Being a Friend
An article about ways to be a good friend to a child with autism.
Everyone does better with love and support from families and friends. Share these ideas with the children in your family’s life to help build understanding:
- Include him. He may want to play but may not know how to ask. Tell him exactly what he can do to join the fun, and give him what he needs (like “You can stack these blocks with us. Here is a block.”). Try to find something you both like (like horses or a certain television show).
- Keep trying. It may take time, and a few different tries on different days, to get to know your new friend. That’s okay. If she says no or needs space, you can stop trying that day.
- People have ways besides talking to tell us what they know and want. Autistic children might put your hand on an object for help, repeat what you say, or use sounds or pictures to let you know what they want.
- When you see your friend hand flapping, rocking, or repeating noises, she might be trying to calm down.
- Be patient. Just because your friend is quiet or looking away doesn’t mean she is not listening or getting what you say. She may need more time to respond. It’s okay to repeat yourself or wait a bit.
- Tell a grown-up if you see someone being unkind to your friend.
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A printable lyric sheet.
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A printable coloring page celebrating Julia and Samuel’s friendship with new friend, Wes.
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A printable about making alternate plans.