It is a common occurrence that parents, teachers, and even peers, may ‘push’ their loved one with ASD into socialising and social situations. I have heard a lot of comments; parents may express concerns such as, “my child just stays in their room after school, entirely on his/her own”, or “my child shows no interest in making friends or seeing her friends”, or even “I’m worried that my child is not developing social skills properly.” Teachers may say things like, “he/she is very quiet and should aim to participate in class more.” During my time at school, college and university, I heard comments such as “you never come out with us”, “don’t you like us?” I used to go through the entire 6 and a half week summer holiday at school, or the 3 month summer holiday at university, without seeing anyone at all. I loved it – but when I went back, I was faced with comments such as, “where did you go? You disappeared off the face of the earth!” and “we tried inviting you, but you never came out.”
All of these sorts of comments made – and still make me – feel rotten.