How Can I Help My Child With Autism Make Friends?

How can I help my child with autism make friends?

How can I help my child with autism make friends?

  • Teach your child what a friend is and why friends are important. Some children with autism struggle with social interaction. Teaching them the benefits of friendship can be helpful. Social stories and other tools can help with this.
  • Play dates! Try to set up play dates and activities that you think your child will enjoy to help facilitate friendships. Don’t panic if parallel play is occurring during a play date. It can often lead to interactive play over time.
  • Join! Join a support group or organization (like SASI) that offers social events and group activities for children with autism. It’s a perfect “judgement free” zone to venture out into to create opportunities for your child to make friends.
  • Don’t get discouraged. It can be difficult if you extend invites and they are not accepted or reciprocated or if a play date doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped… it brings us back to our own feelings of being left out as a child on the playground. That is hard. Try your best not to let your hurt feelings get in the way and keep trying to set up opportunities for play dates with other children.
  • Focus on quality instead of quantity. Yes we would all love for our child to have a big group of friends to play with. But even one good friendship is a triumph. A great, meaningful friendship is a great start.

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