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Autistic Friend.


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New here and not really sure if I'm posting this in the right place, my apologies if not.

So my ex, who is now one if my very close friends, recently told me that he is autistic. I know absolutely nothing about autism so I googled it to try and get some info and read up what exactly it was. I found some pretty good information that described symptoms and what not but that wasn't really what I was looking for.

I want to be able to understand and help him in any way that I can. It was hard for us to be in a relationship because I'm such a terribly emotional person and because I didn't know about his autism at the time I would get incredibly frustrated with him. Now that I know I want to make our friendship work. I want to know how I can help him and make things easier. I have no experience in this whatsoever.

I guess I'm just asking if anyone has been in a similar situation and how they dealt with it. How can I make our friendship easier and work?

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Autism is a spectrum disorder. Meaning that their are very high functioning people , low functioning, those who are non verbal, and with behavioral issues, and a lot of in between or mild cases of autism.

Your friend is somewhere on the spectrum, that is what he told you> He might be high functioning , and verbal, even able to have relationships with others. If he is very high functioning he may have what is called Asperger's Syndrome. This is when a person can have average to above average inteligence , However, lacks in the areas of social skills , and can become stuck on certain areas of interests only he has. Called narrow interests , and become fixtated on that. It would be difficult to change the converstaion of interest for him, and the conversation would be about this subject that he wants to talk about, even if the listener is not really interested in hearing about it.

Topic of conversations can vary, and even change , however that could be weeks, months to years.

Hopefully your friend was lucky enough to have recieved early intervention when he was first diagnosed, and it was caught early enough to help him with his autism. Because sometimes, the child will have a harder time with learning, new skills, without help of special ED teachers .

If he is on the more high functioning side of autism , which I suspect he is, then a lot of his issues will be more about propper social skills, and how to converse with others.

Some higher functioning adults can go onto college, get an higher education, and have friendships a lot easier then other people with autism.

Eye contact is very hard no matter where a person is on the spectrum. Changing topics of areas of interets to the autistic person is also a chalenge . The person may learn everything their is to know about airplanes. for example, and talk about it all the time, the mechanics of airplanes, type of airplanes , anything about airplanes. Or it could be that of dates, calanders, movies, actors, their are so many things an autistic person could obsess over.

I do not have any information on your friend so it is hard to tell you anything that could help you specifically.

The main thing is tolerance, patience , and understanding. Autistic people are very concrete thinkers, and a lot or most of the time can't understand humor, or when someone is joking . They do not lie, either... It can be hard because of the narrow interests , and lack of eye contact... But even with these issues , it is nice that they can have friendships.

When you are ready maybe you could elaborate more about his behaviors . that will help us understand him better, so it could help you deal with it.

Their are a few people in this community who have direct experience with autism .

my son has autism, he is 17. High functioning because he can talk. He is a very good kid, and doing well in high School. He has been in SDC classrooms since the age of 4.

Other members on here also know a lot about it too. I will tell you though, my son is my life, and mostly our time together is about him and for him. He is my only child , and I have raised him since birth as a single parent.

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Hi Marshmallow. My brother has severe autism and is non-verbal. In autism, there is difficulty in socializing, eye contact, and picking up on the non-verbal cues of others. Behaviors may not always be "socially appropriate". I agree with mscat that patience, care, and understanding are the best ways to be a supportive friend. I would try to be gentle and understanding with your friend, as well as being aware of the struggles he might be facing. You might even offer some gentle guidance if the situation warrants it. I think the fact that you want to be there for him already speaks volumes about your ability to be a wonderful friend.

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