Do you have any tips on how to make important phone calls when you need to but it’s difficult? I always end up getting myself all panicked about them and sometimes consequently unable to make them, but I can’t not worry about them…
I also find phone calls very hard. If audio processing is an issue, try closing your eyes - I find eliminating visual stimulation helps my auditory processing and makes it easier to make out what people are saying (if there’s background noise or the speaker has an accent I’m unfamiliar with, I might only understand a third of what’s said if my eyes are open, but that might rise to about half if I shut my eyes).
Also, if the auditory processing stuff is hard, make up scripted socially-acceptable ways of asking for clarification/repeat. Some I use:
- I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Can you repeat it?
- So you want me to [rephrase of what I think I heard]?
- Pardon me?
- Excuse me?
- I’m sorry, it’s noisy here. Can you repeat that?
- I’m sorry, my phone sound quality is bad. Did you mean [thing I think I heard]?
- I think I misheard you. I heard [thing that makes no sense]. What did you mean?
In my experience, just saying, “What?” is considered rude.
If I know I’m having a bad auditory processing day, but I need to make the phone call and putting it off isn’t an option, I’ll start off the conversation with something like, “I can’t hear very clearly on my end, so I’m going to need you to speak a little slower than normal so I can make out what you’re saying.”
Having a stim toy for calming stims is useful, to. Something soft and fleecy works for me if I start getting too anxious.