“Well, hello folks! Welcome to The Friendship Game, the only game show where everyone’s a winner because everyone gets a friend!”
Navigating the social world is challenging for everyone and making friends is one of the most socially complicated. Some people have the natural ability to network, make connections, and know how to grow them into friendships. You can see it even when they are children…the ones who just know how to hang out make everyone feel welcome and comfortable.
When my autistic son was growing up, friendships didn’t come easy. He was hesitant to participate in play or even have a conversation. He’s told me that back then he was just afraid he couldn’t play the games the other kids wanted to play. He was afraid of saying or doing something the other kids would laugh at and tease him about. It was just easier to be alone.
I’ve heard similar stories from my other autistic friends so when it came time to work on our next webisode of Autism Information Station, the Bluebee TeeVee autistic creative team felt ‘autism and friendship’ would be our next topic to tackle.
“We need to show kids the best ways to engage with their autistic peers,” said James Sullivan who writes the scripts, hosts the show and does all the filming and editing.
“We made the episode into a game show,” said my son Jonathan, who does all of the voice over including the Bluebee Pal contestant, Hudson the dog. “It’s a fun way to teach kids some good ideas about making friends with those of us on the spectrum”
As James says in the webisode, “Parents and teachers there are prizes for you too…Download an episode guide and a building friendships kit.” The guide has all kinds of great resources and two friendship-making activities. The Friendship Kit is a complete guide to how one mom created a lunch buddy program for her autistic son. Lisa Smith, mom and popular autism blogger on Quirks and Chaos, breaks everything down for you including sample forms and permission slips. This Lunch Buddy Program was featured in People Magazine.
“Remember, when it comes to making and being a good friend, everyone’s a winner! See you next time, right here on The Friendship Game!”