Autism, Friendship and Relationships

Children holding hands
495 324 Paul Louden

Inside every autistic person there are the same general needs for connection and interaction that a typical person has. We’re all human and we want to have great relationships. I think that’s something that most people can agree on.


Wanting friends is something that comes naturally to everyone, including those of us on the spectrum. But in my personal experiences (of course people with autism all experience different things in life), friends are few and far between, and friendship can be very difficult.


I didn’t really understand friendship the way others did. I shared activities with people, but it often didn’t connect to me that it matters so much which people I was sharing those activities with. There has always been a missing element for me when it comes to friendship and friendly relationships.


Observing people around me, I know I am missing how to make friends. I would have liked someone to teach me when I was younger, but we can’t learn it from just anyone who knows how to make a friend. People with autism — myself specifically — need someone who has a special insight, with an in-depth view of where we are and can explain the importance of friendship in a way we can grasp it.


Autism is not a reason to avoid having relationships. But it needs to be worked on, and the biggest part of friendship is trust.


Thanks, as always, for reading.

— Paul

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