An Autism-Friendship-related Challenge

My son has a friend—which in itself is a big deal in the world of autism.

And, it’s a big deal for our kid.

My son has known a lot of kids, but has never had too many close friendships over the years. And, the “friends” he did have were mostly through social groups. He did stay in touch with one of them, and we see that friend every once in a while, but most of those have come and gone, for whatever reason(s).

He especially never had a friend in the manner of, “Hey, mom, can I go over to ______’s house and play?” “Mom, when can I go play with _______ again?”

Those words are music to my ears.

For the last year, I’ve heard that a lot.

My son finally had a good friend.

These boys have known each other since first grade. They now attend the same middle school, and even have a class together.

This friend has some challenges, yet not the same ones as my son.

Recently, a big challenge has surfaced for this pair of friends.

What’s happening?

My son gets obsessed on things. And, when he’s obsessed, well, like the definition of the word itself, he wants to do only that thing.

Lately, he’s been into a thing called an Amiibo. (Sorry, but I’m not all that clear on what they are, but let’s just call them Amiibos from this point onward.)

This thing is part collectable, part computer game (somehow).

Now, it was my son’s friend who got him into these Amiibos.

What’s the problem?

It turns out, I think one of the problems is that the two friends are in different places for the things that they like.

For example, my son is just beginning to get into and collect these Amiibos.

His friend has had an interest in these Amiibos for a while now, and he has about 70 of them. Tons!

The boys want to get together, but now there’s a big challenge for the two of them.

What’s the challenge?

They’re at different places in interests, and (per autism) they don’t do a great job at communicating their feelings to each other. They don’t negotiate well.

My son doesn’t, that’s for sure. Because he gets obsessive. And, it’s a new obsession, so he can be very inflexible.

To the point of losing the one good friendship he’s ever had.

What did I do?

The mom of the other boy and I sat down and talked to both boys. We had them talk to each other and brokered communication. We helped to explain things to the other boy. And, we tried to get them to promise to not let bad feelings develop. Talk to each other, or to us.

What will happen?

No idea. I truly hope my son can keep this friend. This friend is from a family that “gets it.” The parents on both sides are willing to work hard to help keep our boys friends.

I hope it continues.

 

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