Finding a partner

A young person with autism might have difficulty recognising when he or she is attracted to another person romantically.
Teaching concretely about the following can help:

  • The tingly sensation in his or her body
  • Thinking about another person a lot
  • Wanting to be close to someone else

When, or if, the teenager has identified someone he or she is interested in, he or she may need support to determine if the feeling is mutual (as being able to understand the emotional state of another is an area of intrinsic difficulty).
Some mistakes may be:

  • Misinterpreting signs of friendliness, or failing to pick up on disinterest
  • Differentiating between someone being nice to you simply because he or she is a nice person or it is in fact an intrinsic part of his or her job.
Interested Not interested
Giving strong eye‐contact Looking away
Leaning forward to hear what is said Not listening
Turning toward you Turning away from you
Smiling Looking unhappy
‘Flipping’ or touching their hair Moving away
Laughing at what you say Arms folded
Starting the conversation Looking towards something or someone else
Touching you in a friendly way,
for example, touching your wrist or your shoulder

More useful information can be found at Romantic Relationships and Autism