Eyes are the window to the soul. It’s been a saying for generations. They can expose a plethora of human emotions. Happy tears, sad tears, a sparkle when you’re happy, or a narrowing when you’re mad. Eyes are a wonderful thing, and they are all unique to each person you meet, which is why it’s so important to pay attention to them. Yet, some have a harder time maintaining that intimate part of a conversation. Those born with life challenges such as ADHD, Asperger’s, Autism, etc. Can find it difficult to make eye contact when partaking in social situations without even noticing, however, it is an important skill to have when interacting with those around you. It allows for an unspoken connection, and it’s more common for society to lack this ability than people think.
On average, the Austin, Texas, Company states that eye contact should be maintained during 60% to 70% of a conversation in order to evoke a “sense of emotional connection,” but it is found that adults tend to only maintain it 30% to 60% of the time (Shellenbarger, 2013). Despite this number being lower than what is statistically deemed able to make an emotional connection, it still can create that bond, but those with life challenges still avoid it because they feel the opposite. Maintaining eye contact can be overwhelming for someone with autism, causing sensory issues, but it can also be linked to a “lack of social motivation” a hard time “focusing on both eyes and language” and/or “may not even realize they are not watching a person’s eyes” (Rudy, 2022). This can make it more difficult for people with such life challenges to make and maintain meaningful friends and partnerships. It can also make it more difficult for them to express themselves, and understand the expressions of others, but it is something that can be taught.
The Support for Student Growth Center is a program that can help those with life challenges learn social skills like eye contact so they can experience and share this sense of connection. Eye contact is told to people from a young age that it is needed to be polite. It allows for people to look into one another and understand what they may not be saying. It allows for society to see another part of people. Eyes are beautifully special to you. This is why if you or someone you love is having a hard time maintaining eye contact, you should let the Support for Students Growth Center help in order to make this an absent-minded part of their daily life. Getting a job, partaking in interviews, giving presentations, or even holding conversations require this skill, and although those who struggle with it may have to consciously make this a part of their life for the first part, the Students Growth Center will make it as easy as signing up for any of their services.
Dr. Eric J. Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D.C., is a Developmental and Behavioral Specialist who specializes in Autism, ADHD and related disorders. Dr. Nach is the founder of the College Life Skills Program where he and his team of professional’s help develop the Emotional Maturity, Executive Functioning, Life Skill and Social Abilities of college students and those high school students preparing for college. The CollegeLSP is a subsidiary program of the Support For Students Growth Center, located in Boca Raton, FL and providing services nationwide.
Rudy, L. J. (2022, January 11). Is the lack of eye contact a symptom of autism? Verywell Health. Retrieved February 24, 2022, from https://www.verywellhealth.com/autism-symptoms-and-eye-contact-260565
Shellenbarger, S. (2013, May 28). Just look me in the eye already. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 24, 2022, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324809804578511290822228174