Does anyone have any tips on how to stay patient with a coworker who has autism?

Sometimes he will ask questions continually and stay fixated on something. The problem is not responding to him causes him to continue with his own assumption of x, y, and z. Answering him causes he and I to go on and on and eventually get in trouble for talking too much and not working.. I've tried to be nice,... show more Sometimes he will ask questions continually and stay fixated on something. The problem is not responding to him causes him to continue with his own assumption of x, y, and z. Answering him causes he and I to go on and on and eventually get in trouble for talking too much and not working.. I've tried to be nice, and say , "I'll be back.." and then go work, but I have to end up bringing dishes back to him or going to the back, where he starts talking again (often about the same thing). Another problem for me is I'm pretty shy, so not only is it the constant fixation on one thing and not letting it go but also the constant socialization, when I just want to be left alone for a bit...I get it that he cannot help it, but I'm at my wits end. I'm afraid he (and worse-- other coworkers and the managers) can tell I'm upset in my tone with how I respond or by giving short replies.. Is it rude to not respond when he knows we're supposed to be working ? Is it rude to say, "Hey, let's talk about this later and get back to work?" Advice would be appreciated!
Update: I'm shy, but that doesn't mean I don't ever talk. I like to talk, just not a lot and not about the same thing I just talked about 15 minutes ago. I don't think anyone likes that. The problem about "shutting up" is I have tried that, and he tries to answer for me, which is infuriating... show more I'm shy, but that doesn't mean I don't ever talk. I like to talk, just not a lot and not about the same thing I just talked about 15 minutes ago. I don't think anyone likes that. The problem about "shutting up" is I have tried that, and he tries to answer for me, which is infuriating because... you know... I'm my own person.

Thank you, though for the actual advice.
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