Parents of aspie children are often very concerned that their child has "no friends" or very few friends. This post is about how aspies make friends and how they play and general.
How Aspie Friendships Form
Aspies tend to have only a few friends but all these are likely to be very, very close. They also seem to attract other aspies or other children with other social difficulties. A good example of this would be children with "english as a second language". The fact that these ethnic children have a great deal of trouble communicating with other children, puts them in the same boat as aspies and they make very good friends.
The size of the school also has a fair amount of impact on friendship. Putting your child into a larger school will increase the chance of having more than one aspie per year/class than a smaller school will.
Another thing to note about the way aspie friendships form is that aspies very rarely ever approach other children with the aim of friendship. Usually friendships are formed when another child approaches the aspie. If they aren't approached directly, aspie children will quite happily play alongside a group of other kids for years without becoming actual "friends".
When an aspie meets a particularly sociable child, they will often adopt their friends. This can have both good and bad effects, depending upon the qualities of the other children involved.
Parenting Aspies with "friend" issues
As a parent, you need to recognize that your child will not be surrounded by friends. Don't worry too much about this, aspies don't need heaps of friends like most NTs do. That's not to say that aspies do not get lonely but rather that they will be satisfied with less.
If you are arranging an event, like a sleepover, it is wise to keep the numbers down to only a few friends and preferably one-on-one play.
Team sports are not good for aspie friend-making but things where the child can operate semi-independently and with out competition, scouts and karate for example, are.
Finally, parents need to teach their children about good behavior to use in a meltdown so that they don't lose friends. For example, making an excuse to go to the toilet can reduce the impact of a public meltdown on friendships. It is also important to discuss interactions with friends as often as possible as this will give you a clue about cues that the aspie child is missing.
If your child seems confused about some playground behavior, have them describe the event in as much detail as possible and ask about non-verbal things too. Role-play can often help the aspie to understand what really happened and why other children react in unexpected ways.