“People who are using words and language don’t have to write.” How to interact online with girls with learning disabilities on any topic.
How To Meet Girls Online With Learning Disabilities
Every few weeks, the DadPerson training seminar teaches us how to navigate simple social situations and pick up someone at a party. This was my first introduction to “mind the gap,” which the Dos Equis beer company used to advertise easy talking women. I was instantly impressed with the solution.
When a person with learning disabilities is shy, the first thing they want to do is hide in a corner, which means staying in line, and ignoring everyone else in the room. You have to teach them to socialize. Or at least make it look like they’re socially acceptable.
I have two three-hour sessions to educate other learning-disabled men how to socialize. I teach guys that being shy isn’t about avoiding people, it’s about how to interrupt them and jump ahead of the people talking. Most guys will consider the crowd lost cause. It’s easy to sit there and watch all the banter around you.
After three years of intensive learning, I’ve learned a few tricks to have some fun and learn more. The best way to have fun with guys who may be with a learning disability? Find an object that they love, build a noise wave, and make it crazy, and ask them to teach it to you. It takes three seconds, and can make a big difference in how your guy feels about you.
One woman with a learning disability loves Christmas lights, so when I am looking for a venue, I go with large hotel complexes with an expansive parking lot or a larger mall. The same person loves a chess set, so I go to a giant mall or hotel where I can set up. Then, when one guy says, “Hey, Dad, I’m going to play Grandmaster with you!” I’ll say, “No, this is going to be interesting,” and have a calm conversation, introduce him to something awesome he loves, and he’ll tell me a joke that made him laugh. I’m not driving any further than necessary. If I get lost, she’s not going to get mad because she loves finding a new board game when she walks by.
While it’s fun to have this one-on-one conversation, the overarching goal is to avoid confrontation by starting a conversation, and giving the audience a reason to warm up to you. I want to show him or her how to “interrupt,” or move up the social hierarchy by jumping ahead of the person who’s telling a story. When we talk, I give them space, and explain how to do it. It’s intuitive stuff for others, but a lot of learning disabled men find it hard to talk with people who are not afraid of them. Sometimes, we have to talk to each other to get the idea across.
Then comes the fun part of “interrupting.” I’ve found that most guys want to talk to someone and make conversation, so I’ve started to use gadgets like the Ukelele Party Paperhead or The Roll Up Dice to read out loud songs or stories to ask them questions.
I’ve found that most guys want to talk to someone and make conversation, so I’ve started to use gadgets like the Ukelele Party Paperhead to read out loud songs or stories to ask them questions. When I’m with a new guy who loves music, we play an easy guessing game, trying to guess the number of years they’ve lived or the hours of sleep they have. I can teach them how to activate a high school locker or open a backpack, using a glue gun and a small plastic station top. It gives them the opportunity to play games that turn into a real life situation, by giving them the opportunity to talk about their day or things they want to talk about.
When I’m talking with a man who loves to get drunk, we play pool. It’s easier for a drunk guy to talk about his brother, his ex-girlfriend, or where he was staying. It gives him something to do, so he can relax, and allows him to have some fun in the process. If he likes building games, we build a sand castle and then ask a question about the previous one. Our way to train the body is to train the mind.
DadPerson.com is an outreach program hosted by the National Parent Teacher Association. At DadPerson, we believe that every family has their own unique goal, and that happiness can be shared and taught by using simple strategies by dads and sons. More information about programs like this is available at www.dadperson.com