I can make eye contact, but sometimes it is difficult. I have trouble making eye contact with these things (1) making eye contact with people I don’t have a close relationship with, (2) making eye contact when I am upset, in trouble, or being challenged to do something uncomfortable, and (3) maintaining eye contact in a conversation.
It is important not to force eye contact in autistic people. Eye contact can be difficult for several reasons. Eye contact can cause anxiety. It is almost like having a person look into you. It can also be difficult because of the little movements that people make with their eyes. Eye contact can also be difficult because there is so much information to take in with the eyes, that the autistic person becomes overwhelmed.
I still struggle with eye contact. I do not like making eye contact with a person that is sitting out in her car waiting to pick me up for extra activities. I look down at the ground. Eventually I become comfortable enough to make eye contact.
In a conversation it is easier for me to talk if I don’t have to make eye contact all the time.
This is why eye contact can be difficult for me sometimes.
photo credit: Peter Grifoni <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/46157548@N06/29134343710″>Charlotte</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>