Thursday, November 30, 2023

Relationship Specialist For Autistic Adults

Don't Miss

The Intersection Of Individual Need And Service Characteristics

High Functioning Autism Aspergers and Relationships

Another key factor that was thought to affect user outcomes was the fit between the support and the interventions provided by a SAT and individuals needs. This was not necessarily about severity or complexity of need. In some instances, for example, it concerned whether or not services were able to offer low-level support on an ad hoc basis for those individuals who, for the majority of the time, managed their everyday lives independent of formal support:

who dont need very much support but need to be able to access informal support, so a telephone call or a cuppa tea kind of chat as and when they need it as opposed to something formal, eight sessions kind of thing. And if that can be made available to them, they seem to have very, very good outcomes.

However, practitioners also noted that the types of needs presented by service users, and their ability to identify specific and realistic aspects of their lives that they wanted to change, could affect whether or not substantive changes in outcomes were observed. They explained that some needs or difficulties are more amenable to change or address, or that it is reasonably straightforward to equip individuals with self-management skills:

People who have sensory issues, so where you can actually coping strategies for dealing with those things, you know, practical things that can help on a day-to-day basis.

Understanding Autism And Emotions

One of the most Googled questions neurotypicals ask about dating on the autism spectrum is can autistic people fall in love? To be honest, this question always catches me off guard. Of course they can! Theyre human! Its a common misconception that autistic people cannot feel or express emotions. In fact, they are some of the most empathetic people I know. Some autistic people hyper-empathize to the point that they feel very intense emotions. The difference is that they may not show these emotions on their face or they may have trouble expressing them.

Sometimes, the lack of emotions displayed by an autistic partner can really anger their neurotypical partner, because they misinterpret that as not caring. Then, a cycle begins because a person with autism will often withdraw to avoid conflict and the trauma triggers it brings up. When an autistic person is faced with conflict and an upset or hostile partner, they often withdraw or leave the scene because they feel unsafe.

Should I Disclose That I’m Autistic To Family Friends Employers

The realization that you have been autistic without knowing for decades can be disorienting and surreal. Ideally clients could have at least one or two trusted people to discuss the experience with. Therapy is one outlet for this discussion and some clients may not want to disclose to anyone else. This decision is discussed elsewhere, so Ill be brief. Relevant resources are: Autism UK and Research Autism.

When considering disclosing to family and friends, I suggest clients only disclose to people they trust and feel safe with, and when theres a reason to disclose. Some possible benefits of disclosure would be feeling more understood and accepted by those close to you, not having to mask as much, having more rationale when asking for or discussing accommodations for sensory issues, and so on. Some clients only feel comfortable disclosing that they have a sensory processing issue, which likely has less stigma yet still allows family and friends to better understand the accommodations being requested.

Regardless, I suggest these be brief conversations, simply sharing the facts and maybe a bit of the story of how the client found out they are autistic, then seeing if the other person has any questions and offer to send them a resource or two later if theyd like. When its someone the client feels extremely comfortable with, then longer discussions can make more sense.

Also Check: How To Tell Someone You Have Autism

What Does A Certified Autism Specialist Do

An autism specialist is someone who works with children who are diagnosed with ASD, which can include a range of behaviors and challenges. Not all children who have been diagnosed on the spectrum behave the same way or struggle with the same issues. Some children with ASD may have extreme sensory processing issues, such as reacting negatively to loud noises or unpleasant smells. Others may have difficulty with social interactions, such as being able to process anothers emotions or using appropriate manners. Children with ASD can have mild or severe neurological challenges.

Autism specialists who get an advanced autism certification learn the specific skills necessary to work with these children and help them meet their goals. They can provide therapy or assistance in a classroom, private counseling, or even at home. For example, Dr. David Rago, the academic program director of the Graduate Certificate in Autism program at National University, said that an autism specialist could help those on the autism spectrum learn social skills through modeling.

It could be learning about visual modeling or peer training, so if theres a specific behavior or social interaction that the student needs to learn, like how to take turns, they could use visual modeling. It could also be in person, in real time, what it looks like to take turns, he says.

What To Expect In Therapy Sessions

Autism Associates Comes to the Area

Youll book your first session by using the scheduling tool on our website. We maintain a client care list so that we can match you with a counselor at our location closest to you who specializes in therapy for autistic adults.

During your first session, you can talk to your therapist about your symptoms and which areas of life youre struggling in. Once your therapist has had a chance to get familiar with your history and your goals, you can begin working on practical solutions to help you succeed at work, in school, or in relationships.

If you struggle with high sensitivity to sensory input , you can spend time learning how to navigate environments that feel overwhelming. Furthermore, youll work on your relational skills, deepening your understanding of others emotional experiences so that you can respond appropriately in conversations.

Read Also: Can A Pediatrician Diagnose Autism

Do I Really Need Therapy Im Not Sure If I Even Have Autism

You may have lived with feelings of fatigue, overwhelm, and isolation for so long that you cant imagine another way of living. Autism is also notoriously difficult to diagnose, so you may need more than basic research or an online autism test to get a conclusive diagnosis. As your therapist, we will conduct multiple interviews with you to discuss your current challenges and developmental history in order to provide you with a definitive answer.

