People With Autism Describe Why Eye Contact Can Be Difficult – The Mighty

Why don’t Autistic people like eye contact? Why is eye contact hard for Autistic people?

I can pretend to make eye contact for a moment by looking at someone’s nose but I have to take breaks from the eye contact. Sometimes I need to fake eye contact but I do not think forcing an Autistic person to make Autistic is healthy for the Autistic person.

I only like to make eye contact in close intimate situations and don’t do so or even fake it unless I have to – normally at work.

The Mighty Site is one of my favorites. Please subscribe to their YouTube channel for more great videos. I can take NO credit for this video.

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21 thoughts on “People With Autism Describe Why Eye Contact Can Be Difficult – The Mighty”

  1. I’ve noticed that even when I’m watching a film or TV programme, if they do a close-up on someone’s face I have to look away. Like the woman on the video said, it feels yucky.

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  2. Yes, I can understand why you would do that. For me though it’s those eyes just staring at me out of the screen, ugh. For some reason I can often predict what a character it going to say just before they say it, it really annoys my daughter, lol., I cannot do that in real life though, just watching a film or TV show.
    On the subject of women with autism, I’m 99% certain I got it from my Mum, one of the loveliest women I have ever known in my entire life. I am the only one in the family that takes after her, my brothers and sisters taking after our Dad, and like a lot of people they only have a few traits nothing more. But she was always the only person who ‘got’ me, she used to comment on how very alike I was to her Dad, character-wise, so she probably got it from him. But reading a lot of what you all have to say about autism from a women’s side of things, I certainly recognise my Mum.

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    1. Thanks for sharing about your mom. I can definitely see the AS in my own mother, grandmother, and aunts. My Grandfather also is an engineer and that crowd tends towards AS tendencies for sure. The women in my family all share similar experience. I DEFINITELY think Autism is genetic.

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  3. I have suspected Aspergers. I can only make eye contact with people I know well and trust, but sometimes I even struggle with them. I don’t know why …it’s definitely selective, but with some people i just can’t at all. Sometimes I get bad vibes from people.

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  4. I try and make eye contact with people, but looking at someones expressions and trying to listen to them at the same time can be too much to process and then everything gets muddled up. I have also got strategies that make me look like I’m making eye contact when I’m actually not! I love reading your blogs! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Even as a child, I always felt eye contact was like an invasion into my soul, like I can feel whoever is looking into my eyes is silently judging my inner self. Of course, abuse exacberated all this. Today, I can do fleeting glances or fake my way.

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  6. Thanks for sharing that video. I relate a lot. It feels soul-bearing to lock eyes with someone and it’s very uncomfortable. Even squeamish at times. The only time I can comfortably make eye contact is if we’re both genuinely laughing about something, and only for a second or two. 🙂

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  7. Question from a curious mama with a 7 year old non-verbal broccoli eater with a recent AS ‘diagnosis’ (although I’ve known all along) I hope you can help…Is the use of peripheral vision used often/preferred? My little one may avoid eye contact (although this is improving a little) but she seems to use peripheral vision very often…and doesn’t miss a trick!…except when she’s preoccupied or focussing intently on something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for asking, always happy to help. Remember we are all unique but many of us use this peripheral trick or only sneak little glances at things especially if we are feeling overloaded by a situation or type of sensory input. Also – for me I can listen and my imagination or memory builds or fills in a picture for me so looking with my eyes is not always necessary or helpful. Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

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  8. As nonautistic person…I find eye contact awkward with almost everyone, almost all of the time. Saying it feels like someone is able to see me naked would be a good way to put it. I usually try to focus on a facial feature like unique make up, a mole or an eyebrow when I have to fake it but even then it depend on how overbearing the persons nature is and how bad my anxiety is that day to begin with.
    My son who is incredibly uncomfortable with eye contact and well, one on one social interactions for the most part in general, has a hard time communicating with individuals without getting overwhelmed or without the other party assuming he’s lost interest or not listening because he seems lost in space. As parents we don’t force him about eye contact extcept on lying about ‘the big things’ (theft, personal and other peoples safety/harm, bullying, etc). If anything it’s improved our ability to discuss the importance of honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have always wondered about that part and it is so lovely to have first hand accounts of why eye contact is difficult. I think it is interesting that I have a problem with eye contact as well (I think it’s from PTSD and anxiety disorder) and many of the reasons listed here are the reasons I struggle as well. Thank you so much for sharing this video, it was really insightful.

    Liked by 1 person

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