Parenting

Making Friends: Advice for Kids with Autism

Making Friends: Advice for Kids with Autism

Making friends can be difficult, especially when autism is involved. Often, kids will be bullied and "othered" due to their differences, making advice on how to make friends all the more important - and who knows better than other kids?

Read on for some autism-friendly advice for making friends that really speaks to kids.

What is a friend?

In order to learn how to make friends, one must first determine what a friend is - and why they're valuable.

Children describe a friend as "someone you can have fun with." Friends are the people that like you for exactly who you are.

As you grow up, both of you will go through many changes, but the best friendships last through it all.

What do friends do together?

When kids were asked what friends do together, they said, "friends share, play together, and laugh with each other."

When you're sad, a friend is the person who tries to make you happy. When you're feeling alone, a friend is the one who will sit by your side. If someone is being mean to you, a friend is the one who will always stick up for you and protect you. Of course, if you are a good friend, you will do all the same things for them.

Where can you make friends?

The first step in making friends is having a place where you can meet them! Of course, you can make them absolutely anywhere; some people even say "there are no strangers, just friends you haven't met yet," but some places are easier than others.

School is one of the easiest places, as you can strike up a conversation with anyone. You already have something in common - school! Then, you can ask if they want to be your partner on a project, or if they want to play together at recess or come over after school.

If you haven't had any luck making friends at school, try clubs or groups. Is there a sport or musical instrument you like? Then, join sports teams or band! This way, you'll have lots of potential friends with the same interests that you have, meaning you can practice and have even more fun together! Some of these might even be available at your school, which lets you make other friends in your class.

If you have one friend and they have a birthday party or play date with others, avoid only talking to your friend, but meet the other people there and you might find that they can be your friends too! This is perfect because if you become friends, you can all spend time together!

If you are religious, your place of worship could also be a great place.

In the summer, there are camps that you can be a part of, where there are lots of games and bonding activities built in to facilitate new friendships!

If you're in a public place, like a playground in a park, always be friendly to those around you! In the end, you never know where you could meet your new friend.

Read on for more kid-friendly words of advice to make friends.