Sometimes making new friends can be a tough task for me and most aspies.
When I went to school first, I was what you might call a loner. My class didn’t know about me, they thought I was just weird, so that didn’t make it any easier. So mummy and daddy got me tested for autism, which suddenly made it easier for everyone to understand. So I repeated nursery with a new class.
That made it really good because I knew somebody in the class really well. She was a family friend. Jenny introduced me to her friends, so for the first year or two I just stayed with Jenny, Zoë and the girls.
I used to think boys looked scary and big because they played quite aggressively, so in P2 mom and the teacher got me first to play with one boy- Mattie, and it wasn’t easy but I got used to it. Soon I had a good group of friends.
When I was in P3 I wanted all the class to know why I was different, so I brought in the book “all cats have Asperger’s” and teacher read it to the class.
In P5 my ADHD was a bit more noticeable – I was never badly behaved but I started to get unorganised and a bit sloppy at looking after my stuff. And I knew the people beside me couldn’t concentrate cos I would be fidgeting,. In small groups I took out my friends and Mr Murphy (the Principal) and me told the group more about my autism.
At that stage they were fine with it, cos they were my close friends.
When my parents wanted me to start Gaelic we decided to explain to some of the players from other classes and the coach about my autism. Now they are fine with it too. Now I can easily and comfortably go with teams out on trips to play games.
In my new school I recognised a few boys who I played matches against, and mum had arranged for me to be in a class with 2 of my primary school friends until I felt safe.
Really early in the year my form teacher Mrs Nethercott played this game where we had to say something about ourselves that made us different. I said I had Asperger’s – one boy said he had a cousin who was autistic and non-verbal and nobody else really minded.
Now I am half a year in the new school. I have a few close friends, a few friends and few boys who I prefer to avoid.
Sometimes I find being in groups tricky. Cos I find it hard to just create a conversation with more than one person. When I notice that happening I walk away.
Overall mum says you should just have a group of close friends who will look out for you. But you need a few that you just have craic with. And its okay to just manage some more tricky other people. But sometimes I still talk to mum about the friends groups and all, and I want to keep trying mixing cos when I am 18 I will have a bunch of deadly mates to go to discos with.
I amn’t ready yet to do the girlfriend relationship thing, but that will come soon. And I guess we will have a lot of chatting to do before that. But anyway for now….i have friends …and that’s the important bit!