Many people with ASD also suffer from Exposure Anxiety (EA) – as  identified by Donna Williams in her book of the same name.  

SEE VIDEO------------->

This is similar to social anxiety albeit more severe.  

It leaves the child or adult feeling acutely self-conscious so that any attention from other people seems potentially threatening -  and they feel ‘exposed’ each time another person looks at them, talks to them or even compliments them.  

EA has several different effects:

*  The child may feel unable to do things for himself if other people are around.  

*  He may use another person to carry out tasks for him - such as using mums hand to turn the door handle, pick something up etc.   

* He may only do things/help himself/sing when he feels unobserved.

* He may avoid using personal pronouns. 

EA can affect speech too -  leading to Selective Mutism. 

SEE VIDEO -------------->

 This can mean that:

* He is mute in certain situations

* Speak only when unobserved 

*  Sticks to a few ‘safe’ words or phrases.

In order to cope with exposure anxiety the child may attempt to ‘block out’  the triggers and that can lead to some strange reactions:

* He may ignore the people he likes most 

* He may respond to direct praise by losing interest, or disowning (or destroying) his achievements.


Sometimes such a child will make contact with you or do something positive only for the EA to make them “punish” themselves in some way;  perhaps by:
* self abusive behaviours

* not eating

You can help him or her by using the 


tip sheet - click to download.


Social Anxiety                      SEE VIDEO -------------->.



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