Should ASD kids be taught to look others in the eye?

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Should ASD kids be taught to look others in the eye?
Poll ended at 30 Jun 2009, 1:45 pm
Absolutely, they gotta learn! 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Not if too stressful... 67%  67%  [ 16 ]
Just leave the poor dears alone! 25%  25%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 24

JanetFAP
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27 Jun 2009, 1:45 pm

Its good to hear what ASDers have to say about raising ASD kids. What do you think?


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claire-333
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27 Jun 2009, 2:22 pm

I voted not if too stressful. I think it is important to teach them why eye contact is viewed as important to others. Otherwise, I think it should not be pushed.



JanetFAP
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27 Jun 2009, 2:50 pm

claire333 wrote:
I voted not if too stressful. I think it is important to teach them why eye contact is viewed as important to others. Otherwise, I think it should not be pushed.


I think frequent scanning for nonverbal communication in NT conversations is an important skill to teach. This eye contact thing seems to be over emphasized when the big picture (hand gestures, posture, facial, tension, physical distance, etc.) is part of the picture and more confortable to do. The big picuture of NVC is an intellectual activity while eye contact is visceral.


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27 Jun 2009, 3:40 pm

It´s quite a hard question - it depends on the situation, and the methods. In the end it´s a question about how much we are "allowed" to be ourselves, and how long you can break social codes until you become an outcast. And that is difficult; you want to be yourself, but you know that the person you are isn´t accepted fully....



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27 Jun 2009, 4:27 pm

I voted not if too stressful. It is good to teach eye contact or how to convincingly fake it. This is an NT world, and NT's place a high value on looking someone in the eye for some reason. It is a shame that not being able to do such a little thing will get someone denied a job, but that is the way it is.


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27 Jun 2009, 5:47 pm

If not eye contact itself, there are a lot of ways to fake it and give the impression. Looking at the nose or mouth works for me.



claire-333
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27 Jun 2009, 5:56 pm

JanetFAP wrote:
I think frequent scanning for nonverbal communication in NT conversations is an important skill to teach. This eye contact thing seems to be over emphasized when the big picture (hand gestures, posture, facial, tension, physical distance, etc.) is part of the picture and more confortable to do. The big picuture of NVC is an intellectual activity while eye contact is visceral.
Can these things be taught? I am quite the people watcher and very interested in these things, but still seem quite clueless. I know putting hands on the hips is a sign of agression and crossing arms across the chest is a signal is a person is closed off. However, I do not notice myself doing these things nor pick up these cues from others regardless of what I have learned from books. As for the eye contact, I am really liking other members answers of teaching how to fake it. I think that is the best some might be able to do.



JanetFAP
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27 Jun 2009, 7:04 pm

claire333 wrote:
JanetFAP wrote:
I think frequent scanning for nonverbal communication in NT conversations is an important skill to teach. This eye contact thing seems to be over emphasized when the big picture (hand gestures, posture, facial, tension, physical distance, etc.) is part of the picture and more confortable to do. The big picuture of NVC is an intellectual activity while eye contact is visceral.
Can these things be taught? I am quite the people watcher and very interested in these things, but still seem quite clueless. I know putting hands on the hips is a sign of agression and crossing arms across the chest is a signal is a person is closed off. However, I do not notice myself doing these things nor pick up these cues from others regardless of what I have learned from books. As for the eye contact, I am really liking other members answers of teaching how to fake it. I think that is the best some might be able to do.


I think you are all right about ways to fake eye contact. But (if you would indulge me the focused, intense interests so enjoyed by such as us) who typically teaches kids with autism??? NTs. NTs pick up on NVC intuitively. They know that spectrum kiddos seem out of sync, but I don't think they conciously know how they themselves are using NVC and so don't try to teach it. Some how eye contact has gotten all the attention and is frequently insisted upon, but it is just one small piece. And it is the most uncomfortable piece for many of us.

