Things to know about my Aspie.
She may not look you in the eye. Its not her being disrespectful, she just physically cannot do it. As she starts to get more comfortable with you, she may start to look you in the eye more frequently.
She may look like she is staring off into space and not listening to you. I can assure you however, that she is listening. She is always listening! She hears EVERYTHING and remembers everything. She will remind you if you said something and even changed it a tiny bit.
She is a rule follower. If theres a rule in place she will follow it, and she will remind anyone who does not follow the rule. Rules and structure are very important to her. The issue with this is, if you don’t want her to something specific you will actually have to say “ When we are doing X, we cannot do Y” This is hard sometimes, but not saying the word “don’t” goes a long way. You have to tell her what to do instead of what not to do.
Everything is very black and white. There is no gray area with her. It is either is or isn’t, theres no maybe, which sometimes makes sarcasm difficult for her to understand.
She is honest. If you want to know how those new jeans really look on you – ask her! If she thinks they look bad she’s going to tell you. If she thinks they look good she’s going to tell you that, too. If in her honestly, she upsets you she will not understand why you are upset.
She has social anxiety. She is going to be very anxious in a new and unfamiliar setting. You can alleviate this by giving her as much information up front as possible. Tell her what restaurant you want to go to for dinner so she can look up the menu online a head of time. Tell her, “ This is new to me, too so I am not sure what to expect but I think X could happen or Y could happen.” Usually, thats enough to calm her nerves. Thinking that someone is upset with her causes her anxiety to worsen. She needs everyone to like her.
She is loyal and kind. Sometimes I think she is loyal to a fault. When someone is unkind to her, it seems like she tries even harder to be friendly with that person.
She is very sensitive. She is very hard on herself and is easily frustrated. Her feelings are usually very intense about things she is passionate about. Her feelings are also hurt very easily.
She can appear to lack expression. The more comfortable she gets with you the more of her expressions you will see. Unless, she is frustrated, then you will easily see that being expressed.
She is a visual learner. For her seeing is believing. Showing her the right way to do something is much better than just telling her.
She will ask a lot of questions. I think there are 2 reasons for this. The first one is that I think her brain never quits and its constantly running a million miles an hour. And secondly, I think knowing the answers to some of her questions, lessens her anxiety.
Food is her worst enemy and best friend. Food and mealtimes is one of our greatest frustrations, there are VERY few foods she will eat. There is no way to force her to try new ones, she won’t. If she goes too long without eating, she will begin to shut down. Keeping her fed is a must.
Social situations are hard for her. She CANNOT read social cues. She does not know when its her turn to talk and when its not. She CANNOT “read” your moods.
She is not very adaptable. Any big changes will cause great anxiety. It is best to forewarn of any changes if at all possible.