First, this video from The Mighty's Youtube says a lot.
Text from the video:
I understand this too well, but 5 other reasons why I avoid eye contact...Someone asked my son with autism why eye contact is hard. This was his answer. My eyes can see very well... Most people seem to have to look long and hard to make sense of a picture. I can take in a whole picture at a glance. Each day I see too many little petty details. I look away to not get overwhelmed by a lot of little bits of information. I watch things that a teacher or person I listen to tells me to watch. This helps me concentrate on what I should be focusing on. I can search for a teacher's voice to try to focus on. I am academically learning best when I sit side-by-side with a teacher. A seat on the side keeps me focused on your voice and not on visual distractions. I'm assessing many sounds too. I have to erase some stimuli to access my answers to people's questions and meet their demands. I am sad when people think I don't like them. I love people.