Life Is Strange Analysis Part 3: Making It All Matter In the End

Hey guys!  I’m finally back with the third and final part of my analysis of the video game Life Is Strange, where I will be tackling one of the most controversial areas of the whole game.  It plays as honestly one of the major factors of the game that pulls the whole thing down from a lot of its credibility to a lot of people.  I am talking about the ending.  At this point, I am completely shying away from being spoiler-free and will be discussing some very significant details having to do with the end of the game, so please don’t continue if you don’t want to know the end of the story.

Spoilers start.  At the very end of the game, Max Caulfield (and you the player) have two choices: save the town of Arcadia Bay from a gigantic tornado and sacrifice Chloe so that the tornado doesn’t even happen, or sacrifice Arcadia Bay so that Chloe can still live.  After all the different decisions you made throughout the game, it has all come down to just two major event-shaping decisions.  This is actually where a lot of people had a problem with the game.  How did any of your decisions throughout the game mean anything if there’s only two endings lined up in the end?  How does any of it matter if either everyone except Max and Chloe die or Chloe dies and time resets so most of what happened didn’t happen?

These questions can easily be overturned by pointing out one simple but very, very deep fact.

Max (and the player controlling her) still went through everything this game threw at her.  Let’s examine the ‘Sacrifice Chloe’ ending first.  While going back to the moment near the beginning of the game when Chloe was shot and killed means the other characters lost their experiences, Max hasn’t lost hers.  Ultimately, this game was Max’s story.  It was all about discovering the dangers of messing with time and other people.  The other students at Blackwell were there to serve more as plot devices than anything else, and Max learned so much about them whether the experiences remain in the timeline or not.  While the events of the timeline are gone, Max’s character growth is not.  When the game ends, we can go on believing that Max will make the right decisions moving forward.  She will start doing things differently, one of those things being not hugging the past so close but choosing to look forward to the future.

Another example I can think of for this kind of storytelling and character development is X-Men: Days Of Future Past.  Wolverine goes back into the past to prevent the murder of the creator of the Sentinels, and by doing so, it changed the present in more ways than he had expected, which in a lot of ways meant changing the timeline so that certain key events throughout previous X-Men films didn’t happen (the whole thing of X-Men 3 as an example).  While people may declare that the previous X-Men films are now completely meaningless because of this, it’s important to realize that Wolverine still experienced the previous films.  He still has that knowledge and he still grew from it.  His memory was not erased in the process of coming back into the present after leaping into the past.  I always believed that most of the X-Men films leading up to that movie was Wolverine’s story anyway.

If there’s one thing I can criticize about the ending, it’s the fact that if you choose to sacrifice Arcadia Bay and Max and Chloe leave the town behind and go wherever they want to go, won’t the storms follow them?  If Chloe was truly fated to die, wouldn’t the storm be a curse that Max and Chloe won’t be able to leave behind until the right choice is made?  These are questions that I had with that ending, adding more confusion to the second ending than what is already there.  If you choose to sacrifice Arcadia Bay, it’s a signal that Max (and even the player) learned nothing throughout the course of the game (even though the game really slams the point over your head during the last hour of the final episode).  It’s also an indicator that the ‘Sacrifice Chloe’ ending is actually the canonical one (proven further by the fact that its a longer, slower ending.

What’s that famous saying?  ‘Life is a journey, not the destination’.  The journey is about the journey itself, not the finish line in the end.  It’s the experiences that matter, and even if they’re made irrelevant, you don’t forget about them.  Everything that Max experienced throughout the game is something that will stay in her memory, even if it doesn’t remain in the memory of others, which actually gives Max something that nobody else has.  Life is a journey, and it is indeed strange.

Life Is Strange Analysis Part 2: The Character Of Chloe Price

 

I wasn’t joking in my last article when I said that, to me, Chloe Price from Life Is Strange is the best video game character I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know.  Revan from Knights Of the Old Republic would be another great one, but one of the biggest reasons I love the character of Chloe so much is because of how grounded she is.  Allow me to explain.

