How to Remain a Positive Friend for Your Autistic Buddy

How to Remain a Positive Friend for Your Autistic Buddy

People's social and emotional growth is typically aided by their relationships with others.

Even more significantly, positive relationships can improve a person's physical and mental well-being.

Showing your support for autism can be as simple as being a positive friend for your autistic body.

Although those on the autism spectrum and those without it view the social world differently, a strong relationship can be formed via transparency and empathy.

To be a positive friend for your autistic buddy, the first step taken is to learn what your buddy likes and dislikes.

As they view the world differently, you cannot use the same template of maintaining friendships with them as you could with a non-autistic person.

Next up is being patient.

Being patient is crucial to the growth of a positive relationship with your buddy because it helps them understand that you are respectful of them.

Have patience and wait.

Just be in the moment and enjoy your time together.

It is important to utilize different forms of positive reinforcement.

Complimenting a friend on positive or socially desirable activities is crucial to maintaining a positive relationship.

Below are more details on tips for being a positive friend for your autistic buddy:

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Learn Your Pal's Likes and Dislikes

Making true friendships with people without knowing each other's preferences is almost impossible.

Without this knowledge, one is most likely to clash with the other person, more often than not.

An autistic buddy may have unique requirements for how often and in what ways they wish to interact with others and how they would like their relationship to be demonstrated.

This way, miscommunications can arise when people use their preferences as a starting point.

Successful friendships are those based on shared interests, as this makes difficult social interactions and out-of-the-ordinary behavior less of a factor.

Don't try to mold someone into something they aren't; instead, accept them as they are.

Remember that you are trying your hardest and that they're probably doing the same.

Although a person with autism may have difficulty communicating due to the disorder's impact on brain function, it is crucial to note that these difficulties in no way diminish the fact that they are smart, capable, passionate, and honest individuals.

Because of the differences in perspective, friendships with autistic individuals necessitate direct and honest communication, especially between non-autistic people and autistic people.

Through communication, you can learn the likes or dislikes of your buddy. 

Be Patient

Your friend's reaction to difficult circumstances may be influenced by how you handle them.

Do you often groan aloud, roll your eyes, or get angry? Your friend takes note.

Try to be more conscious of your own reactions and set an example for how you want your friend to respond.

Give them time to comprehend what you've said and respond to your words while attempting to communicate with them.

Asking your autistic buddy if they want some alone time is not something to be afraid of.

When they do, give them the grace they deserve.

Being supportive when they feel overwhelmed, especially in social circumstances, and assisting them in unwinding or finding comfort in other ways is also very beneficial.

Provide a quiet space for your autistic friend to regroup if you notice that he is becoming overstimulated or overwhelmed.

You are building an accessible friendship and enabling rather than disabling your autistic buddy by being aware of their needs and understanding them.

Make Use of Positive Reinforcement 

Among the many methods of behavior modification, positive reinforcement has been shown to be particularly useful.

Motivating your pal to be responsible, complete their tasks, and get along with their siblings and other people can be accomplished through the use of positive reinforcement.

Sometimes, the motivation they need is a reward.

Let them be aware of how happy you are for them and how much you appreciate it when they complete their tasks or are the first to approach a new person or share their interests with them.

In doing so, you'll boost their confidence while also making it crystal clear that you value and approve of these actions.

It's more likely that your friend will engage in that conduct again if you continually praise and encourage it.

It's not necessary to use physical rewards to show appreciation.

The alternative is to use positive reinforcement, such as Loud applause and cheers, giving a thumbs-up, by use of a high five, or even a pat on the back. 

Stand Up for Them 

To be a positive friend for your autistic buddy and to keep such a friendship, you need to be responsible, reliable, and dependable.

Having a companion at your side can lift anyone's spirits during times of sadness and provide company during times of isolation.

When compared to the general population, people on the autism spectrum are disproportionately affected by bullying, abuse, and other forms of violence, and this is true at all stages of life.

If you notice a friend being teased or bullied because they have autism, speak up.

Being bullied is less likely to occur if you have a good friend because friends defend one another when necessary.

However, in the incident that it does occur, not only should you stand up for them, you should encourage them to speak up for themselves as well as go ahead to report the issue to the appropriate authorities. 

Aim to Be Sincere in Your Intentions 

A person's desire to help an autistic person may lead them to extend a hand in friendship.

But make sure your motives are pure; you aren't just trying to look good by association.

When you genuinely care about someone and accept them as they are, without trying to alter anything about them, but instead embracing who they are, you have a positive effect on them.

It's possible that your autistic friend will become upset over something that seems inconsequential to you.

Don't brush off his/her worries as irrelevant.

When you take time to let them express themselves, you are showing that you care how they are feeling, which further shows the Genuity of your intentions.

Also, you can join local autistic support organizations.

These organizations can be an incredible resource not only for your friend but for you as well.

This additional effort, which also demonstrates your commitment to autism advocacy, will be a game-changer in terms of friendship and support.

Conclusion

After all is said and done, being a positive friend for your autistic buddy is achievable; it requires effort on both sides to learn about one another and find methods to connect in meaningful ways that lead to feelings of closeness, trust, and safety.

If there is sufficient understanding and real acceptance of the unique ways in which each person views the world, autistic and non-autistic individuals can create meaningful friendships, and it shows your support for autism in your own little way.

Remember, to be a positive friend for your autistic buddy; you have to; learn what your pal likes and dislikes, be patient, make good use of positive reinforcements, stand up for your autistic friend and aim to be sincere in your intentions.

Resources 

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March 25th, 2023