In a world of blind people, you speak a person's name to get their attention and let them know that you are talking to them. Nuances of voice are important. Eye contact is not, and neither is facial expression.
In a world of deaf people, you turn your face directly to them, so they can read your lips and facial expression, and possibly attract their attention using touch.
In aboriginal culture, speaking with eyes downcast, and not looking directly at the speaker is a mark of respect.
Do autistic people really need to be trained to 'look at my eyes'?
Is there any reason why it should be unacceptable for an autistic person to listen and speak with their face averted?
Because it is the currently accepted way in the 'real world'? Because it makes other people feel more comfortable?
Why shouldn't the rest of the world just get used to a bit of neurodiversity?
Diversity is all too hard. Homogenous is easy - everybody the same.
Speedy is not ASD. His brain wiring, however, means that translating audio (right brain) into language (left brain) ain't easy - he can listen, and he can look, but both at the same time means neither works well.
OK. So real-life implications?
How often have you heard teachers and parents say "Look at me while I'm speaking to you?" And why? Because, of course, if you are not looking at the speaker, then you must not be listening.
Speedy needs to avert his eyes, to concentrate on what he is hearing.
If Speedy is reading or writing, he has to switch off his ears.
The teacher then stands at the front of the classroom, and says "Alright children, finish up now, and get out your maths books".
And Speedy is in trouble for ignoring the teacher, and not following directions.
What a troublemaker - he deliberately ignores the teacher when he's being spoken to, and doesn't follow directions. Off to behaviour management classes with him.
Maybe if he wore dark glasses and carried a white cane?
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