When we first see Chloe, Max Caulfield doesn’t recognize her, and for understandable reasons.  Over the years, she has completely changed her physical appearance, and in a lot of ways, her own personality.  Her father died when she was younger and her mother marries someone else that she doesn’t like at all, her best friend Max practically abandoned her and didn’t write back whenever Chloe wrote letters to her, and her newer best friend Rachael one day disappears without a trace.  It is at this point that Chloe feels completely and hopelessly alone.  She gets mixed up in the wrong crowds, falls into a drug addiction, takes medication for depression, and changes her appearance much to the dismay of her stepfather.

In more ways than one, she has become a different person, and Max notices this when she comes back into her life.  She realizes how much of her friend’s life she has missed while she was gone, and she carries the guilt of having not been there for Chloe when she really needed someone.  The game effectively shows us exactly how Chloe has changed, and we get to feel that change through Max’s eyes.  When we first get to explore Chloe’s room, Max realizes how much Chloe has changed and we “feel” it, even though we as the players personally have never known Chloe up until now.  Because of this, it just shows how effective and powerful the writing and the atmosphere are.  We sympathize for Chloe, even though so many of her actions are questionable.

In short, Chloe should remind us of someone in our own lives.  Most of us have someone in our lives that we’ve known for a long time and have noticed him or her change pretty drastically as we grow up.  It’s inevitable that people change, whether we can accept that or not.  We can choose to back off or we can choose to stay by that friend’s side, but whatever we do when it comes to our friends, we have to accept that things and people change, as painful as that may be at first.

Spoilers coming up: By the end of the game, Chloe has been as fleshed out as she could quite possibly be (something the prequel Before the Storm will have to try and top).  She has reached a point now where even though she acted like she didn’t care about anybody throughout the story, she’s willing to do the selfless, sacrificial thing to save everybody from certain destruction by tornado.  If it means that Max would have to travel back in time and allow Chloe to get shot by rich kid Nathan Prescott, then so be it.  She is a character that has truly changed, because not only is she willing to save everyone (which would include her stepfather), but she’s also willing to accept her own fate and demise.  While she spent the majority of the game only looking out for herself, she is finally willing to be the sacrifice for everyone.  On top of that, before Max rewinds back to that fateful day when Chloe gets shot, Chloe gets to know that someone cared about her enough to never leave her.  Not again anyway.  End Of Spoilers.

To finish off, I’d like to share one of my favorite parts of the whole game involving Chloe.  It’s a sequence where she’s not talking or even doing much at all.  At one point, Chloe asks you to turn on her stereo and leave her alone for a little bit while she “medicates” (smoking grass).  When you turn the stereo on, the song that plays is called “Santa Monica Dream”.  In a way, it pretty much exactly captures Chloe’s own grief because of separation.  She lost her dear friend Rachael.  Together, they planned on ‘ruling the world’ and becoming famous away from their home town of Arcadia Bay.  Though you don’t know about all of that yet at this point in the game, the song is a clear hint towards Chloe’s own past and trials.  That’s one of the best things about this game.  So many of the different components that make up the game are symbolic one way or another.

Life Is Strange Analysis Part 1: Max Caulfield’s Nostalgia And Insecurity

 

I just recently beat the video game Life Is Strange for the first time.  With the release of its prequel Before the Storm coming out soon, I felt it was appropriate to say a few things about this game and what it means to me in real life.

I first discovered the game through a friend who had beaten it and said some positive things about it, so I made the worst mistake one can make when he’s drawn to a new video game: I watched a gameplay miniseries of someone else playing it instead of seizing the opportunity to go out and get it myself (I didn’t realize it was available for Mac at the time).  I can say now that watching someone play a game is not at all the same as playing it yourself.  If you haven’t played the game yet and you’re interested, please don’t make the same mistake I made.

