Jessica | Compassion and Fitting In

Jessica

Meeting new people I always find both enjoyable and educational. In the case of the

interview with Jessica all I knew about her was her first name, and that somebody

had said she was “interesting”. Boy, did that turn out to be an understatement.

Jessica turned out to be an amazing human being, who also happens to be autistic.

This does not define her, or limit her, but it does explain some of the issues she faces

in her interactions with others.

In the Shrink Wrapped interview she describes some of these issues in a way that

really made me understand some of her struggles in greater detail. She also was

clear about some of the unusual skills she has. These include speaking multiple

languages, and clearly a very high level of verbal ability.

Of everything I learnt from Jessica, I was most struck by how she very consciously

started to study how comedians communicate. She recognized that they develop

specific non-verbal skills, and she then trained herself to copy these, with the

deliberate aim of improving her communication skills with others.

Her descriptions of the difficulty she also has recognizing faces, and what this means

in a practical manner, also have stayed with me.

I am extremely grateful to Jessica for her sharing her thoughts and feelings with me,

and allowing them to be more widely accessible through the Shrink Wrapped

interview. I hope this will help others understand, and be more accepting, of those

who have autism spectrum disorder.

 

Warmly,

 

Dr. Peter Silverstone