Whether you love or hate Valentine’s Day, you’re probably thinking about the relationships in your life a little more this week.

Study after study shows that healthy relationships are a key component of a happy life. 

 For autistic young adults, it can be really challenging to navigate social situations to grow friendships. 

The challenge should not deter us. Investing in meaningful friendships is one of the best ways to improve both you and your child’s quality of life. Our friendship handbook breaks down ways that young adults with autism can develop meaningful friendships. 

Friendship: A Handbook, Part 1 talks about how to find friends with common interests in real life. Online connections can be beneficial but they do not replace a real, in person friendship. 

Friendship: A Handbook, Part 2 explores how to trade information to turn acquaintances into genuine friends include sample questions to get started. 

Friendship: A Handbook, Part 3 shares ways to build a friendship with a personal invitation and analyze the response to see if the other person is interested in growing the friendship. 

Friendship: A Handbook, Part 4 discusses how to create a long lasting and authentic friendship based on shared experiences, empathy and hard work.

We hope this series helps you and your loved ones with autism navigate the waters of friendship. There will be some challenges as we put ourselves out there socially, but the reward of a true friend is worth it.