Thoughts from the Budding Daisies - part 6
Guest blogger, 9 year-old Magic Bunny, tells us about autism from her perspective
Friends: They’re so important!
Friends. Aren’t they great? They cheer us up when we’re sad, help us when we’re stuck, and are generally one of the things that bring joy to our lives. And they’re no less important to autistic girls than to neurotypical children.
In this world some of us are FABULOUS at making friends, and seem to be a magnet of friendship for anyone they see walking by. However, some of us are less good at making friends, and tend to struggle in social situations. Sadly, these are often autistic people. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope!
The important thing for us neurodivergent girls is to meet each other, and since we have similar ways of communicating, we can often find that they are much easier to interact with than neurotypical children. We can share the same interests, we can spend time learning about each other, enjoy similar sensory things, or just be around each other and enjoy each other’s presence. Being in the same room as each other but doing our own interests at the same time is called parallel play. It is a very nice and relaxed way for neurodivergent people to enjoy each other’s company without pressure to socialise in a neurotypical way.
However, on the flip side, sometimes neurodivergent girls can have a strong connection with neurotypical children. In some situations it can be good to have a neurotypical friend, because they can help you to socialise when around other neurotypical people. It can also be useful to help neurodivergent girls to not feel lonely, because sometimes in environments with fewer neurodivergent people, it can be hard to enjoy yourself when you don’t have anyone to be around.
So the message of this blog post is to try and make friends! But the important thing is, being friends doesn’t mean intense socialising, because that can be difficult for neurodivergent girls to manage. So see if you can help her to make some friends and to help her find where she belongs. There are some good ideas below:
If you are finding it hard to find other neurodivergent girls, you might like to try going to Incredible Kids, or Gympanzees, or one of the play sessions run by Jigsaw. And you can join the NeonDaisy Facebook group and ask in there if there are other girls of a similar age or interests who would like to meet up.
Co-written by guest blogger MagicBunny and Laura Webb, a director of NeonDaisy