One of the things that’s difficult about being an Autistic parent of an Autistic is knowing how to raise my own kid.
See, my husband and I are Autistics of the generation that, in general, few people knew they were Autistic. We were the “do it and shut up” generation which meant that we were told to do things the same as our peers whether or not it “felt weird” or “hurt” or otherwise didn’t go as planned.
Obviously that only works so long, and our parents realized, over time, they had pretty weird kids.
My husband used to read a lot; using his reading, which is something in white culture is considered an advantage, especially when the child reads books above grade level, to hide. I used to do the same, but at recess, I’d swing a lot. A LOT, as in, the whole recess, and use the time on the swings to imagine my fantasy kingdom. Neither strategy makes a kid a lot of friends.
Side note: hiding to read or playing board games by yourself is considered anti-social in Black culture and you will be harassed and told by the adults to do something else if you use this common Autistic child trick as your escape method.
I got invited to birthday parties when we had to invite everyone, and my asthma and severe allergies meant that I was never going to have to stay overnight in a house with a dog, so I could cut my visits short.
Over time, though, they stopped inviting me, when it was an option not to invite the entire class. Parties became subtle, and I just assumed no one had them anymore.
Oh, they had them. They had them, and I wasn’t invited.