1. Teens have a pecking order and with autism teens who are generally considered the best ones to hang out with (by fellow teens) are the most cool ones. This mostly seems to be leaning on each other laughing a lot and leaving the not so cool ones out.
2. Moving on from my last point those on the spectrum seem to come pretty low down in the cool pecking order and it even seems that associating with us will move an aspiring teen down the pecking order.
3. If you are uncool, the cool ones don’t even seem to hear what you say. You speak but it’s as though your words just floated in air and went somewhere. This used to happen to me a lot as a teen but I have noticed it happening to others.
4. You often don’t get asked to join the game. It just happens. One minute they are sitting there the next they are playing a game and you wonder what strange body language they use to set this game up.
5. The whole way you are is completely different teens seem to have their own language. They tell a daft joke and seem to insult each other but it’s done in a friendly way. Whenever I tried to do it, it just came out wrong.
6. If people joke with you it is expected that you joke back. But I just don’t know how to do it, nor have I ever known. I’d try to joke back, but it would come out wrong.
7. As a teen I noticed that other teens never insulted me (where as they did with other teens for a laugh) and I always felt that it showed I wasn’t really seen as one of them. They all knew I was different from them, even if they didn’t know I had a condition. I often felt like an alien from another planet.
8. I hardly ever got invited to do social things or go to a party but if ever I did I felt really flattered and pleased. I was like ‘wow’ they have actually included me. At the current age of 21, I still think like this now if ever I get invited to parties by peers.
9. Being a guy as a teen means that you have to be good at sports. I have always been terrible at team sports. My coordination is just awful!
10. To add to all this I was really self conscious about having autism. I tried really hard to be the same as others and to hide my autism but I would fail on every level.