• Greg Seers - Author

Why do we need to look the other person in the eye?

Aspergers syndrome & social expectations

Why do we need to look the other person in the eye? In our culture we seem to need to look one another in the eye, hug each other hello, or kiss or a combo or something.

COVID 19 may well have made it far more acceptable to not do these things from now on. People with Asperger's will not be displeased with this outcome. Unfortunately looking the other person in the eye is associated with integrity. Looking the other person in the eye has a balance I believe. Some people that never stop staring intently straight at you can be a little unnerving I find.

My thought is it is a balance of time of looking one in the eye that is considered "appropriate". Please remember this desired social practice is often not natural for a person with Asperger's and if they force themselves to do it it detracts from the far more important elements of communicating - not looking, but speaking and listening! Please bear this in mind and although first impressions may not fare well due to this social blemish your child should be rapidly accepted with a line such as "That's just Hamish".

If you wish to try to improve on the most common practice of looking to the left or right or at the ground then practicing looking at a person's earlobe can be a very good half-way point, not detracting from the child with Asperger's communication skills and seemingly adhering to social niceties.

I look forward to your suggestions.

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