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alobaby
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04 Jul 2020, 9:31 pm

I've started to realize that APD has gotten in the way of my life quite a bit. I realized one of the major reasons I'd dislike going to work is because I'd have to talk to people. I do like talking to people minus the APD and social anxiety, but it just gets to be too much when I don't know the person. I also have a type of seizure (petit mal, staring spells) where I will basically blackout for a few seconds. My manager helped me figure out I do this whenever I'm talking to people, like my brain just can't handle talking to others, no matter how well I know them.

When I was still working, work was usually easy as long as I didn't have to talk to other people. I always felt really good as long as I was alone (even from coworkers). I always felt like I could get a lot done and it wasn't anxiety-inducing at all. Talking to people I've always had a hard time understanding them, almost as if they were speaking another language. I've had people tell me too that I have my own version of English (people eventually figure out how to understand me) and that I speak really really fast. I tend to have issues with cluttering. Even if I'm enjoying talking to a person, I'll have seizures, get really stressed out, and think to myself over and over again how I desperately want the conversation to end. It has gotten to a point where I avoid talking to people as much as I can and I'm terrified of someone coming up to talk to me.

Does anyone else deal with this? How do you cope?



starkid
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04 Jul 2020, 10:24 pm

Well I rarely talk to people for one thing. I also discourage people from talking to me; I don't bother looking at them when we talk, I don't ask them for more information than I want, I don't bother trying to mimic body language and facial expressions of interest, and I provide only brief answers unless I want to say more. This is my natural behavior, but I also use it to moderate excessive verbal input from others.

I no longer really have to work, but, when I did, I decided on a job I could do from home because auditory and visual sensitivity make working outside the home impossible. I learned the skills I needed by myself, at home, with cheap, used books, then I set up a profile on a freelancing platform and proceeded to build my reputation. I usually ignored or refused jobs that required voice chatting or phone calls. I also avoided jobs that required me to use audio work materials.

I was only able to take that career path because I was partially supported by welfare benefits, however. Before I began receiving those benefits, I was homeless for years. And I was still very poor even when I worked freelance. So in a way, I didn't cope so well with sensitivity to talking.

I live alone, so I have no one to talk to at home. I sometimes resort to email to avoid making phone calls.



alobaby
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06 Jul 2020, 5:11 pm

starkid wrote:
Well I rarely talk to people for one thing. I also discourage people from talking to me; I don't bother looking at them when we talk, I don't ask them for more information than I want, I don't bother trying to mimic body language and facial expressions of interest, and I provide only brief answers unless I want to say more. This is my natural behavior, but I also use it to moderate excessive verbal input from others.

I no longer really have to work, but, when I did, I decided on a job I could do from home because auditory and visual sensitivity make working outside the home impossible. I learned the skills I needed by myself, at home, with cheap, used books, then I set up a profile on a freelancing platform and proceeded to build my reputation. I usually ignored or refused jobs that required voice chatting or phone calls. I also avoided jobs that required me to use audio work materials.

I was only able to take that career path because I was partially supported by welfare benefits, however. Before I began receiving those benefits, I was homeless for years. And I was still very poor even when I worked freelance. So in a way, I didn't cope so well with sensitivity to talking.

I live alone, so I have no one to talk to at home. I sometimes resort to email to avoid making phone calls.


Oh that all sounds really good, I'm glad it has worked out for you! I would avoid jobs like that if I could, but I don't really have many options where I don't have to deal with the public.



PoseyBuster88
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06 Jul 2020, 10:56 pm

If you have an office job, try making a sign that says something along the lines of "working on a deadline; please email unless extremely urgent." You can't use it all the time, but it is good for particularly busy or stressful days. There is always SOME sort of deadline with an office job, so it's not a lie... ;-)

You could also ask for medical accommodations - see if your manager can have everyone on staff email you or text you instead of communicating verbally, give you tasks that minimize the need to talk to the public, etc. And see if you can wear noise-cancelling ear plugs if you think that would help you feel more relaxed?


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SocOfAutism
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07 Jul 2020, 7:52 am

Two thoughts:

1) Memorize some social scripts that steer all conversation to a polite end.

2) Does it help if you are in a visually clear area? Closing your eyes maybe?

Actually, a third thought:

3) Don’t try too hard to make conversations normal or to please the other person. If you are overwhelmed you could raise a hand and say something like, “I’m sorry, I have to get back to it.” People will learn that you can’t tolerate long conversations.



livingwithautism
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07 Jul 2020, 11:01 am

My hearing is fine but I have trouble making sense of what I hear.



Edna3362
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07 Jul 2020, 11:12 am

livingwithautism wrote:
My hearing is fine but I have trouble making sense of what I hear.

... This is also my problem.
On top of the possibility of unable and issues to recall what I've just heard and made sense of.


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alobaby
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08 Jul 2020, 1:26 am

PoseyBuster88 wrote:
If you have an office job, try making a sign that says something along the lines of "working on a deadline; please email unless extremely urgent." You can't use it all the time, but it is good for particularly busy or stressful days. There is always SOME sort of deadline with an office job, so it's not a lie... ;-)

You could also ask for medical accommodations - see if your manager can have everyone on staff email you or text you instead of communicating verbally, give you tasks that minimize the need to talk to the public, etc. And see if you can wear noise-cancelling ear plugs if you think that would help you feel more relaxed?


I have to resort to retail like the past jobs I worked at Walgreens and Macy's, but those are still really really good ideas and I love them. I haven't had many good experiences with people knowing I'm autistic, I'm too "high functioning" to need help apparently. I'm afraid to tell people I'm autistic, but I do appreciate the help, those ideas were all really good.



alobaby
Tufted Titmouse
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08 Jul 2020, 1:27 am

SocOfAutism wrote:
Two thoughts:

1) Memorize some social scripts that steer all conversation to a polite end.

2) Does it help if you are in a visually clear area? Closing your eyes maybe?

Actually, a third thought:

3) Don’t try too hard to make conversations normal or to please the other person. If you are overwhelmed you could raise a hand and say something like, “I’m sorry, I have to get back to it.” People will learn that you can’t tolerate long conversations.


Ohhh good idea! Any idea where I can get social scripts from? I'm not really sure, I think so, but then I get anxious I'm needed somewhere or someone will see me. I really like these ideas though. I'll try that third one though and see how it works, thank you!



PoseyBuster88
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08 Jul 2020, 4:00 pm

Could you ask your manager to work hours that are less busy? You could do more restocking shelves and less helping customers that way?


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alobaby
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10 Jul 2020, 11:23 pm

PoseyBuster88 wrote:
Could you ask your manager to work hours that are less busy? You could do more restocking shelves and less helping customers that way?


That's a good idea, thank you!