When it comes to the "autism community" (a term that refers mostly to neurotypical parents of autistic children, and the neurotypical self-proclaimed "experts" who insist they have the answers to what makes these kids tick), one of the greatest obsessions is eye contact. Many an autistic child has been traumatized by that dreaded phrase, "Look at me," often coupled with harsh tones and a forceful pull to attempt to force the eyes to meet. However, when asked why they care so much about eye contact, the most common reasons given by parents all start with "I" or "my," proceeding to go on about how said parent has made so many sacrifices, and this child has to start doing something in return. or else giving some other excuse which boils down to the whole complaint being a matter of eye contact being a neurotypical social convention which the parent is accustomed to. To not get those little "treats" is abhorrent in the parent's mind, perhaps even insulting. However, this parents-convenience point of view utterly disregards and ignores the most important and pressing question that many parents have about the lack of eye contact: WHY? The answer, like so many others, is one that "experts" have been utterly unable to answer, because their brains simply are not wired like those of their patients, and thus they have no understanding of how someone's eyes boring into this reporter's would feel every bit as violating to his mind and emotions as rape. In fact, repeated subjection to this form of psychological assault could be considered a form of emotional rape, where the parent is simply taking what they want without even thinking that the child may not want or benefit from it, and could even be hurt by the action.
Just because an eye-contact-averse autistic is best off not making eye contact, however, doesn't mean that the parent/teacher/therapist can't come up with a workaround. For many children and adults on the spectrum, this primal sense of violation and attack only comes from direct eye contact, and thus, they can learn to fake eye contact. Faking eye contact is a skill which will not only allow the autistic greater ease of communication (freeing them from the psychological assault of forced eye contact), but will also allow the parent to feel as though s/he is getting what s/he wants from his/her kid, without doing harm.
The trick to teaching the art of fake eye contact is to start off by making it a game, where the object is for the autistic to look at a part of the face of their choosing, while they try to make sure the other person can't figure out what part they're looking at. Over time, this skill will improve, and they'll likely expand upon it independently without prompting once they get the hang of it. This reporter, in particular, has developed the skill of faking eye contact to the point of simply looking at the entire face at once, a technique which is sufficient to fool even a psychologist or psychiatrist once it becomes second-nature. However, since many false experts still insist that forcing eye contact works, and is appropriate, more children will be violated, and by their own parents and teachers, no less. In the end, maybe instead of saying "Look at me," parents should be saying "If you won't look at me, then learn to fake it!" Somehow, the kids would probably be better off that way, since it isn't as though they're not paying attention.