Despite their behavior sending signals that they are not interested in friendships, quite the opposite is true. Asperger’s Disorder children have the same desires as everyone else to have friends. Just like his classmates, the Asperger’s Disorder child wants to be listened to, cared about, asked to join in playground games, and invited to parties. His wishes, however, usually go unfulfilled, and he suffers from the loneliness that comes from being teased and excluded.
As all children grow older, friendships naturally become deeper, more meaningful, and more important to them. The Asperger’s Disorder preteen and teen is no different than his age-mates in wanting close friendships. However, he has not gained the social skills to make the stronger bonds he sees his peers forming. The pain of having no one to play with in elementary school becomes more intense in middle school and high school as the Asperger’s Disorder child has no one to eat lunch with, talk to on the phone, or socialize with on the weekends. In his teen years, his desires for romantic relationships grow just like those of his peers, yet he stands little chance of dating if he has failed to learn social skills.