This is my guide to learning & mastering social skills. I call this Guide "Navigating the Neurotypical World" (NTNTW).
It's a work in progress, but I hope you stay and find some new ways of thinking about people & your social interactions.
Please do not create any new pages yourself without reaching out to me first. They will most likely be deleted.
This Guide is written for two groups:
- Autistics who want to learn effective social skills
- Neurotypicals who want to help teach effective social skills to an autistic friend, family member, client, or student.
Why am I writing this Guide?
Most Social Skills Advice that I've come across in my life has been well-intentioned, yet confusing and ultimately not very useful. Neurotypicals as a whole are particularly bad at providing useful social skills advice to autistics, because they socialize using cognitive tools that:
a) autistics don't naturally have, and;
b) are designed for socializing in a non-neurodiverse environment (i.e. where everyone is neurotypical).
And yet, because most neurotypicals live there lives in a Neurotypical-dominant World, they don't see their own cognitive tools which they (and those around them) employ. And they aren't aware of the complex nuances, strategies, and introspection that is needed for effective cross-neurotype socialization (and to be fair, neither do many autistics).
As a result, neurotypicals giving social skills advice generally just share how social situations look to them, how they would feel, what they would do. Or what their idea of a normal, polite, reasonable, or well-socialized person would do. But this falls short, because it doesn't account for the different set of cognitive tools employed by the autistic mind, or the complexities of communicating across neurotypes (which shares similar dynamic to communicating with someone from a very different culture, with a very different set of beliefs, world views, life experiences, and social norms).
This Guide aims to help both autistic and neurotypical readers to deeply understand autistic social challenges in a Neurotypical World. For all the study into autism and social challenges, there is a massive lack of understanding of the deeper nature of these challenges. I have made a lot of headway into understanding this problem & solving it. It's a huge body of knowledge, not captured anywhere else, and it's a badly needed resource. I've spent my life working out this problem. And it wouldn't be right to keep this to myself. This is why am investing a pretty huge amount of time & effort time & effort into documenting this knowledge into the most accessible, useful, & freely available form I can manage.
Ultimately, the NTNTW Guide aims to show that:
It just takes the right resources and a lot of hard work. I aim to provide (or point to) the resources. The hard work will be up to you.
A more complete Introduction is here.
The Guide is a work in progress, and probably always will be. But I hope I can be of some help.
Good luck in your journey.
Please contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Official Pages are all listed below, or linked through one of the Segment pages below (e.g. "On Forming Connection" or "Intro to SPOT").
If a page in this Wiki is not linked the this page or a Segment page, it was either unfinished or not written by me.
What is this guide?