Kids with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers

Updated on October 18, 2014
S.H. asks from Santa Barbara, CA
5 answers

I always hear how people with autism are socially awkward. I feel there there are so many people with it and there is such a range than I am wondering are their any kids who are 'leaders' or 'team players' with this label? If your child is on the spectrum how do they make friends? One close friend a handful of superficial friends? I am most curious about high functioning autism (the ones that may be diagnosed later because they were not obvious to most doctors/educators).

When I read up on it, it almost seems like all people could be on the spectrum. I mean who is truly 'normal' we all have some quirk or something special.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers


answers from Boston on

My son had a friend in high school (1 year younger - they met on the track team) who had Asperger's. As a child, I guess he spent many hours under the desk at school (this I got from the coach). By high school, he was certainly socially awkward and misread many social cues. He was big into video games and often spoke in "game-speak" which baffled anyone who wasn't a gamer, and of course he never realized why people were not responding.

His parents may have gotten him some therapy, I don't know. But they were extremely supportive and at all the track meets. We watched this kid really blossom and build friendships in a team atmosphere where everyone was supporting every athlete. That's the thing about track and cross country - most anyone can run or throw heavy things (shot put, discus, etc.) and what was drilled into them is that your main competitor was yourself. Your job was to do better than you did the last time - run faster, jump higher, throw farther. That's all. The top runners stood at the finish line and clapped and yelled for the slowest kid. So it was a great environment for everyone, regardless of what was holding them back socially or athletically.

I still remember this boy getting confused about the start of a race, and 3 older boys (my son included) running to his gym bag, getting his spikes and screwing them into the bottom of his shoes so he'd be properly equipped. They jeopardized their own standings by working on his behalf. With seconds to spare, all 4 boys got to the starting line. The parents were in tears.

They also elected this boy as one of the co-captains, not out of pity, but because he was actually a motivator for others. He went on to a great college and made a lot of friends who ignored or celebrated his oddities.

We're also seeing an increase in many of these conditions, partly because of diagnosis changes and screening, and partly because of epigenetic changes in our cell functions due to a whole host of things. Epigenetic advancements have shown us that many things affect the operation of our cells through gene expression, but also that, while these changes are heritable, they are also not written in stone as genetic issues are. So a lot of things we say are "genetic" or "due to bad genes" actually can be influenced and repaired by epigenetic nutrients.

So, while it seems that "everyone has something", it's not that it can't be changed and improved in many cases. But I do think that an awareness of individuality and an acceptance of people's personalities and quirks is the first step in a better society for all.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My 7 year old is on the spectrum, on the quirky side, is social, but is also socially awkward. We all may be "quirky", but not all people could be on the spectrum. When you read the blogs of autistic people, it's definitely more than just quirky - it's wiring. My son was diagnosed at 4, but depending on the situation, most people don't pick up on it. It shows up more with peer interaction - he does very well with younger kids and older kids and adults. His social wiring doesn't "match up" with his immediate peer group as well.

But he does have friends. And in the right situation he can be the leader. It really depends.

I don't think he has a "best" friend yet. But from what I've been reading from adult autistic bloggers, most often people on the spectrum have just a few close friends because it's exhausting to socialize in a "typical" way. When they find someone that "gets" them, the bonds are pretty tight.

Think about it this way - if you are an introvert and you go to a party, you're exhausted when you get home. If you're socially out of sync, the same thing happens, but since EVERY interaction with people is social, the energy drain happens throughout the day, not just at an "event". Every interaction is an "event".

If you want to hear about autism from people on the spectrum, check out and the autistikids facebook pages. There are LOTS of links in different categories. Hope that helps!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

"Normal" isn't the word you're looking for.
It's "typical."
Please don't minimize the struggle of kids with HFA by suggesting that we all have "quirks."

My friend has a 17 yo Aspie. He's off the chats in science and math, super sweet kid, well behaved, funny. BUT he is socially awkward. Less so than 5 years ago, but still awkward.
He has a group of about 3-4 buds that are very tight.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Quirks being shy or even being a bit socially akward alone does not mean someone is on the Autism spectrum.

This autism mom says no it isn't "cool" and yes it under-minds the struggles of those with the disorder when people throw this around. Not judging just sprinkling some awareness

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I have a friend who is a registered nurse. They're going to college to be a physician's assistant. This person is so smart and works so hard. They have high functioning Aspergers.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions