Before arriving at Trinity College Dublin as a Computer Science student and even before my diagnosis of bring on the Autistic Spectrum I was already aware of my difficulties in social encounters, especially in group work. In conversation my “radar” is limited in picking up all the subtle messaging that we all give out and I can be too literal in my understanding, leading to confusion. Indeed it is this “literalness” I suspect is why I enjoy coding so much.
Another issue is my own personal shyness and apprehension especially with new people in so that it could be months before I feel even confident to say someone’s name or with group work to make even a basic suggestion. But with group work there are additional issues in my need for stability and certainty. Without it I enter a familiar process from feeling highly stressed to weariness and finally to resignation and withdrawal from participating. How group work can cause this is by the group being leaderless, self-doubting or the task at hand being very unclear. Steps that I have taken to address this include contacting the Course Co-ordinator with my Disability Officer to explain the issues I face and in working with the Disability Service in developing these skills I will need after I leave college into the workplace.
Only in facing our difficulties can we hope to fix them.