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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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Restaurant Outing

By Khylil

I have been doing lots of things that make me more social, thus creating a better me for more realistic situations. So a few months back, around the end of my spring semester, I was at a hotpot restaurant and somehow, this setting has drastically changed my perspective on what was happening. I wouldn’t put it in the same category as actually going to the movies and then discussing the movie afterwards.  I heard things about it, but I never really took on the experience of it, and those fell under the line of “this is a brand new experience of getting together” and oddly, I can agree with that, the invitation of getting involved in something new, with other people who are also not familiar with it, and then have a conversation about it, and then casually talk about our lives.

I had to make time for myself and when one of my friends, from Temple’s Social Xchanges, wanted to go to a hotpot restaurant I had to find a way to make time for it.  To me it seemed to worthwhile but I thought it was going to be overwhelming because 1) we (a group of 12) were sitting in a very tight area, and some of us weren’t too sure about using the equipment. It takes time to adapt to those kinds of settings, but it was just suddenly, I noticed how it changed the whole perspective of how we were socially communicating with each other.  We had actual conversations and barely used our cellphones in this particular setting.

It was nice not using the objects that easily distract you in when going to the regular restaurant because you’re able to discuss your day and somehow the idea of using any sort of isolation method (cellphone, book, portable gaming device, etc.) seems unwise because there’s so much to do in a setting where you are cooking/eating your food around other people. Overall, I did kind of find it interesting that I really enjoyed being a little more social than usual by sharing  my dayamong others who were dealing with difficulties in their lives. This was a trip that I would more than likely take again with others pretty soon.

I don’t want to sound like I am trying to make anyone go to places like this, but I can definitely see how this might alleviate feelings of nervousness for those individuals who are extremely shy. Overall, it was something new for me and definitely something I would like to do again!