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Olivia_H
Snowy Owl
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Joined: 4 Aug 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 144
Location: USA

08 Oct 2019, 10:39 am

I know a lot of autistics struggle with facial expressions, and I thought I did too, but I discovered recently that it's more complex than I thought. I've noticed that if I'm not presented with a social situation, for example if I'm watching a documentary or video of some kind, I can read the facial expressions better (I think) though I have no evidence to back it up given that I'm not directly communicating with the people I'm watching.

However, if I'm in a social situation and expected to talk and socialise which I really struggle to do, the attention I have to put into socialising and talking takes up all of my resources and peoples facial expressions stop being obvious to me. For example, my partners parents came to where we live this weekend, and I noticed that because I was focusing on trying to socialise or to come across normal, my brain wasn't able to calculate what their faces were saying whilst they were talking, and I stopped being able to respond accordingly to what their faces were saying so I probably made wrong comments or gestures.



Bravo5150
Veteran
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Joined: 12 Aug 2019
Age: 40
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08 Oct 2019, 10:44 am

Do you think it is more of a social skills issue or a multitasking issue. It sounds more like you can only focus on one task any way you go whether it is reading faces and talking or other tasks when it is two or more things including driving and listening to the radio.



Olivia_H
Snowy Owl
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Joined: 4 Aug 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 144
Location: USA

08 Oct 2019, 11:06 am

Bravo5150 wrote:
Do you think it is more of a social skills issue or a multitasking issue. It sounds more like you can only focus on one task any way you go whether it is reading faces and talking or other tasks when it is two or more things including driving and listening to the radio.


Maybe a bit of both? I'm not sure.



darkwaver
Velociraptor
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Joined: 30 Jun 2019
Age: 51
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Posts: 458
Location: Southwestern US

08 Oct 2019, 8:39 pm

I know what you mean, and I think that for me now, as an adult, it feels like more of a mutitasking issue - I can see the stronger expressions if there are no distractions, although I usually process them too slowly to respond in time. As a kid though, I don't recall seeing facial expressions much at all. Mainly I learned to rely on tone of voice for social information.



lvpin
Deinonychus
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Joined: 26 Oct 2018
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Posts: 359

09 Oct 2019, 6:18 am

I always get the impression that i know what is going on but, in reality, I am often wrong. You would think I would understand this the moment I got told I was in the middle of what would be called Aspergers, but no, I fully realised when my mum began to repeatedly check I knew what people were thinking and I kept on getting it wrong. The same thing was happening with me interpreting body language in books, thinking a characters' being uncomfortable because of a crush for hatred towards the object of his affection. Sometimes I just plain can't tell, usually when I'm stressed but I can't really trust any interpretations, especially my negative ones. I can get some basics though but in groups this can go out of the window because of the stress .When I feel comfortable enough with someone I just ask because trying to get it through the lens of an anxiety disorder just doesn't work.