Eye contact & how it's controversal

Eye contact & how it's controversal

Postby Toni.tlc » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:53 pm

Eye contact is said by some to be uncomfortable & highly distressing for those with autism. So if autistic people themselves explain how they can be attentive without making eye contact. Then how does SR explain their emphasis on teaching eye contact? It's a question that I have been asked & feel comfortable in my answer but wish to do SR justice in my explanation. So my question is how would SR answer?? Please help :))
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Re: Eye contact & how it's controversal

Postby Suki » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:32 pm

Hi,
Eye contact is such a vital life-skill. Typical people use it all the time to check out how others are feeling, what they are thinking, whether they have acknowledged someone's presence, and indeed whether they are paying attention... and so much more. Have you noticed how "shifty" people look when they glance at you and quickly look away? I know someone with Asperger's who was suspected of shop-lifting just because of this behaviour. Have you ever tried crossing a busy road without checking by making eye contact with a driver in slow-moving traffic to make sure he/she has seen you? Eye contact is clearly not a luxury for survival.

The wonderful thing about the Son-Rise Program is that it invites eye-contact, never demands it. Our children give eye contact only when they choose to, and we teach them how rewarding that is by celebrating the sense of social connection it creates, encouraging them to build on the frequency and length of their looking, but always under their control, without coercion or bribery. By teaching them to give eye contact, we are offering them a gift, which every Son-Rise parent recognises in those beautiful moments when their special child looks into their eyes. Wow!

Best wishes,
Suki
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