Interacting with autistic people can be a task.
While the symptoms of autism vary, there are common ways to socialize with these wonderful and unique people.
When you interact with someone who is autistic, it is best to approach them from the side. Their peripheral vision will pick you up and they will not be alarmed when you begin to talk to them. Also, do not make any sudden movements or sounds that will startle them. Autistic people have heightened senses and if frightened, it will take them some time to calm their nerves. Whenever I take Brian to someplace public, there will be a strong chance he will cover his ears. Remember to not reach out and touch them when you first interact. Some autistic people will feel uneasy if you are a stranger and reach out to touch them.
When the conversation first starts, remember to smile. It may not be much, but I have yet to meet a person with special needs who did not smile back at me.
Autistic people have a difficult time reading social cues. They do not understand slang or sarcasm. They take everything in a literal sense. Talk in direct sentences. For example, “First, put on your shoes, then we are going for a walk.”
Autistic people will also make very blunt observations. You never have to wonder if an autistic person is lying to you.
Once you have gotten their attention, engage them. Ask questions. Once you find out what they enjoy, you have made a real connection with them. You may be impressed with what you hear.
Interacting with autistic people is a unique experience. You get the chance to dip your toes into a very different, but very interesting world.