Moving on, though I regret watching someone else play it first, I still really fell in love with the story and the characters involved.  The soundtrack was also amazing, and I made it a goal to find all the music tracks so that I can listen to them whenever I want to.  The music offered a significantly peaceful atmosphere that easily makes you feel so relaxed and immerses you in the story gently, while not being too gentle as to overshadow the conflict that is the story.

This article will mainly focus on how I can relate to the main character, Max Caulfield.  A young woman attending a senior school called Blackwell Academy in the small town of Arcadia Bay.  One of the most beautiful things about this game is that Arcadia Bay, despite the game having very low-res textures, draws you in and makes you a part of the world that this game has created.  In almost no time at all, the game convinces you that you want to live in Arcadia Bay, despite the sinister points in the story that eventually follow.  Max is eighteen years old, has a passion for photography, and clings onto those sweet thoughts of nostalgia and how much the past means to her when it came to her experiences with her best friend Chloe Price (more on that character in Part 2).  She is shy, mostly introverted, and very laid back.  Most of the insults that are thrown at her simply bounce off because she’s more than willing to just move along and keep herself contained within her own little world.

So what is it about her that reminds me so much of myself?  Well first, its that nostalgic world that she has built up for herself.  While she’s taking a class for photography, she takes her own pictures with an old-fashioned Polaroid camera (I’ll admit I’d still love to have one of those today) rather than going the digital route and taking pictures with her phone like most other people.  She even takes selfies with her old camera, so on one hand she’s kind of there in our modern times, but on the other hand she’s about two or more decades behind.  To me, this is somewhat of a reflection of my own possessions and where they rank with our times.  While I do own a few Blu-Rays, most of my movie collection consist of normal DVDs.  The only gaming console that I own besides the games I have on my Mac is an old original Xbox, and if my phone is somehow out of commission, I’ll dust off my thirteen-year old alarm clock.  It was only a couple years ago that I was using an old PC laptop from 1997 to write my own stories.  I don’t have my own conscious motto, but if I do somewhere in my mind it’s this: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  I’ll use whatever works and whatever serves my goals.

Secondly, throughout the game, it’s clear to us as the players that Max has a low rate of self-esteem.  Almost the entire cast of characters is responsible for saying things about Max both directly and indirectly that are either meant to lift her up or tear her down, and when things are said to lift her up, Max often counteracts with words to tear herself down.  She’s a character that receives time travel powers (somehow), is responsible for saving friends of hers multiple times, and is determined to bring the ‘bad’ people to justice.  Unless the player always makes certain decisions that makes her out to be a jerk, Max has a good heart and wants to do nothing but help others that need it.  Despite all of this, Max is not one with a big ego.  She beats herself up consistently, and the harsh words coming from the more unpleasant characters in the game don’t help her at all.  In my own personal experience growing up, I’ve had people who’ve built me up and others who have torn me down.  When people say things that build me up, oftentimes I don’t feel like I deserve those encouraging words, and when people say things to tear me down, oftentimes I believe I deserve those words.  It’s usually a constant battle.  It’s a weakness that can be found in a lot of people, and it’s why encouraging words are always so important in our daily lives.  In order to truly love and help others, we have to love ourselves first.  One of the most beautiful things about the game is actually the fact that Max never reaches a point where she thinks ‘yes, I am an amazing person’ or ‘yes, I am a terrible person’.  What she thinks of herself by the end is left pretty ambiguous, but we know that every time her friend Warren calls her ‘Super Max’ and every time (Spoiler) the sinister Mark Jefferson (End Spoiler) tells her ‘you can do so much better’, you can guarantee that that leaves an impression on her, as it does everybody else.

There’s so much more that can be said about Max, but those were some of the things about the character that really resonated with me.  It’s refreshing to see a character with similar challenges live and learn such as Max in the game, and better yet, you get to go on that journey with her and influence the decisions that she makes.  Though it’s not without its flaws, Life Is Strange is a fantastic game and ranks up there with my favorites such as The Last Of Us and Knights Of the Old Republic.  For Part 2, I will be writing an analysis article on Chloe Price and why she is my all-time favorite video game character.  Yep, you read that right.

