Helping Neurodivergent Children Forge Friendships
Seneca, the Roman philosopher, observed that “one of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” Wise words that put a finger on the conundrum often facing neurodivergent children: Many long for friendship, but struggle with understanding the nuts and bolts of being a pal. Meanwhile, potential friends often eye-roll neurodivergent interactions as weird and move on. For kids with autism, ADHD, and other learning differences who struggle with deciphering body language and facial expressions, forging friendships can be an uphill struggle. Research shows that, as a result, children with autism, for example, sing the lonesome blues more than their neurotypical peers. Here’s the good news: Parents can step in and tutor their neurodivergent kiddos in developing lasting, fulfilling relationships. On this episode, a group of young neurodivergent individuals with a Colorado autism organization called Firefly Autism relates the ups and downs youngsters who learn differently experience forging relationships. Next, our experts share ways that parents can support their children from an early age through college on the friendship journey. Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” author Carmen Agra Deedy, whose love of stories overpowered her struggles reading the words that shaped the fabulous tales she loved.