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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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Neutral Specialist

By Khylil

So the last thing I wrote about is how I often would observe things that people would do in a group conversation; which is something I do too often. Of course, it’s just because I do not know how to put myself in a group conversation at ANY time because I either come in way too loud or just leave myself out of the entire conversation…, but I stay in the area of conversation. I can’t say that I do not like staying silent in settings like these, but it sometimes gives me a lot of attention when I DO have an input on certain topics and I usually come up with an opinion that doesn’t lead to a yes or a no response.

At first, I really thought this was just some an unusual habit I had where I don’t really know how to answer something. But really, it comes off as a kind of behavior where I can comfortably help out, or just notice the little things around the environment whilst the conversation is ongoing. This left me to believe that possibly developing a neutral take in life has made me more aware of my surroundings.

I didn’t really like the fact that I would never have anything to say in certain conversations that had more than two people because I didn’t really think that what I had to say was worth hearing sometimes. Over time, I recognized that I was so focused on what was being said that either 1) what I said would come off as complete out of the conversation because it may come off tired, if it was a sit-down conversation or 2) give a response that seemed off, when it was just opinionated…, but either way, I didn’t understand what was happening until I got older and loved things like mental and literal (pencil and paper) note-taking.

However, I actually enjoy being the silent one sometimes…, to the point where I think that there’s almost nothing wrong with being left out. Being able to focus outside of what’s being discussed between the conversations outside of what I am directly involved in or just being able to have a say in what I think needs to be fixed to better improve what’s being said is a benefit to being the listener in conversations.

I have spent a good course of this year training to be a Certified (Autistic) Peer Specialist (CAPS). I have seen some benefits of doing it and didn’t mind being that person who gives his opinion whenever anyone’s interested. I think there will be times where I will learn how to speak up, but this was a huge learning lesson for me. If there’s a situation with an arguing conversation, and a statement is going to offend someone, then I will have to stand up and play my part…, but for the most part, I prefer to keep my statements like how I keep my life: relaxed and neutral.