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News from the Hoffmann Foundation Autism charity London - Hoffmann Foundation

Psychology of Communicating

Written on 5th May 2015 by Hoffmann Staff

I know from personal experience, that people with autism may find it difficult talking to new people or communicating in general. The aim of this article is for me to share some of my own experiences and to provide some helpful tips which may be found useful in day to day life.

In the past when I’ve been on a day trips alone or to an art exhibition, I’ve found myself feeling rather lonely. I found a great way to overcome this is to find an appropriate and confident way of approaching people. I first started out by asking a willing participant if they would be able to take a photo of me, which I would be using for my personal art projects or even for social media. This became a great way of breaking the ice and would provide opportunities for me to have conversations with members of the public. The one thing I will stress is that some people do not always wish to stay and have a chat or even initially stop for you. This is not a reflection on you. It is however, just simply some members of the public do not have the time to stop and therefore these individuals should be left alone once they have said no.

I found it important to explain why I wanted them to take a photo of myself. Once I explained that I was doing this for artistic reasons, it was quite common for the conversation to continue. I would initially always try to keep any conversation to a maximum of 5 minutes. Different occasion led to me to discuss a wide variety of subjects, some of these became a regular occurrence. These being;

* The weather

* Sport

* Location

* Positive news stories

* Occupation


Through making myself talk to members of the public, I have found myself far more relaxed in scenarios where communication is important. When you yourself are calm and relaxed, the person you are speaking to will be the same. This makes for a much more pleasant experience for both parties involved. 

by Oliver Chan

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