I just wanted to put my two cents in as I am a high functioning ASD also. I wasn't diagnosed until adulthood but I can tell you that my adolescence was similar - in front of the movies. They made me feel good and I still have fond memories on them. Don't worry about her watching them. However, you do also need to try to get her to experience new things. Make sure you do not overload her. If she's doing something new, give her plenty of time to do “normal stuff” afterwards, whether that's watching her movies or whatever else, otherwise she is likely to associate the experience with how she feels by the end of the day which may be exhausted, unsettled, anxious etc. If she knows she can enjoy these things and still feel good she is more likely to try them again. People with ASD need time to calm down or re-centre (more than others). That may be movies for her.
As for friends, you may find it worthwhile getting her some direct help in learning how to make and maintain friendships. Or you could talk with her about what is important for these things. Remember that she has to “learn” it whereas it comes natural to others. You need to teach her everything including taking an interest in the other people and their lives and how to read facial expressions. Psychologists can help with this if you are unsure.
At 14, I was in a bunch of “unhealthy” friendships. I basically followed them around, did what they did, and was mostly uninvolved. Eventually, I left that group and spent my lunches alone. Soon, others like me found me and we made a group of what I like to call “the outsiders”. We are still friends though we don't see each other often. When you find similar people, the friends stay. There will be people like her who loves movies. Perhaps she's a little quirky too? She may find (or have) people who enjoy that and are quirky too. When these people enter her life (or if they already are) you will not have to worry about her friendships.
She will never be a social queen and don't try to make her one.
The biggest thing I needed help with at her age was homework/school work. I didn't know it at the time, but my difficulties learning (I was very smart but I'd get stuck on strange things) were to do with my ASD problems. These may differ to your daughter's so I won't get specific. Homework was hopeless for me. I couldn't get myself to do it, I became overwhelmed with the thought and so upset that I needed to put a movie on before it was more than I could handle. Before I knew it I was in detention for not completing homework repeatedly on time. If this is her, you may need to teach her ways to process her homework at home. She may need guidance or visual aids to help. Speak with an OT about this.
I must go but please ask me anything you like. Being 14 with ASD is not easy. Watch for depression (i can help with advice there too).
Good luck. People with ASD are the best kind of people but it can be sad to watch them struggle.
From a Woman with HF ASD and a mother of a daughter (3yo) with ASD
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