Taking my teenage autistic brother out for dinner, what should we do?
August 26, 2013 7:36 PM Subscribe
My well-meaning boyfriend offered to take my 18-year-old autistic brother with very low social skills out for dinner to celebrate his graduation. We're not sure what to talk about with him.
posted by JoannaC to human relations (37 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend generously volunteered us to take my 18-year-old brother out for a graduation dinner since nobody else is going to Then about five minutes after making the invitation, he exhausted all the usual conversation topics. We're still going to take him out, but neither of us are quite sure how to keep a conversation going with him.
N is a sweet kid, but his conversation skills are extremely limited. As a kid, he would memorize facts and recite them to people when he wanted to be in the conversation. He had two years of social skills classes and got trained out of that, but he is not much of a contributor to the interactions. Boyfriend has already explored several topics with him:
- Video games (N only plays one, and it isn't one with a storyline or anything boyfriend can relate to)
- School (he is in a program for next year but it has not started yet so he didn't have much to say)
- Friends, social life (N likes 'just hanging out')
It was like every time we tried to start a conversation, he had a one-word answer and that was it! He is a nice kid but given the age difference (I am 18 years older than he is and we have never lived together) I don't have much to go on either. He seems happy that we offered to take him out (he confirmed it with me about 7 times before we left the party; he does seem to repeat things when he has nothing left to say) and we're happy to do it. But I'm not really sure how to get the conversation going and keep everyone comfortable. Any suggestions?