Home Forums Frequently Asked Questions An Autistic Friend

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    • Anonymous
      Post count: 394

      Note: SFTAH transferred this from old data base when site was updated, thus date and name lost, all dates 2006 & 2007 changed during changeover to odd dates.I am in my second year of sixth form college. in september, the new first years came in. Amongst them, there is an autistic girl who clearly struggles in social situations. Myself and my friends had already had a firm bond and did not really want anyone new to join the group. The Autistic girl came along and began to talk to us, very uncomfotably for us. To cut a long story short, my group and I are very uncomfortable around her and she doesn't understand that she isn't wanted by us. At the same time we know that she has very few people who will be there for her, and as a result we hesitate to tell her this. In addition, she has clearly expressed a romantic interest towards me. I have made it clear that I don't want a romantic relationship, but she keeps making moves towards me, taking my hand and such. We don't want her around yet we don't want to tell her to go away. I need some help with this, a way to tell her to stop and go away, while not upsetting her. Any suggestions??

    • Anonymous
      Post count: 394

      Gosh, I don’t know. I wonder if your friends decided that they actually had enough friends and that you were making them uncomfortable, how would you like them to tell you ? What do you think is the gentlest way to hear that you were not someone that they had any interest in being polite to. The hand holding etc is easy. You simply tell her that you do not feel comforatble when she touches you and if she does it again you will not spend time with her – abstract concepts like “girl friend” are possibly muddling to her and you would do better to be very specific about which behaviour is unacceptable. The rest of this is up to you. If you and your group are so fragile that you cannot be around anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable then you need to find the words to explain that to her. I am, like many here , the mother of an autistic boy and I’m afraid that asking me to give you an easy, concience salving method by which you can be mean is not something I particularly want to do. Thank god my son is severe and will always be with me or his peers – those poor kids that have to mingle with the ‘normal’population. No wonder the highest cause of death amongst aspergers is suicide. Just how unforgiving have we become that anyone a bit different should just go away and that their feelings are not even part of the process. How sorry I feel for that poor girls mum who is probably so proud that her girl is coping so well in mainstream…………. How totally depressing.

    • Anonymous
      Post count: 394

      Hello Anon,

      I know that you may be frustrated with this young lady wanting to be friends with your group, but in al honesty if you have already tried to get her to understand that you do not want her coming around.

      Then you may want to consider meeting with your group some place else.

      Clearly you already know that she is mentally challenged. So you will not be doing the right thing to reject her harshly.

      I agree with Deborah went she said “No wonder the highest cause of death amongst Asperger’s is suicide.”

      If at all possible get her to come with you so you can speak to her separate from the group and then speak with her in a gentle way to see if she will understand that you and your group are meeting like this because of a group discussion working on a project and that as a group you need the privacy.

      At this point you may see her reaction and you will need to ask if she understands you.

      If this does not work then you and your group will need to find another place to meet.

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    • Anonymous
      Post count: 3

      Autistic children (and adults) can and do show affection, especially with people that they feel comfortable with (usually a few very familiar family members).
      In fact, some children actually “over show” affection because they are not aware of proper social behavior. They may hug strangers without permission, pick up and carry around younger children, etc. They are simply trying to show their excitement and interest in other people but tend to go about it the wrong way. Other autistic individuals who do attempt to attain social acceptance may be unable to understand the rules of the majority and hence find themselves despised and rejected.
      Many lower-functioning or nonverbal autistic individuals may not have the ability to understand certain social principles, and thus cannot think in terms of how someone else feels.
      Other autistic individuals are very selfish and self-centered with regard to other people. Those individuals aren’t necessarily trying to annoy or reject everyone they meet. They just lack a basic awareness of other people.
      Autistic children who do not have the ability to understand that they are bothering someone do not understand why they have to stop and hence will continue to bother them.
      Why don’t you and your friends teach her new behaviour skills.It is important to tell her the truth; how you feel about her inappropriate touching you or others, and even teach her about feeling and who to share with. Drawing a circle with her in the middle, then family members, peers, etc., write her ex. who to touch, who to kiss, who to hug, etc.Teach her to excuse you when you have something else to do.
      Put yourself in her shoes for a moment. Would you want everyone to run from you and not knowing why?
      In the end, you might be the greatest friend she ever had.

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