Having a friend who has an autism spectrum disorder can be challenging on your part. Of course, you want that person to become a big part of your life. However, there are times when you will become clueless on what to do with the said individual. You will have a difficult or hard time understanding his tantrums or communicating with him. At the same time, you may also end up getting frustrated because you keep on disagreeing about some issues.
“Autism is one of the most mysterious and confusing disorders facing families and clinicians today and unfortunately the prevalence is growing at an alarming rate.” – John Carosso, PsyD.
Nonetheless, you have to make an effort to build your relationship with this individual. As much as possible, be the best kind of friend that he can have. In this article, we are going to share the top things that you must do when it comes to dealing with a friend who has autism.
Understand The Disorder
The initial step that you must do is to understand what autism is. Stop being a know it all kind of person, because the truth is that there is a lot to learn about the illness. You need to understand the causes, signs, and symptoms of this disorder so that you will become better in dealing with it. You can use certain online resources to educate yourself about autism. However, be sure to verify the sources of the information before believing what you read.
Janeen Herskovitz, LMHC, wrote in her article, “People who are overly dependent, toxic people, or those who simply drain tend to go by the wayside. Those who don’t understand or empathize with your grief process may become angry that you don’t have time for them or accuse you of changing. “You’re just not the same person,” they might say. “I miss the old Sally.”
Be Available At All Times
Another essential thing that you need to consider is to be available to your friend at all times. Keep in mind that he has a disorder that needs attention. The said individual may also need to have someone to talk to whenever he is down or has issues with his autism. Because of this, it is best if you can be with this person whenever he needs someone to be there for him. He will surely appreciate it if he can see that you always go out of the way just to be with him.
Give Him Some Space
Once you learn more about autism, you will discover that sometimes, people with this kind of disorder may become dissociative with society. As such, you must respect your friend’s privacy in case he wants to be alone for some time. You have to stop forcing him to socialize if he does not want to. Take note that you must become supportive of your friend. Otherwise, he will end up having issues or problems with your friendship.
As already mentioned above, it is going to be difficult on your part to have a friend who has autism. There will be challenges along the way. However, everything is going to become easier once you take note of the things we mentioned above. If you think that your friend’s disorder starts to become worse, the best thing that you can do is to encourage him to see a therapist. If he does not listen to your advice, you can also talk to a family member who can help you convince him to get the right treatment.
“Autism is expressed to varying degrees and in different ways in each individual. A diagnosis of autism is not a defining label. It is an opportunity to begin exploring the expressions of the neurological differences between the autistic and neurotypical.” – Sarah Swenson, LMHC.