Hide messageView More

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Read More

Importance of Socializing

By Out-of-Sync Woman
A really good book is hard to put down since I want to know what’s going to happen next. It’s a great experience for my mind since it brings so many new ways of thinking and different perspectives. I’m incredibly grateful that I know how to read. I have learned so much and grown because of my experiences reading.
Reading is a fun way to escape everyday life for a brief period of time. Spending too much time on this activity is not good for me. In fact, it should be a small part of my life since there are so many other things I can be doing. I also need to put down my book and live my own life. Reading is a fantastic place to start but there are so many other things I can do to change myself and make a difference in the world. It’s too easy to isolate myself and not interact with people or not get involved in the world around me.
Learning how to participate in what’s going on around me can be done at a pace that’s comfortable for me. It can be done gradually and in fact, I’m more successful that way. What I don’t like is to be pushed or feel like I’m forced to do something that I’m not comfortable doing. I’m more likely to retreat or not trust or even want to interact with somebody if I feel rushed. When I was growing up I didn’t enjoy going out to eat because the person who would take me out to eat would talk to the waiter or waitress and ignore me. I felt like a third wheel. They said they were trying to teach me social skills but I’ve learned that I did enjoy their company. In fact, I grew to dislike waiters and waitresses since I was so frustrated with the lack of interaction with my companion. What I wish would have happened instead is that they would have focused on me and talked with me and spent less time talking to the waiter. I lack the skills of being able to express my displeasure. Speaking of social skills, being open to learning new ones, and practicing them is really important.
These days I feel like it’s even more important to keep my skills sharp since it took so much time and effort learning them in the first place. Yes I know it’s easier to stay home to read my books or play video games. I push myself to say hello to my neighbors and ask them how they’re doing. I try not to rush or be distracted when I’m listening. I try to use body language that shows that I’m listening and engaged. I make a point of calling my siblings, friends, and talking to my parents on a regular basis. I’m careful about how much news I listen to and try to pay attention to just enough to know what’s going on. I also exercise on a regular basis by walking around my neighborhood. We are all definitely socially distancing ourselves but that just means that we need to be more creative in how we socialize. Most of all, I just keep in perspective that this won’t last forever and that things will change and that will develop into a “new normal.”
I guess my biggest thing is to keep everything in moderation as no one thing should be the whole of your life. Keep a positive attitude, stay socially connected, try your best, and be kind to everyone. There are so many different ways of doing this and they’re all unique, just like each of us. Wishing everyone a safe and happy New Year!