For years it was assumed that those with autism did not feel emotion because they did not show emotions the way neurotypicals do. It was assumed they did not want friends because they didn't know how to make friends.
Yet, we hear more and more from young people on the spectrum that they want friends and relationships; they want connections. When asked to write a statement to be read at the United Nations during World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, my son Jeremy included this:
"Realize the importance of community. Truly we need more people to connect with besides paid service providers and family members. It is hard to initiate contact for many of us ... We all need more friends. We may look like we are not interested due to our lack of eye contact. It is hard for us to initiate friendships as well. Kindly this is due to motor differences or anxiety for many. Kindly we really want love."