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A mother of a teenage son on the autism spectrum offers 10 words to help teenagers interact and befriend her son.


10 Words to Consider When You Befriend My Son With Autism

1. Accept

“There may be some things he does or says that may not make sense to you, but they make sense to him. Accept it. Accept him.”

2. Consider

“Consider him. Include him. Think of him. Even if he chooses not to go, he will remember that you considered him.”

3. Educate

“Educate yourself about autism, and educate yourself about him.”

4. Forgive

“Like any friend, my son might make a mistake.”

5. Ask

“He may have said no every single time you asked him to join you, but keep asking. One time he might just say yes.”

6. Space

“He may need a little space after a period of time. He will know when he needs that space and when he is ready to join again.”

7. Time

“It takes time for him to connect, to trust. If you give him his time, I promise he is so worth yours.”

8. Individual

“Remember that he is an individual, not a collective disorder.”

9. Respect

“Even after you ask, educate and consider, you still might not ‘get’ him, but please still respect him.”

10. Kindness

“Just be kind. Period. The end.”

Originally published: April 20, 2018
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