Succeeding in College with Asperger Syndrome: A Student Guide

By John Harpur; Maria Lawlor et al. | Go to book overview

6 Communication
Getting Along with Others

In this chapter we will describe some of the most important skills we use in everyday life, our communication skills. This chapter is a hinge around which the recommendations in the other chapters turn. There is a slightly more technical flavour to the text here, but as we are preoccupied with communication strategies and skills, that is inevitable. These skills help us pull our social lives together. They help us get along with each other and they are everywhere. The question you may ask is: How does all of this affect people with AS? In the first place, social interactions are probably confusing from time to time. Comprehending the point of requests, the verbal innuendos, indirect asides and body language of other people is confusing. During a conversation with another student you may wonder: What does he want of me? Understanding what other people expect of you is far from trivial. It is hard to achieve consistency in your own understanding of other people’s behaviours. Yet, second, we must acknowledge that without making some effort to understand these behaviours much of ordinary social interaction will pass before our eyes unnoticed. Finally, ‘quality’ social communication revolves around the participants valuing the relevance of the various contributions. A conversation is more than an information-sharing exercise – I tell you something and then you tell me something in exchange. It is also a means of getting to know someone and letting him or her get to know you. The big question is: Can someone with AS reasonably apply the basics of quality communication skills?

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