Growing up in this world can be difficult, frightening, and stressful. Growing up with any sort of disability just makes it that much harder. That was the case with me. Although I only had a mild form of autism, it didn't seem that "mild" to me. I found it difficult to relate to other people and I always tried to avoid interacting with people. As a result, I didn't make that many friends until well into my teenage years. And even then, that was only with the dedicated help of my parents and psychologists. One of my greatest regrets now as an adult is that I avoided making friends as a child. There were quite a few nice people I could have made friends with at the time that I didn't because of my fear of rejection.
If I could go back to when I was eleven or twelve and hang out with the other kids who offer it, I would. If I could hit a reset button and start my youth over with the opportunity to do better, I would. But life isn't a video game. It doesn't have a reset button. There are many kids out there with autism today that are school age who have trouble making friends. I want to tell them not to be scared. If someone is offering to hang out with you, take up that offer! You may end up becoming friends. Don't make the same mistakes as me. Don't avoid contact and interactions with other people. Having people in your life to spend time with, to talk to, to go out to the movies with, is pretty big asset. You kids have your whole lives ahead of you. You have your whole youth ahead of you. Don't go through it alone. Don't be an introvert. Don't be afraid of adding new people into your life. Because those people may end up making life easier for you. And, who knows, you might end up making life easier for them as well.