5 Survival Tips for Teens on the Autistic Spectrum

Posted by JD Kraus on Apr 14th 2017

Be Yourself
As hokey as this sounds it’s the truth. There is no point in pretending to be someone that you are not. As a teen, I tried to make friends by acting that I liked sports (since so many kids at my school were sports buffs), but I never really cared for them. It not only made me feel bad, but it got me nowhere in developing friendships. Being yourself is being true to your own identity.

Be open and willing to talk to others.
In the real world, you cannot be a clam. If you have a question in a class, raise your hand and ask the teacher. If you want friends, you’ll have to go out of comfort zone and talk to people. The best way to befriend someone is by asking them a question, like “What’s your favorite movie?” A little inquiry like this can start a conversation, and a conversation can lead into a friendship. This is especially important if something or someone is bothering you.

Reward/Set Time Aside for Yourself
I know some days at school and work can be tough. To help get through the day, set some personal time aside for yourself each day. This can be playing a favorite video game, watching a TV show, etc. Squeeze in at least an hour a day of personal time. The purpose of this is to give you a chance to relax and “recharge your batteries.”

Do Something You Enjoy in School
I know this sounds hard, but it made the difference for me. When I attended the vocational school in my junior year of high school, it had a positive impact on me, for I was in a digital design program—something I enjoyed learning. Look for courses that pique your interest.

Have Fun
This really relates to all of the topics I have mentioned above. As absurd as it sounds, having fun in life (both at school and at home) makes the difference in developing an easygoing, worldly experience. How you go about doing this is entirely up to you. For me, it is spending time with my family, playing a favorite video game, and working in small groups for school related projects. I guarantee that once you find something that you relish, it will make many of your problems go away.

J. D. Kraus was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in the fourth grade. He wrote The Aspie Teens Survival Guide during his last year in High School.