Living With Autism: Taming Expectations In Your Relationships

autism in love

Everyone, and I mean everyone, goes into most dating relationships with a specific set of expectations in mind.  Most people face disappointment in these relationships, as certain expectations of theirs are contradicted or even completely shut out.  Leading up to the start of a relationship, most people typically form this picture in their heads as to what that relationship will look like and what direction it will take.  I myself have done that, and as someone having personally experienced this, I believe I have the freedom to tell you this.  If you’re about to get into a relationship or are already in one, cancel your expectations.  Cancel them hard.  Or at least repress them.  Our expectations for relationships are typically fantasy to begin with, fantasies that don’t qualify with reality in the least.

As someone who is on the autism spectrum and someone who is currently coming up on eleven months dating the same person, I have a few things to say about expectations in relationships that I believe everyone, autistic or not, should know about and learn to repress.  Before I start though, I should point out that there’s nothing wrong with having hope.  There’s nothing wrong with having hope for something as long as they’re not too high.  Having hopes and having expectations are two different things.

1. More than half of the things that you want to have happen won’t happen exactly when you want them to.

Whether it’s physical affection, topics of conversation, and the places you want to go and the things you want to do together, there is the right time for everything, and sometimes the timing you have isn’t the timing of the other person.  When two people start a dating/romantic relationship together, each of them typically has a different idea about the timing of everything, although sometimes they don’t have an idea at all and they’re just going with the flow.  The latter are the kind of people I’m admittedly a little jealous about.  They just take things as they come, and they don’t have to make a decision about something until the moment to make one comes.  My girlfriend belongs to that crowd, which on one hand is fantastic because it’s refreshing to be with someone that doesn’t analyze every little detail, but because tend to do that, I’m usually always wondering what is going through my girlfriend’s mind.  This is where patience comes in great handy, and I’m happy to say that that patience is typically rewarded.  Patience doesn’t put a timestamp on things.  It’s the willingness to wait until both of you are ready to share something that you haven’t shared before.

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2. When it comes to life, theology, philosophy, and all those kinds of things, the two of you are not going to be perfectly on the same page.

Your partner is going to talk about things he or she believes that you won’t agree with, and you’re going to say things about your own beliefs that he or she doesn’t agree with.  Regardless of how alike the two of you may think, you’re never going to be consistently 100% in sync.  There may be times or experiences where you do, but if you’re hoping to be with someone that is exactly on the same wavelengths as you, purge that hope now, otherwise you’ll end up being disappointed.  Even two autistic people don’t think alike on everything.

I know I probably sound pessimistic, but bear with me here.  Two people who don’t believe everything the other person does is not only necessary, but it can also be a blessing.  If the two of you agreed on everything on every level, then what exactly can you learn from each other?  How can you help the other spiritually grow if the other person already knows and believes everything you do?  Now, am I saying that you should influence the other person to your side so that he or she does think like you?  No.  Don’t do that.  Don’t try to rob the person of what he or she believes, because it’s also a large part of who they are as people.  It’s a large part of their identity.  Instead, love the person for who he or she is and let the person believe what it will, as long as it doesn’t happen to be self-damaging.  As a Christ-follower, I’ve always believed that what’s essential to believe is that God is real, that the Bible is true, and that God’s son Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead three days later.  There is so much else related to the Bible and Christianity that people interpret or believe differently, and that’s just the way it is in our spiritual walk.

3. Loving people isn’t always easy, even your dating partner.

You can’t tell me that you’ve never gotten frustrated, irritated, or annoyed with your partner.  I feel like you’d be lying.  The truth is, loving people in general isn’t always easy, even the one you’re dating and have a romantic attachment with.  What would a relationship be without its disagreements or without its fights?  How will either of you be able to learn?  How will your character grow?  How consistent will your spiritual growth be?  Life is full of trials, obstacles, and tribulations, and romantic relationships have no shortage of these.  That’s why it’s important to talk to each other and try the best you can to understand to each other.  Be sacrificial.  If you’re religious, pray.  Better yet, pray with your partner so that both of you can seek God’s help and guidance in your relationship together.  Love isn’t always easy for us human beings, but it’s something we’re capable of, even if things aren’t always going the way we want them to.  Most importantly, it’s absolutely worth it.

