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Featured Looking at the ground

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Soleil, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. Soleil

    Soleil Well-Known Member

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    I've read that autistic people have a tendency to look at the ground a lot. I don't know if they're talking about just not looking people in the eye, or if this is about watching the ground as they walk, but now I'm wondering about this.

    I pretty much always stare at the ground as I walk, unless I'm looking at/ for something. But in general I tend to watch the floor, relying largely on my peripheral vision to navigate.
     
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  2. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member

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    I concur.
     
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  3. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    I watch my surroundings. Careful like that.
     
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  4. DogInClothes

    DogInClothes A dog, with thumbs!

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    I find myself watching the ground ahead of me

    but I'm also clumsy and pigeon-toed, so I trip over things/myself often
     
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  5. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Looking at the ground is a form of introversion and self-isolation. It keeps the outside world from intruding on your senses. The traffic and trees and buildings and people and sky just aren't there anymore. It is a defense against sensory overload. Looking down is also something people do when they are feeling down.

    I tend to look at the ground a lot. It is a habit I force myself to break. At least for me, it also has to do with watching where I'm stepping as I am more than a bit clumsy.

    When I'm out hiking somewhere I make a conscious effort not to because I'll miss out on all kinds of natural beauty. In this terrain, you still want to glance at the ground to avoid roots and rocks and obstacles. And if you are lucky you might glimpse a rattlesnake.

    In civilization, looking at the ground bangs your head on things and may even lead to wandering into dangerous areas like traffic. Wearing a hat makes this headbanging issue much worse. If you really need to focus on something, it is best to stand still while doing so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
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  6. HeroOfHyrule

    HeroOfHyrule Chicken Chaser

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    I look down/at the ground pretty much all the time when I'm not in my house. Looking at my surroundings can be really overwhelming, and I for some reason lose my balance easier while walking when I'm not looking down.
     
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  7. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I used to all the time but have forced myself to look around more often.
     
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  8. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I walk I tend to look forward, straight ahead, but I think that's a habit from my photography walks though, always scanning what's in front of me...

    But stairs on the other hand, I get a little self conscious with how much I look down, maybe everyone does? I tend to look down when going down stairs, almost not seeing much beyond the third step in front of me...
     
  9. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I do, and that's necessary where I live, as there are a lot of stray dogs around. If I'm in a new place, I look around a lot more.
     
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  10. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I look at the ground when walking as I have walking and balance issues, plus I wear progressive
    glasses and need to look down some when walking to see clearly.
    I have a wide peripheral vision though so I still see a lot around me.

    I must admit though, it does give a sense of keeping the world at bay especially with people around.
     
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  11. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    As a child my mum would often comment that I was constantly looking at the ground when I walked.

    As an adult I find I look at the ground when I'm walking in places where there's lots of people. It's usually the opposite when I'm on my own and surrounded by nature.

    However, a lot of it depends on mood - if I'm happy I tend to look around more. If I'm feeling down, I'm constantly looking at the ground when walking.

    Ed
     
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  12. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I chuckled when I came across your thread, because this is so me! But, not sure if it is an aspie trait, because for me, it has always been the fear of tripping or incredable shyness.

    There was one time, I had an experience of what it feels like to be confident and did not look at the ground and was heavily critisized for it, by another female; in fact, heard it from a female neighbour and it just made me feel so dejected, when really, I should have shrugged off the stupid comment and continued to hold my head high!
     
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  13. Dallionz

    Dallionz Active Member

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    My son looks at the ground when he walks. It seems to serve different purposes. In a crowded area, it’s clearly to avoid eye contact or unwanted conversation, especially because we usually have something we are going to look at - a mission to accomplish.

    When outside, it’s to keep his balance as he can be a little unbalanced if we are hiking or something similar.
     
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  14. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I look at the ground when I walk. It's not to avoid eye contact with people, it's to be able to best avoid tripping, falling, stepping in something I don't want to step in, etc. I'm clumsy. When I was a kid I tripped over a crack in a sidewalk when I had an armload of firewood. The firewood fell in my hand when I fell on the ground and I had a compound fracture of a finger. I have to see where I'm stepping in order to walk safely. I can't use peripheral vision to "sense" what's on the ground.
     
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  15. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It depends. I often look to the upper left for some reason. No idea why.

    I look at the ground if I'm afraid I'm going to trip over something. Which is likely more often than I realize.

    I've found myself looking at whatever is "comfortable" (least overwhelming) if I'm in an overwhelming environment. I was in line at the grocery store, for example, and I found myself staring at the battery display, because it wasn't moving/loud/highly reflective like everything else in the store. So I just stared at the batteries the entire time I was in line.
     
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  16. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes I look at the ground, always have, but I look around and in front too. I have quite often found things via this habit, such as bank cards dropped in the gutter, keys, and Items of value like phones or wallets, also paper money, it's surprising what people don't notice dropping. I return the items found or hand them in somewhere. Money is anonymous so sadly the person who's lost it won't see it again. I am clumsy and my balance can be poor, so I may have developed this for safety aswell as due to introversion.
     
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  17. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I do not watch the ground, but I look down a lot. I have diabetes and that has caused neuropathy in my feet. I can not feel the bottoms of my feet, so I walk like a drunk person. If there is something in my path, I will trip over it. So I watch where I am going.
     
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  18. Ursus Chainus

    Ursus Chainus Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I was a child, I did this constantly. The big perk is that I was always flush with coins that I found! I always had enough money to buy the latest copy of OMNI magazine :)
     
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  19. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I also tend to look down on the ground. Especially with uneven pavement that is easy to trip over. Always looking out for things at ground level.

    Guess I don't want to be one of those old folks who break a hip. :eek:
     
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  20. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    It's my default setting.
    Not watching my own shoes type of looking down.
    Maybe 2 metres ahead of myself type of looking down.

    Easier to think things through without distraction while on the hoof.

    Easier not to sometimes get overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of large crowds around shopping centres.

    I look up more when there are fewer people around... unless I'm required to listen to someone speak,
    or my back/neck is aching (from looking down)
    also got new specs (glasses) bi focals.
    - have to raise my chin to see through the lower section.

    Often have to remind myself to raise chin, roll shoulders back and down, expand chest, deep breath in and notice things at my own eye level.
    Isn't a naturally occurring habit.
     
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