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Heidi Thompson

Heidi Thompson, the Office Administrator at Thompson Patent Law, authors the “Autism Corner” series in the Litigation Quality Patent (LQP) newsletter to broaden readers’ understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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The Eyes as Windows to the Soul

Shakespeare, Cicero, and Matthew really hit the nail on the head when they said the eyes are the window into one’s soul, didn’t they? When we lock eyes with someone, it feels like we’re peering directly into their very essence.

The Intensity of Eye Contact

Now, I have a hunch that for some folks, particularly those living with autism, this sensation can be a bit too intense and overwhelming. Take my eldest daughter, for example. Like many others with autism, she finds it tough to hold eye contact. At times, it might seem like she’s not paying attention. But trust me, she’s all ears. She listens intently and connects with others in her own special, quiet way. She just keeps her empathetic side well hidden.

Rethinking “Proper” Behaviors

Over time, I’ve learned not to jump to conclusions about “proper” behaviors when it comes to autism. Once you really get to know someone with autism, you may just find their soul to be pure, sweet, and refreshingly straightforward. They wouldn’t dream of hurting someone else, and they exist on a plane that, in some ways, feels higher than anything else I’ve encountered.

Embracing Unique Connections

If we can learn to embrace the unique ways people with autism connect with others — like avoiding direct eye contact — we might just get a glimpse into these beautiful souls living in bodies diagnosed with what we call autism. As Matthew said, “Judge not.”

A Different Perspective

The world through their eyes can be a little different, but that’s what makes it intriguing and unique. It’s like walking into an art gallery where the paintings are not quite like the ones you’re used to. They may not always conform to the norm, but they’re beautiful in their own right. Each stroke, each color, each fragment is a piece of their story waiting to be understood and appreciated.

Understanding, Acceptance, and Love

So the next time you meet someone with autism, remember, it’s not about fixing what’s “different” or making them fit into a mold. It’s about understanding, acceptance, and love. It’s about learning to communicate in a language that’s not your own. It’s about allowing them to be themselves, eye contact or not. After all, the most beautiful conversations are often the ones spoken through the heart, not just the eyes.

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