How do I interact with an adult who may have Asperger's in a way that makes them feel comfortable?
June 29, 2012 11:29 AM Subscribe
How do I interact with an adult brother of my girlfriend I am meeting for the first time... who may have Asperger's/autism spectrum...... in a way that makes them feel comfortable?
posted by anonymous to human relations (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Meeting my girlfriend's adult brother for the first time at a family event. He has not been diagnosed with Asperger's or autism, but many in the family suspect so. Regardless of the diagnosis or lack of, the brother has been described to me by several family members as life-long poor social skills, will not look at you or carry on a conversation and/or prefers to be left alone. I'm very outgoing myself so I'm worried about "coming on too strong"/making him uncomfortable but I also don't want him to feel ignored or shunned by me if I don't chat him up like I usually do with other people... I would like to get to know him in a way that is comfortable for him but I don't know what kind of non-verbal feedback to look out for from him. Can you please give me some tips on how to best interact with him without pestering him? I know he loves computers and gaming, but I am not skilled in computers and the last game I played was tetris =). I'm thinking of reading a few articles in Popular Science or something computer tech orientated like that to try and think of a topic that's current that I could potentially ask him questions about.
What type of feedback could I look out for that would indicate perhaps I should leave him alone for the time being, AND what type of feedback could I look for that would indicate that it's okay to keep talking to him even if he might seem disinterested? **Please be kind in your comments, I'm not trying to diagnose him but the way he is described to me by family is such as I posted above. I'm just trying to figure out a way to get to know him at his own pace, but I am afraid of not knowing how to gauge whether I'm making him uncomfortable or not.... I'm afraid of just ignoring him completely because I think he is bothered but maybe I might mis-interpret his actions as disinterest but it's actually not and it's ok for me to continue?
I hope my question makes sense?