Have you ever noticed that most TV shows and movie plots are usually around a group of friends?

Or a guy with a girlfriend who has a friend. 

Society has romanticize what friendship looks like.

It’s depicted as this enjoyable, obvious, and achievable thing. 

Most conversation starters are what did you do with your friends over the weekend? 

All of the sudden I feel like a huge failure because I have to admit I have a lack of friends.

Admitting I do not have friends, in front others who already labelled me the strange kid, now I am the strange friendless kid.

I felt pressured to conform to what others view to be socially successful. I was so desperate to find friends, that I settled for friends that didn’t respect or value me. I think society has unrealistic expectations on what friendship is or what friendship looks like for autistics. 

To be honest hanging out with a group for an extended amount of time is mentally draining for me. If autistics do not feel safe or fully accepted by the group, they will continually mask and hide their true authentic self.

Masking long term risks potential autistic burn out. I think autistic teens like myself who struggle with friendships or connecting with others their own age should focus on finding people with like-minded interests through activities.

Focusing on company rather than friendships. If friendship is meant to happen it will happen in a relaxed environment, with minimal expectations.

Where we can be our true selves, that’s when we shine best. 


Published by Autistic Perspectives

__________ Summer Farrelly is 15-year-old Autistic Advocate, Public speaker, Inclusion & Education Consultant, Artist, Chicken Whisperer, Animal Assisted Learning Program Creator & Facilitator , Animal Therapies LTD Ambassador and The A List Ambassador. A daughter of a late diagnosed autistic mother and a sister of two autistic brothers. Summer believes her lived experience as an autistic individual and living within a family that consists of multiple autistic members, each with their own complexities, will provide both a relatable and diverse perspective For the last 5 years Summer has been sharing her personal insight and the benefits of human and animal connection. Often stepping out of her comfort zone sharing vulnerable, raw, and real moments of life challenges faced by young autistic teens in hope to educate and inspire others. Summer has become a recognised and valued contributor within the Animal Assisted Learning and Therapy platforms. Summer’s connection with animals has provided her with the strength needed to navigate life as an autistic teen who faces daily challenges of self-harm, ADD, PTSD, anxiety, Reactive depression, and Dyslexia. Summer’s journey is about understanding herself emotionally through their connection with animals more importantly this journey is about understanding herself and practicing self-care. About Animal Assisted Learning Program ‘Chickens to Love’ Summer developed Animal Assisted Learning Program Chickens to Love for Autistic and other Neurodivergent people (this includes anyone who may be ADHD, ADD, ABI or anyone whose brain is not considered “typical”). I created Chickens to Love as an inclusive program, to benefit everyone and include everyone, because neurodiversity is part of biodiversity. We all can benefit from understanding ourselves, our emotions, and the perspectives of others. Our communities must understand and learn the importance of a deeper level of compassion, empathy, and acceptance of differences. Neurodivergent people, are often encouraged or forced to fit in to everyone else’s way of seeing the world. The Cultivation of self-esteem in ones self-starts with self-love, self-acceptance and having the ability to embrace one’s true authentic self. Chickens to Love is designed from a neurodivergent and animal (Chicken) perspective to better understand social dynamics, emotions (ours and other people’s), other people’s perspectives, consent, respectful touch, resilience, self-acceptance, empowerment and how to self-advocate. Animals can change our lives. Never underestimate the power of them!

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