There is a misconception that people with ASD do their best to avoid contact and do not need it – this is not so. They have a need for communication, they just behave in a special way and react in a completely different way than we are used to. They may not respond to cues, ask the same thing over and over again, or simply repeat what they heard (this is called echolalia). People with autism often appear detached and look “through you”, and cannot tolerate touch, noise, bright light or darkness due to hypersensitivity. To regulate their condition, they repeat the same movements (for example, wave their arms) or make monotonous sounds. This can be compared to how some people swing their legs or twist a pencil in their hand. If you are faced with such behavior, be patient and understanding – do not try to “calm down” or shame the person if it happens in a public place. Any calls like “quieter!” or “stop it!” will offend the person with autism and their loved ones and create additional stress for them.

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