In preschool years, the Asperger’s Disorder child has little interest in his peers. He does not seek out playmates, preferring to play alone.
In elementary school, the Asperger’s Disorder child does not experience joint play as fun. He is unable to appreciate that his peers have thoughts, feelings, opinions, and desires different than his own. He cannot engage in the give and take of playing and instead tries to dominate.
In preteen years, the Asperger’s Disorder child does not appreciate the differences and unique contributions her peers bring to the relationship. She is not interested in what her peers think, feel, or believe. Her interactions are one-sided, and she lacks awareness of how her words and actions might be hurtful to others. As her peers choose friends, share their feelings, and develop trust, the Asperger’s Disorder teen is still looking for someone to share her special interest. The deeper emotional feelings experienced by teens in friendship eludes the Asperger’s Disorder adolescent.
While Asperger’s Disorder children can list what makes a bad friend, they have little idea of what qualities make a good friend. Concepts of trust, loyalty, concern, and devotion to friends escapes their awareness.