Autism and friendship

By Tyler Ody - 30 June 2023

CommunityOpinion and Features

Living with Autism - a column by The Autistic Journalist Tyler Ody. North Swindon resident Tyler Ody has been working for Swindon Link for the past three years. From the age of four Tyler has been diagnosed with Classic Autism. Here's his new monthly column.

Hey everybody! Welcome back to Living With Autism in Instalment number 12 I will be talking about making Friends.

We all have friends. Some become best friends and they come and go but people like myself struggle to make friends in the first place.

I’ve always struggled to make Friends. I don’t know what to say or have the nerve to ask if we can be friends. But, eventually, I always spoke to them and I did end up with some nice friends throughout primary school. 

My two main friends who are from primary school were Jack and Brendan who I still speak to when I see them out and about.

During Secondary School I struggled to make friends more than I did at primary. 

I met my best friend Sean Paul who has been my friend since year 7 and he never fails to make me laugh when I speak to him. 

When I joined Horizons College back in 2018 I managed to make some new friends but it still took time. We never really hung about with each other outside of college but after I left I did meet up with some of them and I still got on with my class. But, I must admit, some I have not spoken to since I left.

Since joining Swindon 105.5 I have made some friends with other volunteers. My two best friends from the Radio are Daniel Shurmer and Richard Brookes as they both have autism. 

I went to Dan’s House for a BBQ on the day of the Kings Coronation and had the most amazing time.

Outside of radio I would love to meet up with Dan and also Richard as they are the nicest young men you could ever meet. 

I did struggle to make friends at the radio to begin with now I have quite a good selection of friends.

At the Swindon Link Magazine I managed to make friends with Jamie (the editor) and Co straight away which felt really good.

They are the best people to work for and are really understanding 

We have some family friends who have children around my age bracket who I have been friends with for years 

I still to this day struggle to make friends with new people but it's ok to take time to make friends as I can understand why it is difficult from an autistic point of view.

Cant wait to see you all next month  

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