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Now, I do understand that I’ve only tackled these subjects from one or two aspects.  The sad truth is that there are times where even though you want to believe so much that a relationship with a particular person will work, some people are simply incompatible with each other when it comes to romantic relationships.  Simple friendships are one thing, but romantic relationships come with its own terms and conditions, and certain people together just don’t make the cut, whether they really want it to or not.  But that’s a completely different subject altogether.  The bottom line here is this: don’t let your pre-established set of expectations for a relationship get in the way of choosing to learn and grow with another person, even if their preferences and beliefs don’t always go hand-in-hand with yours.

 

The Other Side Of the Conflict Coin

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There are many instances in life where I hear older people talk about ‘simpler times’ and compare them to the way things are in the world today, and it’s usually viewed through a rather negative lens.  Being that the world is the way it is today, who can really blame them?  Violent protests, constant acts of terrorism, racism, and division between different groups of people are only some of many things that plagues our world today, and a lot of these events are covered through stories told by deeply flawed news stations in America.  Most of the time we hear these stories, we either shrug them off, simply content with the fact that were weren’t directly affected by the events, or we absorb these stories and allow fear to take up space in our minds.  I’m not going to go very deep into the negative influence that the media has had on us in America as a society, but I will say that it absolutely has had a hand.

Growing up, I didn’t pay much attention to the news or politics or what else was going on around the world.  Most of my biggest concerns with life were usually strictly centered around my own life, as is usually the case with children growing up and becoming teenagers.  When I think back to the ‘problems’ I believed I had then, they’re laughable and even a little sad when I consider now how pointless most of them were.  At the same time though, it’s all still part of growing up and becoming the person you’re meant to become.  As I got older, my awareness for world events grew and I didn’t like what I saw.  Fear was usually my first reaction to a lot of the negative news, and I avoided it like the plague.  Now as a 21-year old Aspie coming onto 2017, I think more deeply about the kind of world that I was dropped in, and I ask myself more why I was put in this time of all times.  With this in mind, I have listed a few things that come from my own perspective about the world today.  I do hope that you will at least be able to appreciate the way that I choose to look at it.

1. Almost nothing that gets reported about stuff that has happened surprises me, nor do I see these things as unexpected.

Some people would call this ‘desensitization’ since people have the tendency to grow numb to bad news after a while since we get bombarded by it every day.  For me personally, I’m typically not surprised by any of this news because I have the basic knowledge that the acts of violence and hatred play a large part in human nature.  Given that we’re looking at the actions of humanity, it’s to be expected, whether we like it or not.  In no way do I accept the fact that it is what it is, but I’m not surprised by any of it either.  Humanity fails us every time, no matter how hard it may try.

2. The bad news makes the good feel more refreshing

In this world full of tragedy, violence, and division, there is still good, and that good makes itself stick out more amongst the bad things as long as people are willing to see it.  If we spend so much time dwelling on the tragedies that go on in the world, we lose sight of the good things that we have, and we don’t spend enough time ‘counting our blessings’.  When the bad news starts to overcrowd, remember that you always have something that you can be thankful for (it was just recently Thanksgiving Day after all).  There’s always something that shines a good light in your life.  Whatever that may be, dwell on that, and never take it for granted.

3. Some of the best things about humanity are made clearer in the midst of tragedy

It goes without saying that 9/11 was a tragic and terrifying event, but even in the wake of the tragedy, some of the best of humanity emerged in the form of people’s heroics.  Heroes like former Marine Jason Thomas and former Vietnam vet Rick Rescorla are only a select few of many people that were responsible for performing feats of true heroism during that horrifying morning.  When the worst of humanity rears its head, some of its best bites back, and I believe it will continue to be that way.

