Ending a friendship with an autism friend is as difficult for your child as ending a friendship with a NT child. The fact that my daughter was able to hold onto the friendship for as long as she did says something for her as a person. This school year started off great. They met, and instantly became best friends. I was happy for her, and really happy for the young autistic girl she befriended. Her new friend has a hard time making friends, because her social skills are really lacking.
The school year has been a constant roller coaster ride for their friendship. My daughter has tried to understand her friend, but it was really difficult. Her friend would get upset over something, and end their friendship. The next day, she would want to be friends again. Each time she would end the friendship, it would break my daughter’s heart. My daughter has a really caring nature, and is really forgiving.
The other week, her autistic friend told got upset and told her they weren’t friends anymore. My daughter yelled back at her, “fine! This time it’s over for good.” When she told me, a part of me hurt for her and a part of me hurt for the other child. I wanted my daughter to wait it out, give the other child another chance. I wanted to talk her into it, but didn’t. Instead, I kept silent and just comforted my daughter.
As much as I was hurting for the other child, because I understood what she was going through, I had to think of my daughter. It’s difficult, as a mother of an autistic child, to ignore the needs of another autistic child. In this case, I really had no choice. I had to put the needs of my daughter first.
It wasn’t fair to keep pushing my daughter into giving the other girl another chance. Each time she did, she would end up being hurt even more when the other girl would lash out at her. It makes me sad, but I just had to let my daughter do what she felt was best. I had to let her give up on their friendship.
How would I feel if it was my son in this situation? I would be wanting the mother of the other child to convince their child to give him another chance. As a mom, we want our children to be happy. We want everyone to do what we need them to do for their child. Unfortunately, real life doesn’t work that way. The world doesn’t revolve around our children. Wouldn’t it be nice if it did? Other parents have to do what is best for their own child. This might not be what is best for the other child involved, but we can’t be accountable for that.
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve asked my daughter to be patient, and give her friend another chance. This last time, I just couldn’t bring myself to do that again. My daughter was in too much pain. This last blow-up hurt too much. I had to let my daughter walk away from their friendship. Does this mean that they won’t work it out? No. There is always a possibility that they will. It just means that it will be between them. I won’t be interfering. I will offer advice if my daughter asks, but I won’t try to push her into reconciling with the other child. Sometimes, you just have to know when to step away and let your child do things on her own.