"It's easier to ride the horse in the direction it's going".
The idea that we can control our environment and relationships is one of the most intransigent obstacles to a less stressful life.
If there was a magic wand that I could wave, one of the first things that i would do with it is to release the children with Autism that I work with, and their parents from the idea that if they struggle hard enough, they will be able to shape the thoughts and actions of those around them.
The most useful metaphor that I use is that of floating down a river on a boat. You have oars, and can row against the current as hard as you like. You might even slow down your downstream progress or move yourself back and forth, but the boat goes where the river takes it.
You can spend your days rowing and struggling, or choose to go where the river takes you. In terms of children and young adults on the Autism Spectrum developing social relationships, the biggest obstacles to overcome are the ones they throw up around themselves. The Social Sensory Cognition Process of scaffolding the growth of healthy social connections is more about removing obstacles than adding new tools to the toolbox.
In the Kids Cooperate social skills groups we use the Social Sensory Cognition Process to help the children develop the skill of being where they are, not getting somewhere different. Being attentive to the three social senses, sight, sound, and space is about being in the river, and watching with interest where it takes you, avoiding rocks and other dangers in the process. Driving is only possible if you are looking out the windshield and not constantly in the rearview mirror.