Why am I not afraid of the phone?

Usually, I avoid making and taking phone calls, like the plague. Now that there actually is a plague going on, I love the phone. Why?

#1 There are not a lot of other opportunities for social interaction, so phone calls are now a welcome interaction.

It used to be that normal life afforded me enough social interaction, so the addition of a phone call was more than I could take.

#2 The likelihood that someone is available when I call is very high. In the past that was not generally so.

In general, people with autism don’t like ambiguity, so we like to spend our time on things that we are pretty sure will work out as planned. So making a call that ends in no connection is not something we want to spend our time doing.

#3 Because of #2, I generally don’t need to leave a message.

People with autism are generally poor at leaving messages – either we ramble way too long or leave a message that is so short and cryptic the other party is left wondering what is going on.

#4 Because of #3 I don’t have to wait to be surprised by a return call.

People with autism generally don’t like surprises, even good ones.

#5 The phone calls now are mostly just to connect. There is only one agenda, not several that need to be woven together.

People with autism like to focus on doing one thing at a time.

Typical phone calls used to require several agendas to be woven together. For instance, there was the agenda of connecting personally with the other person. Then there was the agenda of the ulterior motive for the call, e.g. planning an outing together. It is challenging for a person with autism to know how to navigate between those different agendas in a “normal” way.

While I am not enjoying the fact that the world is fighting a pandemic, I am enjoying how simplified life has become.

May we all use this time to really conenct with those we love.

Published by

Heather Holbrook

I found out that I have Autism upon having a son with the same "disorder." Ironically, I was voted, "Most Likely to Succeed," by my high school classmates. But had I been born now, instead of 40+ years ago, I would have been considered a different sort of special. This site was started to encourage other Autistics and the people who love them .

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