I think NVCs must be teachable. I attended a conference this spring where Jeanie McAfee (pediatrician & mom of daughter Dx with HFx) spoke about using acting lessons to teach NVC. She has developed techniques with a professional acting teacher based on regular thespian activites. It was pretty cool. Then recently I watched a BBC production of a Thomas Hardy novel (Under the Greenwood Tree) and was, for the first time, able to see how the actors used NVC to show various thoughts and feelings. I think they were exagerating a bit, but still it was for an NT audience. I am now very excited about this!


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buryuntime
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27 Jun 2009, 7:16 pm

No. If the child isn't making eye contact at all it's because it's uncomfortable for them to do so. I remember a school I went to was trying to get me me to make eye contact and it was horrible. I needed to ask a question and most of the time I'm unable to ask for help and that was also being worked on. So once I do instead of helping me with the question they treat me badly by making me put my hands in the appropriate place and try to make eye contact (everytime I did I involuntarily looked away) and also trying to make me speak more clearly. All at the same time. 8O I got out of that school worse than I was when I entered :(

unless the behavior is disrupting or inappropriate no need to teach or try to enforce eye contact and similar behaviorsssss.



JanetFAP
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27 Jun 2009, 7:21 pm

Hi buryuntime, I grew up in Bloomington...what town are you from?


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28 Jun 2009, 12:35 am

I voted "Not if too stressful" , but I wish there had been an option along the lines of "yes, if done as part of overall social skills training", or some such.

The barometer for me is whether any kind of training for Aspies is furthering social adjustment and therefore helping the child to feel better about himself/herself and to better cope with the world.



Michjo
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28 Jun 2009, 1:20 am

I voted no. I think it depends on the individual, but not on how much stress tehy would be under by learning eye-contact.

Some people are seen as cute if they do not make eye contact, whereas some are seen as nefarious plotters.

Some aspies can burn holes into people's faces with their consistant unwavering emotionless stares, whereas some aspies as seen as just being "interested" when they do so.

Wether they learn or not, should be based on how the world see's them.



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28 Jun 2009, 6:26 pm

Don't make him do it... if you want the kid to have a miserable life.

If should be FORCED on any age, not just kids. Aspies need to be taught to look into people's eyes, and they also need to have classes where you are forced to socialize
and learn about teamwork,
learn how to relate to other people
and learn entitlement,
and have self-confidence,
to have a chance to make it in life.


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30 Jun 2009, 3:38 am

Definitely not forced.

I think explaining why eye contact is a good thing and also why staring is a bad thing would have been useful for me, but leave the child to do this when ready, if ever.

Teaching a way to fake it is useful, I often appear to look but fog my eyes so the person is blurred. Also looking at someone from a distance as you are approaching if you know you won't be able to do it when they are closer to you, so at least you have made some brief eye contact.

The good thing about trying it out is that you can sometimes find that there are some people whose eyes you can look into :D



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30 Jun 2009, 1:06 pm

Kaleido wrote:
I often appear to look but fog my eyes so the person is blurred.


Since my long distance vision has begun to blur I've noticed that being in crowds of people and talking with individuals has become much easier.

Looking people in the eye was always an issue, i often made eye contact when not necessary and didn't make eye contact when typically necessary. "Making eye contact" also usually translated into glaring at someone.

I have a very light prescription and just got glasses but find they only get used for driving. When talking with someone I usually take them off and find conversations much easier. People who know me say there's a huge improvement, they can't tell i can't see them very well and it appears as if I'm making eye contact and not glaring.

The main reason eye contact drives me crazy is the whole AS focus issue. If i'm looking at you IM LOOKING AT YOU. All focus. Rather than listen to you, which is done with the ears and not the eyes, which is probably just me as an AS taking things literally.


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2leftfeet
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30 Jun 2009, 11:08 pm

Quote:
The main reason eye contact drives me crazy is the whole AS focus issue. If i'm looking at you IM LOOKING AT YOU. All focus. Rather than listen to you, which is done with the ears and not the eyes, which is probably just me as an AS taking things literally.


That aspect of Aspie interaction with others had never occurred to me before. I think you have a very valid point.