You may have noticed that children and adults on the spectrum really don’t enjoy eye contact so much. So early on it was a big focus. School was focusing on it, we were focusing on teaching him to do the ‘socially acceptable’ thing and look at people when he spoke to the. Our place started to sound like a scene from ‘Kath and Kim’, “Thomas look at me… look at moi, LOOK AT MOOOOIII!” Even when people came to visit we started doing it to them, “Hi, want a wine, look at me, look at moi!” And then when he did start to look at people, well it was then it was like he was staring with his eyes open wide and that was REALLY weird. (Like this photo!)
So, I said ENOUGH… let it go…. Thomas will look at you when he is comfortable. People who know Thomas know that you get the best out of him by not going in for the big, eye to eye, face to face conversation (true for all boys/men I think?). My friends are actually often surprised by how talkative he is on the phone (it takes out the pressure of face to face). In fact I am wondering if we should have introduced walkie talkies into our house a long time ago!
So then he get older and now he is 18 and when he talks to me all I hear is ‘Mum, look at me… Mum turn your face to me and look at me… listen to me Mum… look at me’
And now to teach him I can still hear him when I am not directly looking at him constantly! 😉