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An adaptation of Anonymously Autistic’s explanation about why autistic people struggle with eye contact


I don’t always need to look at you to pay attention to you.

Actually looking at while while you talk can be very distracting to me.

It may look like I am playing with something in my hands while my gaze is someplace far away, but I’m here working to process things in my own way.

Looking at your face doesn’t help me.

My brain doesn’t naturally pick up on expressions.

This got me in trouble a lot growing up, especially in school.

Often, I look at someone’s hair or mouth when I need to fake it.

Through I may not look at you while I’m talking, it is not a sign of disrespect.

I am working very hard to verbalize my thoughts.

It’s not easy for me to focus on my words and your face at the same time.

To the outside world, I seem disinterested and aloof, but I promise I am here with you, working things out in my own way.

So much is happening below the surface.

When I appear to be off in my own world, I’m not as far away as I seem.

Based on a story by Anonymously Autistic

Originally published: April 26, 2017
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