Help her develop healthy connections
Neurodivergent relationships can look different from neurotypical ones, and are just as valuable.
Young people might enjoy their interests near each other, feeling each other's physical energy, without talking much. Maybe they like disappearing into a make-believe world together, or playing computer games. Or perhaps they just prefer being on their own.
Check your own ideas of what friendships 'should' look like, lean back, and gently hold her connections in whatever way they show up.
Spotting people who are good for her
Learning to recognise people who are good for her mental wellbeing will help your girl have healthy and safe relationships. It's good for her to set her own boundaries and express them in a healthy way. Other people do not have to agree with or understand her boundaries in order to respect them.
True friends, who are good for her mental wellbing, will understand that her wants and needs are just as important as theirs. So she can try using the 'filter' below to help work out people who are good for her mental wellbeing, and people who aren’t.
Imagine someone is joking around with you, and you don’t like it. You could say: “I know you were joking just then, but I didn’t like it. Please stop.” You can then ‘filter’ people based on how they respond to you next:
Do they make you feel bad and that you are the problem? For example, they say something like: “I was just joking! Can’t you take a joke? Stop being so sensitive!” If so, they are probably not someone who is good for your mental wellbeing. You may not be able to completely avoid them, but just keep this in your mind when you interact with them.
Or do they change their behaviour to make you more comfortable? For example, they say something like: “Oh, I’m sorry – I didn’t realise. I'll try not to do that next time." They might not get it right all the time, but you should be able to see that they are trying. If so, they are probably someone who is better for your mental wellbeing.
Don't forget: Your wants and needs are valid. Other people do not need to agree with or understand your boundaries in order to respect them.
Explore more on this site:
More ideas about boundaries and personal insight from an autistic adult: Raising a Wild Child
Join the NeonDaisy community for parents in the Bristol area to connect their girls
Find local groups and clubs in and around Bristol
Local groups and activities for over-16s and adults run by Diverse
Find events run by local charity Auti-Ms