I had a meltdown in class last year as a result of repressed trauma, the trigger was the entire term content and topic.
Summer what makes you a good friend?
Come on Summer, surely you have friends?
Don’t you have any friends?
*In front of my entire class * Nothing I do makes me a good friend.
What do you mean? don’t you know what qualities you need to be a good friend?
I do not have any qualities that makes a good friend
What? so you don’t have any other kids your own age that you hang out with?
* Meltdown is now in full swing *
There is a lack of understanding within our communities around autistics and their abilities to navigate the social world.
I appear to communicate effectively and appear outgoing, so its automatically presumed that I do not need support.
Friendship has always been a mystery to me.
I remember thinking how can you tell if someone is your friend? because everyone has a different concept of what friendship is.
In the past I have valued friendship more than what the other person has.
When someone decides instantly not to be your friend. I became confused , hurt and struggled to make sense of it all.
I’ve been bullied by kids that I thought were my friends.
Over time I closed myself off to the thought of having friends my own age.
All my friends are currently adults they are more predictable, the conversations are more in-depth and I feel they understand me better, I feel safe.
Unfortunately, this scenario isn’t uncommon.
I feel that if there was a better understanding within education system on, how best to support students.
How to best facilitate strategies for students who have challenges navigating friendships.
Things may have turned out differently for me if I was understood by those around me.
Even better let’s start with installing the concept of acceptance of differences, so eventually they are no longer differences, they become a way of life.