I am Autistic and I have friends.

Advertisements

       This can be a puzzling idea for some people. Having friends is widely regarded as the basis of social interaction, and we live in a world where doing something alone or not having any close companions may be perceived as “strange” or “weird.” Yet, it is possible for Autistic people to have friends.

       Social skills are hard for all of us, every person on the planet, not only Autists. We are social creatures by nature, and we need other people in order to survive; we cannot live our lives alone. However, the world is full of human interactions which we don’t understand. This causes difficulties for Autistic people who do not intuitively understand the world of social interaction. Our society expects everyone to take part in it, and we don’t always meet those expectations; we end up being called “antisocial,” but this is not really true: you can be both autistic and social (although, as I said before: all of us struggle with social skills).

Advertisements

       The idea that Autists have friends may be shocking to some people, but there are many ways in which it is possible. Through small talk with shop assistants, being nice to someone’s pet, or doing a craft together, you can overcome most language barriers. There are online forums where Autists discuss issues they have in common, such as being driven crazy by loud noises, hypersensitive to smells, or struggling with sensory overload.

       You can also find friends through hobbies you share or joining a club together, like Chess Club or the Anime Society. Just because you are Autistic does not mean that you cannot have friends; it just means that sometimes it will be harder. It is possible for Autists to make friends, even if it may take a little extra effort.

Advertisements

       When you come across someone who seems different from everyone else, that could be because they are autistic. They might have difficulties understanding social situations or need help with planning what they want to say, but this does not mean that they will not make friends. The stereotype of someone who is Autistic coming across as socially awkward is simply that: a stereotype, and it does not reflect all people with Autism. True happiness comes through friendship; learning to appreciate what you have can help you grow closer to your fellow human beings, whether or not they are Autistic like yourself.

       The world may be a hard place to navigate, but that does not mean that you cannot find happiness within it. Having friends is the key to making our lives worth living, and we should open our hearts and minds to those around us; Autistic or not, we all deserve to be happy.

One thought on “I am Autistic and I have friends.

Leave a Reply