 

Autism And Depression: How Bullying Plays A Part

After a while of not writing any blog posts, I’m back with a new post about autism and how depression has had a history in coinciding with it.  Because there are many people that believe that a lot of those with autism don’t feel many emotions, not much thought is given to the fact that autistic people are capable of having depression.

Like any neurotypical people, autistic people are completely capable of experiencing depression too.  I’ve touched on my history of depression in previous articles not too long ago, so I can say that I’ve experienced it firsthand as one with Aspergers Syndrome, and I’ve known others with autism that struggled with depression.  To touch on one factor of depression in autistic people specifically, I will mention bullying.

Young people with autism are unfortunately the target of bullying in schools.  According to a 2012 national survey conducted by the Interactive Autism Network and Johns Hopkins University, children with autism are three times as likely as their neurotypical siblings to experience bullying, and according to the parents that took the survey, 61% of children with Aspergers, 28% of children with autism, and 37% of children with other autism disorders have been affected.  Being bullied by others simply for what makes them different absolutely has the potential to make a child with autism experience depression because of the feelings of loneliness and worthlessness that is provoked through being bullied.  Sometimes other children will do things on purpose that negatively affects an autistic child’s senses.

The issue with depression in an autistic child or even a little older is that it’s harder for the parents or other adults to recognize when an autistic child is depressed.  The symptoms practically ‘overlap’ when it comes to autism and depression.  If someone with autism is emotionally distant or socially withdrawn, people are quick to decide that the behavior is part of the child’s autism, rather than it being linked to something else since social withdrawal and emotional distance can be common in certain autistic people anyway.  This is why it’s all the more important that parents pay closer attention and make sure to have conversations with their child about how things are going at school so that they will know whether or not things are going well.

While it’s obviously sad that autistic children get bullied at school, particularly in different fashions than others at times, this is fixable.  It can be prevented.  What needs to happen is that the school boards need to have more motivation to handle serious matters like these, and it’s the parents’ role to see to it that these issues are recognized and fixed.  As someone who has heard dozens of stories about the treatment of autistic children in schools, I can say that this is something that saddens me and I hope so much that autistic children get better treatment in the future soon.

 

Recognizing World Autism Awareness Day

 

autism awareness

Sorry for not having a blog post up in a while guys, I’ve been very busy with school, work, and other projects I’ve been working on, so I’ve been dedicating a lot more time to those other projects.  Fortunately, today gives me perfect motivation to write a new blog post.  Today is National Autism Awareness Day.  Though the whole month of April is considered National Autism Awareness Month, April 2 is Awareness Day (which understandably falls on the second day instead of falling on April Fools Day, good call).  To be honest, even though I’ve been diagnosed to be on the spectrum myself, there was very little I knew about the month until I found out what today was and therefore looked into it a little more.

In this research, I found out that apparently people that follow autism awareness wears blue today.  I haven’t quite been able to figure out why of all colors it’s blue, but nevertheless, it warms my heart to know that efforts are made to be more aware of the people who are on the autism spectrum and efforts are made to pay better attention to the struggles autistic people go through in their day-to-day lives.  World Autism Awareness Day is primarily meant to be a day where people are encouraged to spread awareness of autism and motivate actions to be taken to make the lives of autistic people (children in particular) a little easier every day.

Creating a better understanding and awareness of autism is something I’ve been going for with this blog for the past couple months, and I’ve gotten a lot of feedback where people have told me that thanks to my posts, they have a better understanding when it comes to autism and the people that have autism as a part of them.  Though culturally, today may be the official ‘awareness’ day, I want to continue writing blog posts that will help increase that awareness all year round, because I don’t believe there’s any point in time where one has to stop trying to help other people understand.

