Communication can be a complicated thing, navigating the social/communication world as an Autistic person.

Communication can be hard. All of these rules, words, people, subjects, it just sometimes all jumbles up inside my head. Sometimes I long to speak with people, to fit in, to understand all of the things that they talk about, but the inner me gets overwhelmed by the sound of a radio playing and people laughing loudly.

I’m learning rules that I have never heard of before. I never knew that it was a “rule” to say “Hello, how are you?” and “Goodbye” to someone you know. I thought it was optional, that I could just choose to look at the person and go on with my day. It simply did not register in my Autistic brain that I was supposed to do that.

Autistic people, like me, can struggle with communication and fitting in socially. Our brains are different. My social file in my brain is limited, I did not come programmed with the social skills of a neurotypical. Others sometimes get frustrated at me with this, because I don’t know a communication rule, or I’m struggling with anxiety and so, therefore, I do not do what they expect me to do.

I do not know if I will ever be able to socialize like a neurotypical. But, I would like to be able to talk to people. It just may take more time for me to learn how to communicate well. I have now learned how to check out at the front library desk in my library. This is a big thing for me because I had a lot of social anxiety about going up to the desk and talking to a person.

Each time I do check out at the front desk, it becomes easier for me. I also have talked on the phone a couple of times. It’s all about baby steps for me, one little step at a time. Social skills may not come easy, and I may not be able to socialize like a Neurotypical, but I do want to improve my social skills as an Autistic person. It just may take more time.

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