I am truly afraid of eye contact it just feels way to personal. I cannot look someone in the eye. I don't have anything to hide or am a afraid I just feel as if it is impossible to look strangers directly in the eyes.
18-21, F
4 Responses Jul 22, 2007

We have been told that our unconditional acceptance of our Aspie son has enabled him to avoid many of the side-effects of A.S. such as depression. So, yes, I do think that parents who deal with their "eccentric" children appropriately make a difference. But you really can't blame people for trying to encourage their children to be "normal". We live in a society that has certain norms, and as much as we would like more tolerance and acceptance of people who are different, the reality is that being "normal" can be a huge advantage. Parents tend to want their kids to have every advantage they can get. <br />
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Things are beginning to change as we are faced with cultural diversity, and the need to be the same as everyone else lessens, to a degree. <br />
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As the parent of "the weird kid" I can see both sides of it, and it is a difficult thing to deal with.

I just recently recognized a lot of autism-spectrum traits in myself. Folks, I am thirty years old! I know that I was...odd... as a kid; I wonder what would have happened if my folks had done something about it. As it is, they raised me to categorically reject a lot of the behaviors that are so comforting to me... just to appear "normal." Like, sometimes I just need to rock, or tap on something, or make some other safely repetitive motion. But the way I was raised taught me to fear appearing "abnormal" above just about anything else.

I was thinking that. My son with A.S. has had to be taught mechanically to make eye contact.He doesn't enjoy it but he knows it's an important part of human social conventions and he wants to be accepted as human. <br />
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Having him has taught me some interesting things, and this may be the most interesting one of all. In some cultures it is a sign of subservience not to make eye contact (i.e. women don't make eye contact with men, inferiors don't make eye contact to superiors) etc. But the vast majority of human cultures treat direct eye contact in the same way as "the open hand". A handshake began as a gesture proving no weapon was concealed in a closed hand. It's a gesture of good intention.<br />
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As a result of this, even if you ARE 100% trustworthy and honest, you run a risk of people ASSUMING you have something to hide if you don't make eye contact. For that reason it's a god reason to take steps to overcome this.

What you describe is a common trait of someone on the autism spectrum. Have you thought of researching Aspergers or "NLD"?