Social Anxiety And Autism

Autistic Adults often report feeling social anxiety. The cause of this anxiety could be the same as any neurotypical persons anxiety and could be treated as such. However, an autism-specific cause of social anxiety can, for some people, come from autism related social difficulties. For example, not grasping social cues being given, not communicating interest in a conversational partners story, talking at length about a subject no one else present is interested in, and so onthere are many possibilities for social missteps ranging from mild to severe. Michael Samsel, LMHC, detailed many examples here.

Oftentimes, an autistic person will not understand why a social encounter turned out poorly. Even when aware of the particular social difficulties they have, your client might not be able to discern if the missteps were occurring during a conversation, or only realizing it after the fact.

Imagine a hypothetical autistic adult named John who is undiagnosed and has not begun to suspect he is autistic. John has awkward, uncomfortable, or unsuccessful social encounters perhaps 40% of the time. In small, repetitive moments such as with a cashier in a store, John knows what is expected and can fit in as NT people around him expect. But as the social situations become more complex and unfamiliar with friends, romantic partners, or a tense meeting at work, John can feel unsure of how to act.

You May Like: High Functioning Autism And Adhd In Adults

Romantic Relationships Can Be Difficult To Maneuver When Youre Dating On The Autism Spectrum

Romantic relationships are complex and confusing for neurotypical people. But, for autistic people, romantic relationships are even more complex and confusing. Many people with autism crave intimacy and love. But, they dont know how to achieve it in a romantic relationship. They can feel blind to everyday subtle social cues from their partner. This can cause conflict and hurt feelings.

Theres an old saying: Marriage is one of the hardest things youll ever do. And this really applies when you think about being in a relationship with an autistic partner. Most autistic adults that I work with tell me they are trying incredibly hard to be a good partner. I believe this! They are exhausted by the perplexing signs that their partners are giving them. It can feel like reading a book but you only get to see every 5th word. Your goal is now to understand the whole book, but you cant when you miss most of the story. Sometimes you might get the gist, but you still feel confused.

Learning About Each Other Never Stops Especially When Youre Dating On The Autism Spectrum

Sarah Hendrickx talks about Autism, sex and relationships

Lastly, learn about your autistic partners unique needs and honor them. Common situations that may be challenging for your autistic partner include:

  • Social settings: Many people with autism have a need for alone time and time to engage in their special interests. Crowds, family gatherings, or going out with a group of friends can feel overwhelming.
  • Group conversations: Many people with autism feel more at ease in 1-on-1 interactions. In group settings, it can be draining and tedious for an autistic person to make conversation and stay engaged. Robbing the autistic person of the joy of the interaction and getting to know someone.
  • Sensory sensitivities: Becoming overstimulated is common. Sometimes they dont even know it at a conscious level, but it dramatically impacts the way they feel and behave in certain situations. Sounds, textures, smells, vibrations can overwhelm their nervous system, especially if their senses had been assaulted earlier in the day. This can wear them down and drain them.

Also Check: Can People With Autism Join The Military

Alternative Modes Of Intervention Delivery

Another service characteristic seen to have the potential to impact outcomes was services ability to be flexible in the way that they provided care and support to accommodate service users’ needs and preferences. Two components were identified: the overall delivery model and the mode of delivery . The first quotation below comes from a senior practitioner working across two SATs, one mainly using group-delivered interventions and the other using individual work alongside groups:

You can see the difference being able to offer groups and individual work alongside, or just individual work. It makes quite a big difference.

Theres so many positives of both approaches .

There are so many people that identify as our services as Ive been using you for years, and I dont use you very often but Ive got that if I need it. Whereas other people respond so much better to Ive have these sessions and I go and then Im never going to see you again. I just think theyre both equally as important.

Services should be able to be flexible around the individuals needs.

Being Averse To Change

Lastly, autistic people tend to have a harder time adapting to change. A relationship with an autistic person may require a little more planning and a little less spontaneity than you might be used to.

Your partner may be used to eating the same meal every day, going to bed at the same time every night, putting back their stuff in the exact same place each day, etc.

If you spontaneously spring social events on your partner, they may feel a bit overwhelmed. Planning and giving plenty of notice can help your partner emotionally prepare for changes in their schedule or daily habits.

It may even help to dedicate certain nights of the week as social nights so that these events feel like part of your partners weekly routine.

Don’t Miss: Is Autism A Behavioral Diagnosis

What Is A Sexologist

Rodgers lists sexology among her credentials, which is a scientific study of human sexuality and can be used to counsel people about their sex lives. Rodgers has a master’s degree in the sexology field from the University of Sydney and also has a certification in sexology counseling. Her practice focuses on working with individuals with disabilities and helping them with sexuality and sexual health. On the series this translates to assisting the cast members with figuring out health patterns in finding and maintaining intimate relationships.

Making New Social Connections As An Autistic Adult

Home []

If youre an autistic adult and feeling lonely, youll want to be proactive about making new connectionswhether its to expand your group of friends or find a romantic partner.

