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My daughter is lonely

Pogleswood's picture
by
Pogleswood


My daughter is lonely

Mon 19 Oct 2015 10:36am

Hi all,

My daughter is almost 17 & was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when she was 3 years old. Until now we have been coping relatively well with her behaviour but in the last year we have struggled greatly - especially regarding her being lonely. She used to love her own company but not so much anymore. 

She has a couple of friends but NEVER gets invited to their houses - instead one in particular is around a lot at ours.

She has so much to offer in a friendship - polite, funny, quite articulate & with all the usual AS quirks that make her unique.

We currently live in Cumbria but will be moving to Preston hopefully this year. Does anyone have any tips for making friends ? She is a member of a Nintendo group & has "friends" all over the world she messages daily - but she just wants to be invited for tea ! 

Thanks,

Jane 

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7 Comments

  • Buttercup's picture

    Hello Jane

     

    your daughter sounds really lovely. I have an 18 year old son with high functioning autism . A very gentle soul who has struggled with friendships in one way or other for most of his life, although it really started to become apparent around the age of 13/14 when the social life of young people becomes more complicated, and often more group based and more purely social in nature. And it's a problem you can't fix for them. 

    Focusing on interests is a good way to develop friendships and it sounds like she is already exploring that quite effectively online. Is there a way she could do that face to face? There probably aren't that many Nintendo meet up groups, but if she has any other interests? 

    In our area there is a group for young people aged 15-21 with Aspergers/ high functioning autism. It's run by the young people themselves and is funded by a local autism charity. My son didnt want to go, so I don't know if it was any good. You could do some research to see if there's anything like that in the area you are moving to. 

    There was a long time during which my son literally had no friends at all, which was very painful for him, and for me, so don't underestimate your daughter's current social life, even if it's not ideal. 

    My son has started a computing course at college and is finally starting to make friends. He says he is meeting loads of people who are similar to him and interested in the same things, which just confirms to me that shared interests really helps. He also liked it that no one really knew him so he could make a fresh start. 

    the teenage years can be so difficult when you're on the autistic spectrum. Keeping the lines of communication open is important, it's great that she can confide in you. Much better than pretending everything is fine.

    How does your daughter feel about the move? 

    Amy - Community Champion
  • fixmatop's picture

    Hi Jane

    Your daughter sounds to be in a similar situation to I was at her age, very keen to make friends and spend time with them but struggles with not being able to be around their homes or other friends. I had this problem for many years.

    I agree that persuing interest groups is a good idea, I found a lot of my friends through shared interest. Is ther any way to find out if any of her online nintendo friends live in the area or the area near you are moving to that she can arrange to meet with.

    You say at least one of her friends visit your house, but maybe if she wants to do more away from your house and find a way to be around her friends homes. They can arrange days out or to go for something to eat together more regularly and take turns to meet each other at each others houses. This would maybe encourage her friend or friends parents to get to know her more or invite her for dinner ect more.

    Kim - Community Champion
  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Jane

    Welcome to the forum.

    My son was also diagnosed around three with Aspergers and is now 20 and while I felt bad for him not having any friends when he was younger he was quite happy just to stand on the outskirts and observe.

    As has already been mentioned having common interests is definitely a good way for our kids to slowly make their way into socialising.  Tom started via his Xbox when he was in his early teens and then gradually met up with one or two of his local online buddies.   He's now actually the most social of my three kids although he is not keen on meeting new people but says he's good at it but doesn't like not remembering their names.  He now has a good bunch of friends who accept him for who he is.

    Could you have a quiet word with the friend who visits your house quite often and see if perhaps she could ask your daughter to visit her for a change?

     

     

    Josie - Community Champion
  • SherpaMum's picture

    I would agree that finding groups that she is interested in would help, common interests are useful.  Also it would be checking if there are any groups for young people with ASD locally to you, check your local NAS or Council directory.

    I hope she does make some friends.

  • sl72's picture

    There's a new National Autistic Society Centre opened in Preston this year with lots of activities. Hope that helps! Smile

    sl
  • Tallulah's picture

    Hello, and welcome to the forum.

     

    I am sorry to hear your daughter is lonely. I can relate a lot to that. I am 34 and was diagnosed with Asperger's 8 years ago. Whilst I can get along with my work colleagues, I do not have any friends as such, part from those I know via the internet. I consider their friendship genuine, but I do wish I had someone I could meet up with sometimes and do things together.

     

    I am moving house in a couple of weeks. There doesn't seem to be anything for autistic people in my new area, so I am planning on starting my own group, meeting once a month in a quiet pub on a weekday evening. My main aim is to meet some friends myself! At 17, that would probably be quite a big undertaking for your daughter.

     

    Your daughter might like a forum called Aspie Village. It is only for adults on the spectrum aged 16+. The guy who started it actually lives in Preston. They do organise some meet-ups, so this may be a way for your daughter to meet other aspies once you move to Preston.

    Laura - Community Champion
  • CharlotteL's picture

    Hi Jane,

    Welcome to the forum. Your daughter sounds lovely.

    We are running a youth project for 16-25 year olds with autism called myVoice, which she might be interested in. 

    There are lots of different ways to get involved and opportunities to meet other young people with autism:

    She could get involved as much or as little as she wanted. 

    https://www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk/understanding-autism/are-you-age...

    There is a number of the page for a member of our participation/youth team who you could chat to more if you had any questions.

    Charlotte

    Charlotte

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