Social struggles are a part of what many people with autism tend to face. While those touched by autism may find making friends to be difficult, the notion that it is impossible for autistic individuals to make friends is exactly the assumption Bryan Chandler is setting out to dispel. Bryan has Asperger’s (high-functioning autism) and – as he shared on The Mighty – feels that “we may have difficulty making friends, but we’re certainly able to make friends. It needs to be the right kind of person who’s willing to understand and accept the individual for who he or she is.” He goes on to say that the “general perception of autism makes me want to fall into my shell and recluse myself from the world. So my advice would be to stop talking and start listening to those on the spectrum.”
To further his important point, he went out and asked his Asperger Syndrome Awareness Facebook community: Do any other ‘Aspies’ struggle making and maintaining friendships?
The numerous heartfelt responses were varied – with some invaluable insights. Here are just some of them:
“I have very few close friends, and many of them also have Asperger’s or another form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We get along because of mutual understanding of each other’s strengths and limitations.” – Rhiannon Hartwell
“I can make friends. It’s maintaining them [that’s] hard.” – Evenstar Hebert
“My desire and need for isolation is so great and I almost never feel lonely…nurturing my budding friendship with the time and attention needed is very difficult for me.” – Dymphna Dionne Janney
“I just enjoy being with those few close friends who I have a great bond with. My acquaintances just don’t know how to relate to me completely.” – Chris Buley
You can read Bryan’s full post here.
Lynsey, Community Manager