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Social Communication

There are so many things that we learn by watching and imitating others. So much of our social behavior is shaped by experience and knowledge. This remains an area of difficulty for so many people on the autism spectrum and Ben is no exception.

We were so thankful that Ben learned to read and write and how it allows him to participate in social media. The hard part is the oversight required to be sure that he communicates clearly and effectively. We have had many a conversation about what type of communication is appropriate for the work place and the chain of command. Ben would love to go right to the CEO with all of his thoughts and ideas and skip the people he directly reports to. He also would prefer to text everyone and had to learn that email is the proper channel to communicate in the workplace.

Ben is often impatient as well. He will text and if you don't respond right away, he will send a Facebook message, and then try to call or facetime. He doesn't understand that there are times when the other person is just not free to respond.

One word picture that resonated with Ben is that conversation is like a tennis game. You can't serve the ball constantly and not allow the other person to return the ball. This visual helped him to realize that he needs to "hit the ball" by sending a text and then wait for the "ball to be returned to him" by receiving a return text, before he hits again.

There are also the natural consequences of over communicating. We all have those people in our friend list that we feel are always posting or messaging and we tend to ignore a lot of the communication. Ben needs to learn as well that he is at risk for losing connections if he is not careful in his communication.

We have encouraged Ben to use the record feature of his phone if he has something to share and is afraid he will forget it later. This way he is able to express his thoughts and we can hear all about it when it works in the schedule.

Love you more,


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