As an autistic adult, though, the thought of having to endure small talk and decipher ambiguous body cues may seem either boring or overwhelming. Perhaps youre worried youll have to navigate a series of awkward moments and misunderstandings. But with the right strategies, you can make the task easier, and the connections you make in the process can change your life.

Follow your interests. Use services like Meetup to find local groups that match your interests. You can find everything from trail walking groups to board game meetups. These groups and events offer good opportunities to meet people who share your passions. Focus on having a good time, and youre bound to make a few new connections.

Engage with the neurodivergent community. In many cases, autistic individuals find that engaging with other neurodivergent people is easier than chatting with neurotypicals. Neurodivergent friends might better understand you and make you feel more accepted. They can even offer tips for meeting more people and strategies for dealing with common hurdles such as social burnout and sensory overload. Look for neurodivergent forums online and attend in-person events whenever possible. You can even find dating apps that focus on autistic and neurodivergent singles.

Don’t Miss: How To Work With Autism In The Classroom

Could Autism/asd Be A Cause Of Your Relationship Difficulties

If you are trying to understand why you are suffering from ongoing relationship difficulties and are wondering if Autism might play a part, this blog article should help.

As we all know, relationships can be difficult and complicated at times, but when one partner has Autism, many more difficulties usually arise. Thats because ASD/ASC is primarily a social-emotional-communication difference.

Being able to express your emotions and be emotionally supportive of each other is the lifeblood of a healthy relationship. This can be difficult though, if you are in a neuro-diverse marriage, and over time you can both run out of energy trying to deal with these challenges.

To make things even more difficult, the tools and strategies that garden variety couples find helpful often dont work for you in a neuro-diverse relationship.

I will start with what it feels like to be a neurotypical partner with an Aspie, and then also talk about what it feels like to be a person with Autism or Aspergers in a relationship with a neurotypical person. Ill then describe how the relationship usually progresses, the challenges that can happen along the way, and then how your relationship can be helped.

How Do I Find An Rdi

Visit the RDI Connect website to view a list of certified RDI consultants in the U.S., Canada and many other countries.

Use the Autism Speaks Directory to find additional providers in your area.

For more information

RDIconnect is RDIs official website and provides resources for finding consultants and connecting with other families who use RDI.

In 2001, Dr. Gutstein published his first book on RDI, Autism Aspergers: Solving the Relationship Puzzle. Since then, he has written several more books on RDI, including The RDI Book .

Recommended Reading: Does My Autistic Son Qualify For Ssi

Dating On The Autism Spectrum: Notes For Neurotypical Partners

August 30, 2020 by Dr. Tasha Oswald

Hello! Welcome back to my blog series: Dating on the Autism Spectrum. In my clinical experience, this is a topic that interests many of my high-functioning autistic clients. So far, Ive shared dating tips for autistic individuals and how to handle conflict. Today I want to touch on what its like to be neurotypical and dating someone on the spectrum. I understand that every individual relationship is unique, but there are some common challenges that occur in this situation.

Autistic Relationship Coach Offers Advice On Navigating Dating On The Autism Spectrum

The Relationship Between ADHD and Autism

Relationships will be possible for some in our autism community. In this presentation, you will hear from an autistic adult who has found success in the dating world and has written a book on autism & dating. Topics that will be discussed will include how to ask someone on a date, levels of intimacy, how to deal with rejection & much more!

Those who watch the class will receive a certificate of completion following if they email me their purchase receipt at Would you like a license to share this video with others? Email me for more details. About the presenter: Dr. Kerry Magro EdD is an award-winning professional speaker & autism self-advocate. You can learn more about his background at

Read Also: How Do You Know If You Have An Autistic Child

What Can Be Done About Affective Disorder

The first most important factor in reducing Affective Disorder is to acknowledge it and seek to understand it, by both the person suffering and her Aspie partner.

This is almost impossible unless or until there is a diagnosis or acknowledgement that Asperger syndrome exists in the partner.

Then it can be understood as a consequence of the huge differences between their emotional needs.

Then secondly, it is about repairing the deprivation.

For the NT partner these emotional needs are like food that are crucial for her survival, so the best approach is to take a two-pronged approach.

Firstly, Maxine suggests her ASC/ASD partner can learn about what he can do to help her feel more emotionally fed.

What can an Aspie partner do to help his partner?

He can start doing things like:

  • Giving her a kiss when he leaves the house
  • Greeting her sweetly when he arrives home
  • Making a commitment to say one nice thing a day to her that he is genuine about
  • Hold her hand when they are walking together
  • Tell her he loves her often
  • Send her a nice text message daily
  • Ask her to tell him about her day
  • When she is upset, give her a hug and ask her to tell him about it

Secondly, she needs to start doing some of the following things she finds enjoyment in herself:

  • Have a regular coffee morning with a friend or friends
  • Join a gym or take up some form of exercise
  • Take up a fun hobby
  • Pamper herself in some way and make these a regular part of her week
  • Spoil herself with something nice

More articles

Popular Articles