< Back to Glossary


Befriending is a scheme which encourages individuals to benefit from a one-to-one relationship with a volunteer befriender.

The volunteers are not experts, but they are friendly people who are willing to learn and who would like to do something to help.

According to the National Autistic Society, a befriender might:

  • be an extra pair of hands on a shopping trip
  • take a child out to the park or for a walk
  • go along with a teenager to a youth club or aerobics class
  • meet up with an adult for lunch or to go and see a film
  • spend time listening and talking to a member of the family
  • offer the family a short break by spending time with a child in the home.

Related Glossaries

About This Glossary

This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..

You may be able to find more information, including links to other parts of this website, by clicking on the title of an item.

If you can't find the word you are looking for, or you know of a word we should include, please email info@researchautism.net


The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.