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Thread on #autism, double empathy and #communication.

Most people are familiar with the idea that #autistic people are often direct when they speak and that this sometimes leads to misunderstandings, in a society like ours which values indirect communication.
There is much less discussion around non verbal communication (NVC) for #autistic people, apart from the stereotype "they just don't get it".
Many autistic people I know are in fact experts in NVC, because they've studied it in great depth.

Does double empathy apply here too?
I see many people who consider themselves 'experienced' in #autism who fail to recognise the most basic NVC from #autistic people.

Body language or behaviour which (to me at least) very obviously communicates distress or anxiety gets misinterpreted or ignored altogether.
This isn't #autistic people who "don't get" non autistic people, but quite the reverse, and when their NVC is not recognised, the implications for autistic people are serious.

They get some new labels: Challenging; Aggressive; Violent; Controlling being just a few examples.
This is unfair. If non autistic people really want to address behaviour which has these labels, then they should try understand the role they play not only in provoking it, but also in exacerbating it.
Learn to understand the NVC telling you #autistic people are under stress.
This is especially important for #autistic people who may not have access to verbal communication, whether that is a short or long term situation.
If you have an autistic person in your care or company then it is YOUR responsibility to try to bridge that gap as much as possible.
Don't blame them for their disability. Find a way to understand the NVC of autistic people and don't forget to take into account their differences in verbal communication too. There are many #autistic people who can help with this if you ask.
This is what making accommodations for disability looks like. Not imposing your idea of what should be happening, but instead investigating what could be happening to make things better.
Both you and the #autistic person will have an easier time as a result.

Worth a try?
Apologies for the poor numbering above, as so often happens I started with good intentions but kind of forgot halfway through and didn't notice until it was too late! 😁😁

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