How Autism Moms Lose Friends: Gripping Infographic

Over the past 8 years, I’ve watched my friendships dwindle. Friendships naturally die off as we get older, but usually we develop new ones. I think that when we get married and have children, most moms have a difficult enough time fostering friendships, especially working moms, because life gets busy. But autism moms become this special class of moms if we’re not careful because we begin to alienate people without even meaning to and I think people kind of look at us with this bewilderment after a while like, “Who are you?!”

Here’s how it happens…


This process is gradual, painful, and feels unavoidable, but perhaps we can do some things to help ourselves. For instance…

  • Find autism support groups in the area so that we can befriend another autism mom who, like us, might need friends.
  • Leave the comfort zone of the house and get some fresh air, even if that means getting mean-mugged by some people. After all, if they stare, maybe they’re the ones that need some social skills.
  • Invite people over to the house that you feel comfortable with from church or the autism support groups or wherever you’ve made social connections. Try not to apologize for the mess. They’ve probably had a messy house before.
  • If you have a spouse, try to relieve each other every now and then and get out of the house without the kids. Everyone needs some time every now and then. Make sure you’re fair about it, though.
  • Most of all, don’t compare your child to other children. It doesn’t help you or your child. Love him or her for the beautiful, wonderful child he/she is right now. Think of at least three things you love about your child and remember those things. Everyone has struggles with their children. Everyone. Fight for your child and what’s best, but on the bad days (and we all have them), pull out your list of wonderfulness.

Help spread the message…

[ctt tweet=”Gripping #Infographic: How #AutismMoms Lose Friends & Alienate People #autism #friendship ” coverup=”B21l8″]

Have you lost friends in the process of raising your children? What are some things you can do to rekindle your friendships or make new ones?

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  1. Not only all of the above, but after you hear, “If you’d just SPANK him a little more, MAKE him behave, I’d never put up with that kind of behavior” enough, you stop making the effort to sustain friendships. It is a tremendous drain, and along with everything else, that’s the last thing a mom needs. Hang in there!

  2. You do realise there are options for ridding oneself of autism debt? The non-profit Aid for Autistic Children Foundation offers up to $150k for ALREADY INCURRED debt related to caring for an autistic child, e.g. therapy, aides, private school tuition, etc.

    My theory on why moms of kids on the spectrum (not all but rather a lot) lose friends: They forget that relationships are supposed to be reciprocal. Folks are super-duper helpful in a crisis, but after the first six months or so, autism isn’t a crisis anymore. It’s just your life.

    • You know, the problem is that you don’t know what you’re talking about. That link is super duper helpful for people already in the poverty threshold. A lot of families facing autism debt don’t meet the criteria to receive help. You see, I could pay my medical bills if I had Medicaid already. The irony is, I wouldn’t have medical debt if I were in the poverty income level though because I WOULD ALREADY HAVE MEDICAID. That link doesn’t help anyone who has autism debt because people who are in debt are the ones who are above that bubble. And you’re right – relationships ARE supposed to be reciprocal. Our friends forget that too.
      Embracing the Spectrum recently posted…How Autism Moms Lose Friends: Gripping InfographicMy Profile

  3. This is so sad to read. While I personally have no friends with autistic child but I can understand how easily the friendship would be affected maybe from lack of understanding from the friends who doesn’t have autistic child. I wish more people will be more open and not quick to judge. This post will help a lot of autism moms tho. I’m sharing this!
    Maureen recently posted…2015 Blogging ScheduleMy Profile

  4. I had to check this out after seeing the image at our Retro Re-pin link party and so glad I did! This is pretty powerful for everyone as it applies to so many illnesses like depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, IBS and more. Even if you explain to people they never understand and so it’s just easier to let friendships slide instead of cancelling or rescheduling events. New year, new goals – get out when you can and have a bit of fun 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us and we will be featuring this post this week at Retro.
    Kristina and Millie recently posted…January Blanket; New Waves Stitch with Two-Color Treble TrimMy Profile

  5. Very cool iconograph. I was once a nanny for a kid with sensory processing disorder. While that isn’t autism, I do know that he faced more challenges than many kids, specifically emotionally.
    Thanks for sharing at the Retro Re-Pin Party. I hoep to see you again there tonight. Pinned.
    Julie V. (Somebody’s Dinner) recently posted…Retro Re-Pin Party 23My Profile

  6. Great post! I feel for you! I have a 22 year old nephew with Asberger’s Syndrome and know. He is the sweetest boy ever and was picked on his entire growing up years. More parents need to teach their children to love everyone and not to discriminate!

  7. I don’t have a child with autism, but our youngest has hypotonia and we’re in early intervention for his physical therapy and speech/language. He’s always been a little delayed when it comes to milestones. It’s hard not to compare him to other kids his age (or younger!) or his brother.

    I agree with one of the comments (maybe yours?) that parenthood in general can cause you to lose friends. Parenting takes up a lot of time (especially in the early years) and it’s hard to make the same kind of time for friends as you do for the little people you’re caring for. It’s amazing how lonely I can feel despite spending 80% of my day with two people.

    I think finding your “tribe” is super important. Whether that’s a group of friends who have insisted on trying to understand what you’re going through or an online community of parents who are facing the same challenges as you. Social media and the blogging community have been fantastic during hard times (miscarriage and postpartum depression) when my friends haven’t known how to be there for me.

  8. Although some lifestyle adjustments are required particularly in our social life, there is no need to say that your friends desert you. My personal experience is that many of them became more caring and supportive. I live in India and the best part here is the support of the family and friends. Hope that trend remains and is not taken over by the greedy business model which wishes to make money out of every kind of human medical condition.