My son, with autism, doesn’t have any friends.
Wait, before you feel bad for him…. let me explain…..
I’m a very friendly person; I’m chatty, outgoing… did I mention chatty? I can pretty much talk to anybody at any time, unless I’m in a really bad mood, and then get the hell away from me. I’d always just assumed that my children would be the same as me, and my 2nd born actually is. My 1st born, however, has autism, and as I’m sure you can imagine, he’s not exactly as social and chatty as I am.
But, there’s something about this kid that makes the other kids want to be his friend; and he’ll have none of it, no way. I remember when he was a toddler I would watch as the other kids in his daycare would chase him down, yelling his name, wanting to hug him and kiss him. (Okay, he’s absolutely beautiful; maybe that’s part of the reason. And I’m not just saying that, because one time somebody stopped me on the street and said, and I quote: “He’s absolutely beautiful, and I don’t even know you, so you can quote me on that.”) It’s been like this his whole life so far: kids want to be his friend, he does not want to be theirs. He just has absolutely no interest in interacting with his peers, and in ABA we worked and worked at it for a long time. Eventually I said “why am I making him do this if it makes him miserable?” So I stopped, because if that’s what he wants, then I will honor that.
Even today, in 3rd grade, I will walk with him at school and kids will still yell out his name and a cheery hello. Instinctively I prompt him to answer, which he does, because he has learned by route that that’s what you do, but his heart is clearly not in it. At some point I suppose the kids will stop trying so hard to be his friend, and then I’m not really sure what will happen, but for now, this is just how it is.
And so, people often ask me “does he have any friends?” to which I answer “no,” and they respond with something like “oh, that’s too bad…. *sad face*…” But it’s not too bad, because it’s his choice. If he was trying and failing to have friends, then that would be too bad, but now? He’s happy being alone; he doesn’t like other kids, and that’s just the nature of the beast, as I often say (the “beast” being autism, if you hadn’t already guessed that.)
Jillsmo blogs at Yeah. Good Times…visit her there! Want to know who she is? “I have 2 beautiful boys: Child 1 is 8 and has autism. Child 2 is 5 and OMGDOESN’T. I have this blog because lots of random shit goes through my head throughout the normal course of a day and I need a place to put it. Mostly I just ramble incoherently about nothing. I also curse a lot. Sorry, Mom.”
How does your child respond to others trying to befriend him / her?