I thought it might be a good idea, for people who are looking for some advice, to explore the difference between being shy and being autistic.
There may be some individuals who suspect that they might be somewhere on the spectrum because they have difficulties with socialising and are not clear about the real differences between simply being timid and having autistic traits.
What are the key differences between someone who feels shy around groups of people and autistic people who have communication issues? How can you tell the difference?
Lost my way wrote: "What are the key differences between someone who feels shy around groups of people and autistic people who have communication issues? How can you tell the difference?"
An autistic person won't necessarily look shy. They may have learned to imitate social behaviour. They may seem cool and detached, aloof even, if they are analysing the situation and the behaviour of other people. They may not interact at all, or they may talk endlessly about a topic of interest to them. They may look bored, or leave the room at intervals to seek either a quiet space or something of more interest to them. They may misunderstand things said to them, or have a problem explaining something.
But I believe that the key difference with autistics, despite their different personality and behaviour traits, is that in a group social situation they won't start to relax after a while, as you would expect someone who is just a bit shy to do. I think that an NT would relax when they got a feel for the group and their place in it. Autistics don't "fit in" properly in a group, and stay feeling uncomfortable - it can even get worse as time goes on and we get tired of working at trying to interact in an acceptable way.