and couldn't possibly have any problems with approaching people and making friends. :tearful:

 

So I'm interested to know if this is an ASD thing - do you/your children find one or the other harder? :unsure:

 

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I find it hard to initiate conversations especially when it is someone that I don't know well. I find it easier when someone asks me questsions and directs the conversation, I never know how to initiate or end conversations. :whistle: I find it even harder when it is a person of authority and I'm having to ask for something/directions etc. :unsure:

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Mumble   
However, someone very unhelpful told me these situations were exactly the same and as I was talking to her (she approached me and asked a series of direct questions) I both couldn't be autistic :shame::wallbash: and couldn't possibly have any problems with approaching people and making friends. :tearful:

Just thought I'd add, this woman is nothing to do with this forum - she was a doctor in the hospital I have just been discharged from.

 

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Tally   

I think the doctor must have been thinking of a stereotypical "severely" autistic person who does not speak at all. There's a huge difference between answering direct questions and going up to someone and befriending them. If there was no difference, this doctor would now be your friend.

 

I find it hard to approach someone and start a conversation because I don't know what to say, and then I get anxious about thinking of things to say. I find it easier if I am asking something specific, for example, going to ask a colleague a question or phoning to book an appointment. Even then though, I still plan what I am going to say before I make the approach or pick up the phone.

 

I find it easier if the person can ask me the questions, but then I worry that I am talking about myself and not talking about the other person enough, and appear selfish. The friendships I have formed have been with people who have led the conversation when we first met.

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However, someone very unhelpful told me these situations were exactly the same and as I was talking to her (she approached me and asked a series of direct questions) I both couldn't be autistic :shame::wallbash: and couldn't possibly have any problems with approaching people and making friends. :tearful:

 

Why do people do this!? :shame: So frustrating.

 

With regards to the question, I voted neither. Both sounded not a lot of fun :whistle: However after thinking about it a bit more (it takes me a while to decide, lol) I think it'd probably be easier to have someone ask me a direct question. If for example they asked me about dogs, I'd quite happily chat to them! But if they asked me something like 'what's your name?' I'd just answer and the conversation would die out immediately. So yeah, if it was something specific that'd probably be a bit easier :)

Edited by Thompsons

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Emma_74   

its so much easier if someone comes to me i wouldn't know where to start!

 

Emma

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bid   

In all my life, I have only ever 'made friends' once with someone on an equal footing, as it were.

 

Everyone else has approached me and sort of decided they wanted to be my friend.

 

Bid :)

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Mumble   
If there was no difference, this doctor would now be your friend.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

 

if they asked me something like 'what's your name?' I'd just answer and the conversation would die out immediately.

I really struggle with this - I try to be very polite and answer the question exactly as asked, but get it wrong for saying the 'right' thing :unsure: And then you try to learn what you are supposed to say but of course the context changes, and the next time someone asks, they really do just want to know your name. :rolleyes: It doesn't help that I don't get the cues (even the non-subtle ones that I can analyse and 'get' later - for instance I was recently asked "What's your name?" and I replied (this is made up to protect my identity BTW) "Jane". To which the asker said "Jane?" (with a raising of their voice at the end), I didn't say anything as I thought they were repeating me to confirm what they had heard, but on realising the silence was too long for that, said, "yes, Jane". Of course they wanted me to say "Jane Smith". :oops:

 

It would seem then that the general consensus is that it's easier (not easy...) if someone else initiates/structures the conversation? That makes total sense to me, I'm just struggling to understand why this person couldn't grasp that there was any difference. Do NTs find a difference between the two?

 

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bid   

I have to make a really conscious effort to ask reciprocal questions with my colleagues, e.g. they ask how my family are doing, and then I have to remember to ask the same back.

 

It is getting easier to remember, but I don't think it will ever come naturally without a lot of conscious thought.

 

This is partly why I tend to stay silent in groups, especially if I don't know the other people.

 

Bid :)

Edited by bid

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Mumble   
I have to make a really conscious effort to ask reciprocal questions with my colleagues, e.g. they ask how my family are doing, and then I have to remember to ask the same back.

 

It is getting easier to remember, but I don't think it will ever come naturally without a lot of conscious thought.

I recognise that and make the same conscious effort (oh, and then get accused of not being autistic as I'm having a 'conversation'... :shame: :shame:), the difficulty I have is knowing when to ask the reciprocal question - I worry about saying something too soon and not saying enough about me and by the time I've worried about that, I worry that I've left it too long to ask a reciprocal question at all so don't say anything, then worry that I've been rude or am taken as rude. :( Sometimes you can't win and however much I study others, I just can't 'get' that flow and ease of conversation thing - I have plenty to say but I'm useless at knowing when to say it so tend to keep quiet, which is a very self-perpetuating behaviour.

