HOW NORMAL PEOPLE SHOULD DATE PERSONS WITH AUTISM
The fact that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are different from one another cannot be overemphasized. Even neurotypical individuals have characteristics that make them unique from one another, and that same unlikeness is also evident in people with ASD.Â One cannot misjudge a person with autism by the challenges and difficulties exhibited by other individuals with the same disorder. This is the type of awareness that is essential for building a more autistic-friendly community but is sadly not yet grasped by many.
As autistic persons get older and mature, they need a higher degree of understanding from the people around them and the society. Their needs evolve, as well as their perspective on life, dreams, and aspirations just like everybody else. It isn’t unusual for an adult with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s to want to find a partner they’d fall in love with and build a family with in the future. Cases of autistic people being able to find a romantic relationship with normal individuals aren’t unusual either.
But how does a romantic relationship start for autistic people and how does it last? There is almost no noticeable difference between normal people and autistic individuals when it comes to the aspect of falling in love. The contrast, however, can be greatly observed in the context of courtship, where social skills are being challenged, an area which is commonly not a strong suit for persons with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s. Having said this, it is still highly possible for autistic persons to initiate a romantic relationship with normal individuals if the other party understands the nature of the disorder and carefully follows a list of pointers about properly communicating with them. Below are some of the most useful tips that you have to remember when engaging with an autistic person in a special meet up or date.
Do Not Necessitate Eye Contact
You may be told that in order to establish a sense of trust and sincerity, one must always look the other person in the eye while having a conversation. This may be true for social engagements involving normal people, but when it comes to date with an autistic person, this rule may not apply. People with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s can easily feel pressured in social conversations, causing them to avoid making any eye contact with the other person they’re talking to. Hence, you must not easily get the idea that the autistic person gives you the cold treatment because they don’t like you or the topic you’re discussing.
Ask Questions and Voice Out Concerns
It may be unavoidable to have a question or two regarding the autistic person’s condition but you decide not to ask anyway in order to not offend the person. This is not the correct approach because your clouded perception may become a barrier as you go along with the social engagement. As much as possible, try to clarify any question or concern that you have with the autistic person. This way, you can both speak freely to each other without having any kind of reservations.
Never Make the Wrong Preconceptions
At this present time and age, most people make it a habit to check on someone’s profile or background before meeting them face to face. While it may come to your knowledge that your soon-to-be date is autistic, you should be careful not to make a preconceived judgment about the person. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, there are cases of individuals not exhibiting any symptoms, therefore, it isn’t encouraged to be overly accommodating to the point where the person sees you as condescending.
Make Sure that Your Sarcasm and Jokes are Understood
Even between normal people, jokes and sarcastic remarks can easily become the cause of arguments and fights if it is being improperly said or interpreted in the wrong way. The same is true when you’re talking to an autistic person, even if it’s on a date. It is easy for your remarks or jokes to be misunderstood by your autistic partner, so double check as much as possible to avoid causing an unnecessary fuss and offending the other person.
Give Your Date Ample Time to Make Decisions
When more dates follow suit, and romance is undeniably budding between the both of you, couple decisions will be more frequent. Matters such as where to eat, what movies to watch, and what stuff to buy won’t be easy for your autistic partner. This is primarily because autistic people don’t handle transitions that easily, and decisions, whether small or big, can be tough to make for them. So instead of pressuring your partner to decide hastily, it would be better to give them time to process and think about it. As your relationship continues to grow, the both of you will have to face even tougher situations so dating may be a good start improve this skill.
Be Honest With How You Feel
As genuine as they are, people with autism cannot predict what you’re thinking. So in terms of taking your relationship too fast or too slow, your autistic partner won’t have a clue unless you tell them so. Be honest with how you feel about the relationship, and things like limitations, the level of intimacy, and absence of something should be discussed with your partner to make your relationship more nurturing rather than a puzzle that must be solved for them.
It will always feel like a mystery to love a person, especially if you know that they have issues with their physique or psychological makeup, but you still love them anyway despite it all. It is important that you show how much you love your autistic partner no matter how many times you go on a date. Having a bad day because of other life issues shouldn’t affect the way you treat your autistic date.
These are some of the basic insights that you should know before dating someone with autism. We recognize the fact that all individuals, even those with autism disorder, are different in a way and the same goes for our needs and preferences. If you have more concerns regarding this topic or the content of this page, we recommend that you seek professional help or see further links for more support.