Filling the Autism Friendship Void

Since moving to the Seattle area D has been doing a lot of Medical Research Studies. (We don’t do any concerning medication but will do pretty much any other.) He loves doing them because he gets to make lots of money.

Recently as one of the researchers was interviewing me for my part in the study, she said, “I just wanted to mention that D said that when he doesn’t get his TV time he feels very lonely.” This stopped me in my tracks. I suddenly realized that for him, TV shows and movies were his friends, this is how he experiences friendship because he really doesn’t have any. He knows how to navigate those friendships. He knows what to expect of those friendships as they are the same every time.

I don’t know wether to feel happy or sad about this revelation. I’m happy for this glimpse into my son’s world and why watching video’s is so important for him. I’m happy that at least in some way he is experiencing friendship.

I’m sad because this is how he experiences friendship. I’m sad because he doesn’t know the joys of the give and take of a good relationship with a friend.

I’m left realizing that social skills groups are a must. That I need to continue making opportunities for him to find and make friends but possibly even more importantly to help him learn to navigate relationships.


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