Some have no time for friends and for others, friends are hard to come by and harder to keep.
Some autistic people prefer the company of their own kind; other autistics with similar personalities and interests. These friendships provide comfort and a feeling of acceptance.
Others seek out friendships with non-autistic persons (known as neurotypicals in the autism/Asperger’s community). These friendships can help the individual to grow, learn and practice new skills.
They provide a safe and comfortable way for the autistic person to learn social skills.
Patience and understanding are required for these types of friendships. They can be of great benefit to the person with autism, but what are the perks for the neurotypical person?
Here are just a few:
- Special interests: From the autistic person, they can learn many things about a particular area of interest. The typical autistic is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to things they like.
- Commitment to excellence: Autistic people will usually not consider a project finished, until it has been quadruple-checked for errors. They will take as much time as they need to make it perfect.
- Attention to detail: Neurotypical people tend to see the overall picture. An autistic person will usually notice the details. They often pick up the smaller things that are usually overlooked (a great partner for a treasure hunt).
- Absolute honesty: A person fishing for a compliment should probably talk to a non-autistic friend, however, if they really want to know how they look in those pants, an autistic person will always give an honest answer. If they can handle the truth, they will get it, every time.
Autistic/neurotypical friendships can be very challenging, but there are many positive and life-enhancing benefits from such a relationship.
Even for the autistic person.