No Small Talk

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. For the month of April, I’ve been noting that it is Autism Awareness Month and seeking to give my readers a look at what it means to me to be an Aspie. I am hopeful that this will help us in being more aware of people who are labelled as “disabled” and better able to lead them to Christ.

Small talk is something really difficult for me. The idea of shooting the breeze with conversation just doesn’t make sense. Conversation I think is meant to lead somewhere rather than discussing my internal states necessarily. Of course, there are exceptions but even these I think are in the pursuit of truth. What is the right path for me to pursue? Why does my attitude to this situation say about my psychology? All of this is for the truth.

I recall a time when I was at a past job and was coming up front and someone asked “How are you?” I gave a non-verbal reply of some sort. The same was followed when asked afterwards “How did you spend the weekend?” The third question I was asked was “What are you reading now?” I immediately replied “Saint Augustine’s ‘On The Trinity.’ ”

This has several important facets for evangelism. In talking to someone on the spectrum, talking small will not be helpful to them. In fact, for me, I would be on my guard the whole time wondering who you were exactly and why it is you really want to know all this stuff about me. What difference does it make?

Another example of this was a recent time my wife and I each went to get hair cuts. Normally, I am quite quiet during such an event, but this time the Mrs. was with me and somehow, the lady cutting my hair started asking me questions about her. From then on, I could not be quiet as I went on and on and on about her and about how we met and just delighted in hearing how happy this person was about it. This was a subject that was of interest to me. Apparently, others knew how interested I was as when my wife was done one of her stylists said “Now go show Prince Charming.”

Thus, when you wish to talk to someone who is on the spectrum and who really is at the level where they are capable of verbal communication, is to somehow find out what they are interested in and be sure to talk about that to them. Someone can reach me, for instance, by talking religion, philosophy, games, Smallville, etc. Of course, you might not know something the Aspie is interested in that you’re communicating with. What do you do then? I’d recommend either seek to learn something about what they’re interested in or bring along someone else who has such an interest and let them do the job. Keep in mind that when sharing your faith, you are not obligated to be able to reach everyone. You must depend on others at times.

Small talk might be fine for some, but for some of us, it is a dread that we wish to avoid. Keep this in mind when dealing with those on the spectrum.

One Response to “No Small Talk”

  1. Forelight Says:

    “Some one asked my wife and me.”

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