Thursday, July 21, 2011

His computer went black.

My autistic son uses the computer a lot.
Not only for games, but also to communicate with other people all over the world.
Long before the results of a research project about the socialising aspects of computercommunication on peope with an autism spectrum disorder were known I could see what happened with my son when he was communicating with someone with the assistance of a computer.

In face to face contacts he talks very loud and monotonous. His facial expression is minimal. He speaks, but doesn't really communicate. He just throws out what he wants to say. If he feels like it: over and over again. A real conversation with him is possible, but only for a short time and not often. Watching the facial expressions of others and interpreting them is almost a conscious process and takes a lot of energy.

But on the computer he's able to have real conversations. He isn't distracted by facial expressions, and there's no need to consciously make his facial expressions and gestures match what he says.
And people won't hold back because he speaks too loud. So he won't feel insecure.

Watching him "speak" with someone is sometimes very interesting. His facial expression matches the conversation and he takes the time to think about what he's going to say.

Well, today his computer broke down.
he used to be very irritated by it in the past, so I expected the need to use a lot of patience on my side, trying to calm him down.
But he stayed very quiet, so we could call the oldest (ICT man) who had time to have a look.
He took the computer with him and hopefully he'll be able to locate the problem and fix it.

I hope no new parts are needed, because we don't have the money at the moment.


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