What It’s Like Having a Friend With Autism

Having a friend with autism can be difficult at times, but with the right perspective and attitude, it can also be one of the best things that’s ever happened to you. Here are some tips and tricks to being an awesome friend to someone on the spectrum.

Be Patient

I have been friends with my friend with autism for over two years now. I like to think that our friendship is one of the most natural friendships I’ve ever had, and it feels like we’re always in sync with what the other person needs. There are definitely some minor things that have changed about our relationship since he was diagnosed, but those changes just show how close of friends we really are.

Find the Right Support for Your Autistic Friend

The first step to supporting an autistic friend is to learn more about the condition. There are many misconceptions and misunderstandings about autism, but it can be an eye-opening experience for those who don’t know much about it. The next step is to ask the person what they need. Some people with autism may want someone in their life who knows what they’re going through, while others might prefer not to have any contact with other people.

Encourage Their Personal Development

If you have a friend with autism, it is important to know that they are not just struggling to understand the world around them. They are also struggling to be understood. And what makes it even more difficult is that their unique way of processing information can be very different than the way other people process information. 

As your friend, they will need your help in understanding the world around them and how things work.

Accept Their Challenges

I have many friends with autism and they all have different challenges. Some of my friends are nonverbal, some are hyperactive, and some are non-compliant. They each have their own set of issues that they deal with on a day-to-day basis and it can be frustrating to not know how to help them sometimes. However, I’ve learned that you need to accept their challenges as part of who they are.

Set Limits

It’s important to set limits when you’re with your friend, as they might not understand that they’re doing something inappropriate and might not stop. You’ll have to be very firm with them, but don’t get frustrated or yell at them; just calmly state what you want them to do and give them time to comply.

Always Keep in Touch

The best thing you can do is be there for them, and let them know that they are loved. They need to feel like they have the same sense of self-worth as anyone else would. You can also help by not overstimulating them and making sure their environment is as calm as possible.

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