So for those of you who still have a lot to learn about autism, I’d encourage you to do a little more research.  Read past blog posts of mine or find other sources.  Our culture encourages us to have more awareness and understanding of different people groups, and the autism community is no exception.  Patience is key to being a blessing to those on the spectrum.  People with autism have the tendency to think and process things very differently than ‘neurotypical’ people, which is definitely one way when patience needs to be practiced, so start with that.

For more information about World Autism Awareness Day, click here.

Autism’s Role In… Social Interaction

I was homeschooled growing up, so most of the social settings I was involved in was church or youth group (which is more or less the same thing, just with different age demographics).  After getting my high school diploma, I had the opportunity to get involved in other different social settings like my first job, then eventually college, and get exposed to a lot of people from different walks of life and different cultures and mindsets.  While my exposure to others on the spectrum started before college, I had the opportunity by the time I went to college to meet a lot of other people on the spectrum.  I’m positive I’ve said this before in previous posts, not one autistic person is exactly the same as another.  All autistic people have different personalities, mindsets, and strengths and weaknesses.  There may be some similarities in terms of weaknesses and even strengths, but no two people are exactly the same, as is the case with pretty much anyone else in general for that matter.

So what can it typically be like for autistic people in a social setting?  If they’re different, what different kinds of scenarios are there for people on the spectrum in public?  There are many different kinds, but to keep this short, I’ll list several that I’ve observed, including my own personal experience:

1. There are autistic people who are completely anti-social.  They prefer the company of themselves instead of interacting with other people.  Interacting with other people can be considered intimidating to them and they feel more comfortable alone, staying within the borders of their minds to brainstorm and sometimes even talk to themselves.  If they have no choice but to be in public, they will stay away from large groups and stand to the side to keep to themselves and let their minds take them wherever they want to go.

2. There are autistic people who actually want to interact with others, be heard, and talk about things they are very interested in.  The third thing there is one of the truest of them all.  They want to talk to people about things they’re passionate about and interested in, but that’s about as far they’ll go.  They can sit with someone and have an almost one-sided conversation by continuing to talk about what they’re passionate about with very few breaks in between to allow the other person to talk.  As I’ve said in previous articles, autistic people hold their passions and obsessions very near and dear to them, and they want to share it with others, sometimes unaware that others are simply not interested.  I’ve learned that the best thing to do is to let the person talk and try to listen as best I can, and then when I’m ready to move on, I can politely inform the person that I’d like to talk to someone else or move on to a different subject.  If done politely and calmly, this usually works.

3. There are autistic people who want to be part of a group or talk to other people but they feel uncomfortable when placed in that setting because if no one is talking about something the person is familiar with, then it can be hard to be engaged in the conversation.  There’s also the possibility of the person feeling left out because very little attention is payed to him.  This can lead to the person feeling awkward and deciding to move on, feeling ignored and not valued.  While this can type of scenario can absolutely be relevant for other kinds of people, autistic people can tend to feel the weight of that much more significantly and will tend to think a lot afterwards about how much people may or may not value them.

So those are some concepts for you guys to think about.  One more thing to mention is that I’d say that when you meet autistic people in public, they can surprise you, intrigue you, maybe even wear you out a little bit (even have the tendency to do that), or maybe you won’t even notice them at all because they’d rather stand to the side.  Personally for me, when it comes to going out with friends, I’ve always preferred just going out with one friend because it feels good to give special attention to one friend without all the distractions of other people, even if I really like them too, and it’s easier to find my words and follow conversations.  In groups a lot of times, there’s the tendency for someone to get left out, and I don’t like the thought of being responsible for that nor do I like to find myself in that position myself.  I love to talk, and I love to meet new people and form relationships, but as you’ve learned a little bit of just a second ago, I’m pretty particular about how I go about it.  There’s no single way that all people on the spectrum approach people or conversations in public, and for people who are higher functioning, you probably won’t even realize that the person is autistic on some level until later, but regardless, I hope that listing these things helps increase  your awareness and helps you think of ways to manage these scenarios when they come.