Autistic teens want to date, just like all the other teens in the world. What difficulties will they encounter? How to help them?
Social skills and autism
People with autism may have trouble interpreting non-verbal cues in conversations. It may be harder for them to see whether someone is interested in them or not. Also, they tend to avoid eye contact which makes the look withdrawn and uninterested. There is a lot of potential for misunderstandings.
What can you do? You can send your child to a social skills workshop where she can train these skills with other teens. You can also train with your child. Explain about body language. Talk about recognizing the signs of someone liking you.
Sensory processing issues and a relationship
Your autistic teen may overreact to some touch stimuli, or find some sounds grating. This may be very frustrating because touching takes up a huge part of any relationship. Explain, that your child doesn’t have to touch or be touched if they don’t feel like it. It’s okay to go slowly and be assertive about your boundaries.
You may also consider physiotherapy for your child. It can help her deal with the sensory issues and make going out just easier. It can also help your child be more confident about his body, which is also an important issue when it comes to dating.
All in all, the dating of people with autism is not only possible but can also become a chance for personal development and learning deeper and more intimate interactions.