Often, we discuss what bothers us or what we dislike others doing. This can bring about positive change. However, stating what we need and prefer is important too.
One of my most popular post continues Ten Things Not to Say to Someone with Aspergers. For a month or so now, I have wanted to write the opposite side of that post. What are some comments that can be helpful to someone on the autistic spectrum? Thus, this post was born. Hopefully, you will find it informative and relevant.
One final note before the post: These are comments that I appreciate. Others might be annoyed or offended by them. Please do not take these as broad generalizations of what people with Aspergers like. This post is not meant to be a list of perfect things to say but instead is suggestions of how to talk with someone who differs from you because of Aspergers.
Anyway, here is the list of ten things to say to someone with Aspergers:
- You are a great friend. Making friends can be difficult for me. Knowing that others appreciate my role in their life is a huge relief and blessing.
- Is my music too loud/are my lights too bright/etc? Too much of any stimuli of any sort irritates me. Lights are brighter, sound is louder, touches feel stronger, etc. When people are aware and sensitive to this, it touches me.
- I am frustrated with you because… I need to know why people are upset with me. Understanding why they feel a certain way does not come naturally. More explanation is very helpful.
- You are not making me mad. This situation is/I feel tired today/etc. Do not assume that I know you are ok with me. Usually, I take everything personally. It takes someone telling me that something else is affecting them for me to know what is happening.
- Tell me more about that. Most people get irritated when I talk about what interests me. Sure, I can go on for too long on certain subjects. Knowing when to be quiet is something that I am still learning. However, if you want to care for me, simply talk with me about areas that make me excited.
- May I give you a hug/touch you/etc? Please ask before just touching me. Otherwise, I might freak out. My bubble of space is pretty small until I trust you.
- Do you want me to stay with you at the party? Going to social events is very anxiety producing for me. When someone stays this me, I feel much more comfortable.
- Does that make sense? Yes, I might be smart, but that does not mean I understand what you are saying. If I look confused, helping me out a bit by repeating yourself in a different way is a welcome gesture.
- You look drained. Would you like some time alone or with me for company? That is so considerate! I might be tired but lonely. Giving me the option shows that you really care for my well-being.
- Well, I think that you are amazing! Sure, this is simple. However, being told that I am special to someone else always lifts my mood and gives me hope that I am not a complete weirdo.
What are some comments that you have heard that you would add to this list? Please let me know.