Top 20 questions to ask an autistic person
This is a very sensitive subject. The person with autism should be able to communicate with you and understand what you’re asking for the most part. Your language has to be simple, but not childlike, and concrete. It’s easier to answer yes or no questions, but you won’t get a clear picture of the person you are talking to. The following is a list of questions that might be put to an adult with autism who can communicate verbally.
1. Do you know you have autism?
2. Do you know what autism is?
3. Are there things that really bother you or frustrate/ annoy you?
4. Are there things that you are afraid of?
5. What kinds of things are you really good at? Can you play music or sing, for example?
6. What are your hobbies/ favorite things to do?
7. Do you have a job? What do you do?
8. Where do you live?
9. Do you remember what it was like when you were a kid? Remember what it was like to be a kid?
10. How many friends do you have?
11. Do you have any brothers or sisters? Where do they live?
12. Do you get along with other people? No fighting?
13. Do you find it difficult to spend time with other people?
14. Do you know of anyone else in your family who has autism too?
15. What was it like going to school? Did you get to sit in a classroom with other kids or did you have to go to a room with differently abled kids?
16. What kinds of things do you think are funny? Who makes you laugh?
17. What is relaxing to you?
18. What do you dream about most?
19. What do you do when people make fun of you or don’t have nice things to say about people with autism?
20. What’s the meanest thing anybody ever said or did to you?
Granted, these questions all assume that the person you’re speaking to is less than the higest of high functioning autistic adults, so you may want to match the language level of the person you’re talking to. You just have to remember not to use idioms, similes, metaphors or other comparative forms of speech that an autistic person might not understand or recognize. They might not be interested in engaging in conversation with you either, and those with verbal skills aren’t shy about letting you know that.
You probably won’t recognize that you are speaking to an adult with autism at first without someone telling you. Really high functioning adults fool experts too. If they have verbal skills, they are very good talkers, but might not always talk about the same things you want to talk about nor answer your questions without going off on a tangent of their own. If you want to engage them in conversation, you almost have to do it on their terms. You’re trying to step into their world, not the other way around.
Find more questions and answers on Autism.