I wanted some advice. My daughter I believe has autism and I am very weary about getting a diagnosis. She is now 13 and it’s becoming a problem in regards to her friends.
She doesn’t see the bad in anyone and has some terrible friends. She doesn’t like communicating so I arrange everything. I am exhausted and I don’t particularly like any of her friends Some are mean, Some are manipulative , spread lies about her, Cause drama. She is quiet and doesn’t know how to stand up for herself.
the trouble is I help her make friends and keep friends. But the quality she has Is poor. But I think is it better than being alone?
she gets sad if she is on her own and I don’t think it’s good for her mental health. But I am exhausted as I go out with her as generally if I’m not there she will be picked on.
I don’t know how to get help for this and if I did decide I wanted a diagnosis what help can anyone provide especially in regards to friends.
Friends are a bit of a double edged sword - we're often quite able to do without them but we like having the option of a mild social life.
Are you able to get her into a better group like encouraging her to join the scouts/explorers or similar? It's a couple of hours a week of adult-controlled socialising while focussed on activities & tasks. They're usually a nice bunch of kids and very accepting of differences.
If you're doing all the work to maintain her bad friends, just let them fade away.
I think Plastics reply is very helpful, friendships are and will always be tough to maintain and teenage years particularly difficult.
I played in a sports team and highly recommend anything like that! It’s what kept me out of trouble, focused and gave me that social aspect without it being too full on or needing the full requirements of friendship. Finding a good team is key though and in something she enjoys... I played in the same team for almost 10 years and they were the best bunch of girls (sports girls tend to be easier for me to get on with than your typical girly girl) but when I moved up to play professional I found myself more isolated than I needed to just by some of the egos that brings and if I could merge the talent of the newer team with the main team aspects from my original it would be perfect!
having some kind of goal or purpose with a group brings great rewards and then I didn’t feel as bad especially as a teen when I couldn’t go out or didn’t want to because I want tired or had to play and it definitely made the biggest difference growing up!
You titled your post "Weary about the diagnosis". Have you considered what are your concerns? This is the much more visceral and broader implications point than whether her current friends are good. I have two autistic daughters and have been on the diagnosis and SEND circuits for years, having been through all circles of SEN hell. In my experience, the situation gets progressively more difficult and new and bigger problems emerge at every tirn in the education. Children who don't get diagnosis and support often implode to a total school refusal and mental health crisis un six form. This forum is full of examples of youngster sitting in the bedrooms not in education, not in employment and without social life and real friends. The diagnosis on the other hand provides the key to understand and find coping strategies for various aspects of her life. It will empower her, give her agency and positive identity, be good for self esteem and help to find her tribe. If the diagnosis is handled with a helpful perspective by the family.
Keep on discussing your misgivings.
Yes I was thinking sea scouts but my daughter is really happy staying in but I don’t think it’s good for mental health and she can’t initiative friendships independently. I just feel like I’m failing my daughter and I don’t know what right or wrong for her
Thank you also ; I did also think about the mild socialising , maybe I should take that into consideration thank you for your reply
That’s very good advice thank you. She is not a sports person , she’s quiet so doesn’t want to do drama. I will have to look at some clubs and see I was looking at sea scouts
If she joins something, you can assist her by being a volunteer to help out with the group while she finds her feet - like Dumbo's feather - a known face nearby. I was an assistant explorer-scout leader - they're 14 to 18 so you get to do all the exciting activities with them.
As @Tinyexplorer says, a diagnosis may be very useful for her if she's already having problems - it only gets harder - so having assistance in place ready will help her in school/uni
Yes, it depends what her interests are really. Interests can be an autistic person's route to learning and making friends. Presumably she really wants to get on with everyone. Maybe nature or wildlife would be her thing - and Woodcraft Folk is an alternative to scouts.
I also wanted to say that being 'quiet' shouldn't put anyone off drama or performance. There are many autistic/aspie performers who were able to express themselves through stage personas: Anthony Hopkins, Paddy Considine, Daryl Hannah for example.
Sport isn’t for everyone but finding something that she enjoys and can get stuck into with other people in some form of group will bring so much
it won’t be easy and there’s been many times over the years where I have almost been forced to go it ultimately it did me the world of good! I would psych myself up before going and it would always be a constant battle but once I got there I would be okay and would enjoy it - this is why it’s key it has to be something she actually wants to do too otherwise it’ll be a battle to get there and a nightmare to get through.
its very tough with everything going on at the moment to get to groups and clubs but they are slowly starting to emerge and reopen and this may be a better way to start something as it will all be phased and slowly introduced into full sessions which may help her ease in