Autism and communication is often difficult requiring interactions in an uncertain social world. An opening presentation offered practical advice and invitation for debate. During the presentation, there was coverage of the dreaded response “How are you?” , advise on writing tips and memorable writing objectives – The Seven C’s of Communication: Clear, Concise, Complete, Correct, Courteous, Concrete and Coherent.
The discussion which followed was insightful. Several in the audience used a variety of software to help with grammar and spelling. One member of the audience had used artificial intelligence to assist with writing. Pros and cons to each.
The autistic attitude to writing was particularly interesting. Writing viewed as an opportunity for the exchange of information, rather than develop social relations. This distinct purpose of communication between neurotypicals and neurodivergent individuals, provided a perspective on why misunderstandings may occur.
The audience also discussed the perils of using social media – the pressures of instantly replying, not knowing who your audience is, and likely exchanges with other users.
Overall, a theme emerged- an autistic preference for clear and literal writing, and technology is playing a greater role in communications.
Nick Stone, ALAG peer support facilitator, 6 June 2023