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2 min read

6 Icebreakers for Connecting with Others When You Have Autism

Millions of Americans have autism, and they live normal lives. Yet, communication and interacting with others can prove to be more challenging. Individuals with autism can sometimes have difficulty reading social cues or effectively communicating their thoughts and words to others. It’s sometimes natural for people to be cautious or introverted when meeting new people out of shyness or out of fear that they will get a certain idea of us that is incorrect. With these helpful tips and icebreakers, communicating with others will become easier and even more enjoyable. 

 

  • Don’t be afraid to disclose that you have autism 

Individuals with autism may be hesitant to tell someone else that they have autism out of fear of being judged. It’s okay to feel slightly uncomfortable speaking with someone for the first time, as we don’t know what their first impression of us will be and what they will think of us going forward. Letting them know that patience is appreciated as well can help reduce social anxiety and let the other person know that chatting with you might be difficult for you initially. 

 

  • Ask the other person their name and where they are from 

Despite being standard and basic personal information, this not only provides you with necessary details about the other person but also may make them more comfortable. Asking someone about themselves shows that you care and can make both people feel more at ease when talking. Even something as primary as their name can make you feel like you know them a little bit better than you did before shaking their hand. 

 

  • Offer to play something simple like 20 questions or another activity to get to know each other 

Although it may seem silly, playing something like 20 questions is a simple and fun way to get to know more about the other person without coming off as invasive. This can work whether you are meeting the person face to face or communicating virtually. Showing curiosity in other people’s lives, hobbies, or interests can encourage them to do the same for you and decrease barriers we sometimes naturally build when meeting someone new. Perhaps the person likes certain food or sports or has pets they like to spend time with. All information you would likely not know had you asked. 

 

  • Ask to exchange numbers if you feel comfortable enough- and chat with them virtually 

It can certainly be scary to ask someone for their number. If you get to a comfortable place with the other person, whether you are interested in a friendship or romantic relationship in the future, offer your phone number. This can make the other person more comfortable and trusting that you are reaching out to them for future interaction. Although in-person talking is always nice, it can sometimes be easier and less stressful to chat with someone in the virtual world. 

 

  • Get to know more about their career- ask what they do for work or what they would like to do 

A job is a large part of someone’s life. So, asking what they do for work can allow them to feel comfortable talking to you about where they spend most of their week. Perhaps they want someone to talk to about the stress they have within their job, or maybe they are unhappy with their career choice and are working for something else. Either way, it shows you care and makes talking easier the more you know about someone. 

 

  • Compare things that you have in common with each other 

Finding things that you have in common can help you to connect and bond with the other person. This often includes interests such as sports teams, hobbies, music, movies, and more. Offering up things that you like makes it easy for the other person to discuss their interests and see which ones may align with yours. 

 

Meeting new people can be challenging for anyone. Especially if you struggle with disabilities, disorders, or social anxiety. Trying new icebreakers can help ease the tension and stress that may accompany interacting with new people face-to-face. 

To check out a comfortable place to chat with others who may share those difficulties, visit https://hello-itsme.com/ today. 



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References 

"Autism Spectrum Disorder: Communication Problems in Children." National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 13 Apr. 2020, www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/autism-spectrum-disorder-communication-problems-children. Accessed 8 Jan. 2024.

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