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Blog

Autistic Adults Making Friends: How Can We Help?

 


Adults with Autism (ASD) are notorious for having inappropriate social skills. More than 50% do not have friends at work. The first step is to learn what a “real friend” looks like.

  • Chill out
  • Cheer up
  • People to have fun with
  • Likes you for being you
  • Stands up when others attack

Causes

People with Autism lack social skills. This results from difficulty reading body language and facial expressions. Being ostracized from peers, They are likely to have low-esteem.

Unfortunately, adults on the spectrum know that they have been labeled their entire lives. This situation has taught them that they have fewer friends than their family and colleagues. They may also know that they’re more likely to be  bullied.  As adults, they’re more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

Reaching Out to Peers

  • What is a friend?
  • Can your friend keep things private?
  • Does your friend explain abstract concepts?
  • Is your friend nice, make you feel good?
  • Are you able to understand which behaviors are acceptable?

Family Support  

Watching a loved one not making friends can be heartbreaking.  Encourage them by surrounding them with people with similar interests.. Picture, picture, picture what interaction. Practice, practice, practice being a friend (repetition). 

Childhood memories often come fleeting back. People making fun of the Autistic student. People on the spectrum are also a target of bullies. Remember…

Help Comes From Within  

  • Look for similarities. You may prefer to be on your own.
  • Practice small talk.
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Practice conversation starters.
  • Identify topics to avoid (money, religion, age).

Social situations can be overwhelming. Times can change. Get out and do things that require social interaction. Include hobbies and a variety of activities that they find interesting.

Have fun.

 

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