Find out tips for getting together with someone with autism, including considering sensory issues, being flexible and making conversation
General Tips for a Get-Together with Someone with Autism
- Be considerate of sensory issues the person may have. For example, people may have difficulty with fluorescent lighting, may seek a quiet space, non-smoking environment or sitting on soft vs. hard furniture.
- Consider that the person might also have a sensitivity to strong smells. Avoid strong smelling cleaning products, scented candles or other room deodorizers, perfume and pungent cooking smells.
- Ask in advance if the individual has any other particular habits or needs that you can be prepared for. Do they have strong food aversions or preferences? If you have pets, are they comfortable with animals?
- Help engage the person in conversation, regardless of the topic. Conversations are important for boosting social skills and engagement.
- Recognize if the individual is feeling overwhelmed or needs a break to go to a quiet place.
- Be flexible and open-minded with your plans.
- For some people, a visual schedule of how you will be spending your time together with a clear beginning and end may be helpful.
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