Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Can somebody get that

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it lately, but I really, really, really don't like phones. I hate the expectation people seem to have that one should be available to "chat on demand". When I use a phone, it's strictly for the purpose of conveying and receiving information.

I'm always surprised when I run into an Aspie who doesn't feel that way. Recently, though, I was contacted by a social worker who asked if I would talk with a woman who was newly diagnosed and looking for autistic friends. She is blind and doesn't have computer access where she lives. So I said sure, have her call me.

We talked for around an hour, which is way too long for me. Being direct or blunt or whatever, I let her know that phones were not my favorite thing. I said that I would not mind talking occasionally, but that twenty minutes was as long as I could stand to talk. She said that she would not call again, as she felt she was bothering me". I tried to explain that I only meant exactly what I said, not that she should never call, but that I would only talk about once a week for twenty minutes.

Well, I didn't hear from her again, but two weeks later, another social worker emailed, asking if I knew anyone she could talk to. I don't happen to know any other autistic people who enjoy talking on the phone, but I said I would try to put the word out here. If anyone might be interested, please email me for more information. Meanwhile, the social worker is attempting to get the computer access and equipment she needs.


  1. I can't stand phone-talking either. So in these days of people talking on them in public places, I wonder if NTs have any better grasp of social niceties. No cell for me. If I'm not home, you can't reach me. Even then, I may not pick up. I used to uncomfortably linger on the line with family members, but in the past few years, I have made an effort to simply explain that I do not enjoy it. If they take it personally... well they're still family. Maybe it's a lucky thing i don't have friends, because they might be offended.
    anyhoo Bev, you did what you could. You were patient, polite and direct. You can't take responsibility for how she took it. I hope she finds what she needs.

  2. For me, phones are even more frustrating, as it seems my auditory processing is even worse than that of many Aspies I've encountered online. Thus, it's enough of a struggle just to make out what the person on the other end of the line is saying; add in the communication difficulties that give me trouble even in face-to-face conversation, and it's no wonder I prefer textual communication.

  3. I just spent some vacation days with my mother, who is somewhere on the spectrum. This morning we were talking about how much she misses a friend of hers with whom she used to work at a library. She has heard the friend is ill. So, she sent a postcard saying she would love to see her soon. A postcard! Instead of calling! But I understand, now, though I misunderstood her for decades.

  4. I'm always amazed at how people jump from A to B. I don't like the phone much either, a necessary evil, in a way. But I am very often surprised by how many people take my reticence to the next level—as in I don't like them or they are bothering me or I am unwilling to communicate. Truth is, I just don't like to talk. It really is that simple.

  5. One time I met this interesting guy in a group outing with friends. After days, I worked up the nerve to call him. He said when he answered, and believe me, I quote exactly, "I don't talk on the phone." I felt so rejected and thought of writing him off altogether. I gave it another shot in person, though.

    He and I have been married for 12 years and have two perfect children. One child is perfectly on the autism spectrum.


  6. I'm not great at phonecalls either. I tend to only phone for specific reasons, even if I call my mum I have to have some reason for doing so.

  7. Oh, hooray for you bink! I love your story. Open mind, open heart.

  8. I need my phone. If you've read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, my phone is like my daemon to me - i literally can't bear to not have it either somewhere on my body (pocket, rucksack etc) or within my sight...

    I think that for me it's because my phone is the only way i have of getting in contact with the majority of my friends, and my friends are more important to me than anything else in my life. Last year someone stole my phone, and i was almost suicidal because i lost the majority of my then friends' numbers forever. OK, a few people eventually contacted me, and i had a few people's email addresses, and through those i eventually recovered the numbers of about half of the others, but there are still people who i valued as friends who i have had to accept i will never see or hear from again. I now have my numbers backed up in a document on my computer, so if i was to lose it again it wouldn't be as bad, but (especially as, right now, i don't have the money to buy myself a new phone and won't have in the foreseeable future), it's still something i really, really don't want to happen...

    Also, i find texting incredibly useful - it's both a form of communication i can use when (due either to depression or to verbal skills going awol) i'm not up to actually talking to people, but still want to have some contact with someone, and a form of communication in which i'm actually on a level playing field with neurotypicals...

    I do wonder how different people's social networks must have been before phones. Presumably much more tied to geographical locality...

  9. i feel a little like shiva does about the phone (wanting it always near and being desperate if i lost all the nunbers), and i actually have fun talking to people on the phone... but i don't really like to CALL people other than my husband. i am perfectly happy if someone else calls me, though. by the way, if that person still needs to call someone, she could call me. i don't know if i know anything useful, but i wouldn't try. on my blog you can see an email and you can email me and i will give you my phone number. i am an unofficial aspie.

  10. oh i found your email address. will contact you there.

  11. It would depend. Get two aspies talking about their mutual soecial interests and they will talk for hours until one of their phones batteries dies. xD


Squawk at me.
Need to add an image?
Use this code [img]IMAGE-URL-HERE[/img]