 

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Tally   
I recognise that and make the same conscious effort (oh, and then get accused of not being autistic as I'm having a 'conversation'... :shame: :shame:), the difficulty I have is knowing when to ask the reciprocal question - I worry about saying something too soon and not saying enough about me and by the time I've worried about that, I worry that I've left it too long to ask a reciprocal question at all so don't say anything, then worry that I've been rude or am taken as rude. :( Sometimes you can't win and however much I study others, I just can't 'get' that flow and ease of conversation thing - I have plenty to say but I'm useless at knowing when to say it so tend to keep quiet, which is a very self-perpetuating behaviour.

 

I recognise the trouble you have with reciprocal questions! I reckon that too late is better than not at all, because at least it shows you are interested.

 

I think the "active but odd" group probably get by a bit easier in this sense than people who choose to keep quiet, because at least they are saying something to people and appearing like they want to be friends.

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Emma_74   

i totally agree with Bid

 

have to make a really conscious effort to ask reciprocal questions with my colleagues, e.g. they ask how my family are doing, and then I have to remember to ask the same back.

 

It is getting easier to remember, but I don't think it will ever come naturally without a lot of conscious thought.

 

This is partly why I tend to stay silent in groups, especially if I don't know the other people.

 

Emma :thumbs:

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pearl   

JP talks to peeps far more than me or mr p :lol: He's got to know the name of our next door but one neighbour, we'd never have found it out otherwise! I suppose he'd be in the "active but odd" category, in that his curiosity drives him to communicate with people, & his immaturity gives him a lack of self-consciousness that most 19 year olds don't have. It does tend to be about his own interests/obsessions, but he has learned quite mechanically that you ask folk how they are etc. & is regarded as a polite young man.

 

Where it goes wrong is with boundaries. He had to be told, for instance, that when someone comes back to work after being off sick you don't ask them what exactly was wrong, as that is too personal. He was upset when this happened but has learned from it & it hasn't happened again.

 

The reciprocity thing - as an NT, yes I too struggle to remember sometimes to ask questions back.

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Sally44   

My son (age 8) has had to be taught rote learnt scripts to initiate interaction and play. Without that input and support he would still be on his own in the playground. He wants to join in, play and make friends, but he doesn't know how. If I told him to go and make friends with another child he might just stand near them, or look at them. He definately wouldn't say anything to them because he wouldn't know what to say. But if he is approached by another child or adult and is asked a question, or asked if he wants to play, then he usually answers yes - which demonstrates to me that that is what he would choose to do if he had the choice and skills to achieve it.

That doctor sounds very unprofessional and ignorant of autistic spectrum disorders.

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alanm   

I still find it horrendously difficult to approach people I don't know and start conversations, I'm best when another person introduces themself first, or if there's a mutual 3rd party to make said introduction, naturally I've added my vote.

 

Not surprised that as yet there haven't been ANY votes for approaching first.

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I know my aspie son finds it infinitely easier if someone else initiates a conversation. We once went to see a neuro guy who, for some reason, shook my son's hand then just sat there, looking at my son, waiting expectantly. Call me daft, but I would expect someone to follow a handshake with an introduction, no? Ooo....it didn't go down well with my boy, he freaked a bit, having the man stare at him for ages!

 

Me, I wade in there and confidently introduce myself and ask rote questions. When I've started new jobs, college courses and such, I just go for it. But it's actually covering up my fears and insecurities....I don't really enjoy it, but I dislike the whole 'sit-in-silence-glancing-at -the-other-newbies' situation even less. Makes me very nervous, receiving those little chicken-peck peeps from other people. I've been told I come across as very sociable, and I do enjoy company, but in these instances, there's a big, wobbly, red knot of tension and anxiety in my chest till a day or so has gone by......A lot of people in my last class detested the new-age exercises we spent some of the first days of term doing, kind of team building things but I quite liked it as it gave our socialising a purpose. We spoke about the task in hand and it took the pressure off. And theres a lot you can glean from a person in that kind of situation- are they bossy? Quiet? Funny?

Good stuff!

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Mumble   
We once went to see a neuro guy who, for some reason, shook my son's hand then just sat there, looking at my son, waiting expectantly. Call me daft, but I would expect someone to follow a handshake with an introduction, no? Ooo....it didn't go down well with my boy, he freaked a bit, having the man stare at him for ages!

Hmm, such actions must be part of neuro docs' training, me thinks... :whistle:

 

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