I’d say one of the most damaging things my ASD does to my life is my struggle to smile at/with people.
ive heard that when some people with ASD experience eye contact the flight or fight response centre in our brains is overly active compared with a neuro-typical person... making things like eye contact, smiling, listening, anxiety very difficult.
any one else?
I have a flattened affect, according to my diagnosis report. I had to look that one up. Basically it means I don't smile, I do but not easily, basically I can be enjoying myself but showing no actual sign I am.
The reverse is nervous smiling, this usually happens when I'm getting attention, good or bad. My wife telling me off has if it didn't set off a meltdown left me smiling and that does down well.
Once I was with a group of people who said I'd be good at helping them as a youth leader, I couldn't think of anything worse but my wife told me later when I asked why she didn't help me out as I surely was giving out signs, she simply said "what signs, you were grinning like the cheshire cat!" I wasn't aware, but it did explain why the good natured banter continued for some time. Apparently smiling while avoiding eye contact is being bashful!