A mental condition, present from early childhood characterised by great difficulty in communication and forming relationships with people and in using language and abstract concepts. Unfamiliar surroundings can be distressing. http://www.autism.org.uk/
- Observe how the visitor likes to communicate - this might not be verbal but can be tactile. They may not be able to tell you but will demonstrate. Follow their lead.
- Face to Face communication is essential and be expressive but do not expect eye contact - non-verbal communication is key as is patience.
- Limit the amount of words you use and use simple terms, be repetitive and pause a lot to allow them to process your words.
- Do not touch them without permission - point instead of guide.
- Pointing and gestures (i.e. drinking, waving) also help.