Autists conceptualise the world in terms of trusted relationships with unique people.

The beauty of collaboration at human scale

The Autistic way of developing trust is based on experienced domain-specific competence. Autistic people:

  • (when young) assume everyone is telling the truth;
  • (when older) can become very cynical;
  • can be fooled by people who appear to be logical but who have no scruples fabricating evidence;
  • are slow in learning the cultural significance of social cues, and can’t reliably read social cues in an environment of sensory overload.

A common Autistic way of making friends

To construct trusted relationships and friendships, Autistic people apply an explicit goal oriented approach:

  1. Search for people with shared interests, usually online
  2. Confirm a shared area of interest
  3. Start having fun by openly sharing knowledge, personal experiences, and related gaps of knowledge and questions
  4. Explore what can be achieved with joint capabilities and capacities
  5. Embark on significant joint projects (examples) to have more fun
A communal definition of Autistic ways of being | Autistic Collaboration

Connected, Trusting Relationships

Let’s make it personal.

You have to know the person, and that person has to believe in you.

The Benevolence of Surrender by Solillaquists of Sound

…many autistic children reported flourishing at home both educationally and personally. For these children and families, we identified three key ingredients essential to this flourishing, including: (i) the importance of connected, trusting relationships (‘people’); (ii) the sensory and social safety of home (‘place’); and (iii) the flexibility to pace and structure learning to suit the individual child (‘time’).

“It just fits my needs better”: Autistic students and parents’ experiences of learning from home during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

They need strong, trusting relationships with their teachers and peers; a learning environment that suits their needs; and some flexibility and control over their time and rhythm of their learning

Liz Pellicano on Twitter

Mutual trust. Connected, trusting relationships. That’s how we operate. We default to trust. That need and tendency is wired in deeply.

It might seem naïve, but then again it’s just really honest.

Solillaquists of Sound – The Benevolence of Surrender

Competency Networks and Mutual Trust

All healthy and resilient institutions have a well-functioning competency network (Laloux 2014; Wilson 2015). A good way to understand competency networks is via the notion of trustworthiness and the nurturing and maintenance of trusted relationships (Bettin and Elliffe 2016). A competency network can be formalised as a directed graph of experience-based pair-wise trustworthiness ratings in relation to various domains between the members of a group. You can think of it as the gifts that people bring to life by relating to each other.

The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations

For the first time, the age of digital networks enables us to construct cognitive assistants that help us to nurture and maintain globally distributed human scale competency networks – networks of mutual trust. It is time to tap into this potential and to combine it with the potential of zero-marginal cost global communication and collaboration.

The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations

On so many levels, interdependence requires being seen, as much as possible, as your true self. Meaning that your capacity and need are transparent.

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds

Thank you for your patient timing

I’m in debt to you forever

Grateful to have with you grown

Every city really feels like a home

Live this truth so I hope it shows

Love you all it’s important to know

4 People by Solillaquists of Sound

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