A question about support. V2

Hello everyone,

a good friend of mine who unfortunately has autism has been feeling more and more sad due to the fact that he is lonely,but he doesn’t want an online connection,he wants a more in-person connection.the problem lies in that covid-19 guidelines are still active,yes vaccines are being rolled en mass,but he still feels sad and depressed about it.**How can I support this friend in the best way possible?**what makes it a bit difficult its that he has autism,keep in mind that I don’t know how severe his autism is,but he is highly educated,so this may be an indication.

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Hi Xavier,

I’m sorry to hear about your friend. Unfortunately Covid has contributed to a tangible decline in the mental wellbeing of people all around the world. It is good that you are trying to be there for your friend.

Just as a side note, my husband is on the Autism spectrum. An Autism diagnosis is not necessarily some terrible thing. Like any mental illness it does take some adjustment, but if you’re friend is able to freely communicate with you he is likely high functioning and there is no reason to treat him any differently than anyone else. If for example he was nonverbal or catatonic it would need to be approached a little differently I think, but the way you talk about your friend, he is probably high functioning.

Do you live far from your friend? What are some of his interests? It might be easier to suggest something if I knew something about what he enjoys.

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Thanks for responding, Sapphire.my friend has autism and is highly educated, but socially speaking he isn’t the best out there, yes he can speak, but you can tell he has certain peculiar ways.me and my friend live far from each other so to speak, he has deep and genuine interests in Aviation, math, physics and programming. I did suggest to him that he invest in himself and dive into his hobbies and passions, but for some reason, to those particular statements, he doesn’t respond.

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Well, yes, being ‘peculiar’ is to be expected because the one thing that all levels of Autism have in common is underdeveloped social understanding. But there is a huge difference between being peculiar and completely unable to communicate - that’s more or less what I was trying to convey.

These are not bad suggestions. In my opinion though, if someone is expressing difficulty with loneliness, suggesting that they simply dive into their hobbies probably won’t help with the problem, being loneliness, a want for human interaction whereas just delving into your hobbies tends to be very solitary in most cases.

If I was to suggest anything, I would probably recommend trying to find some kind of social group or club centered around his interests. It seems like those interests, particularly programming, would have some kind of club or maybe even some kind of workshop to participate in in order to meet other people with similar interests.

Update:Im talking to him about it,and I know it sounds stupid,but how can he find clubs or workshops?I honestly dont know what to precisely recommend to him.

Google is always good, maybe look up events wherever he is from or maybe the local library has something, maybe the local community college.

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