Managing sensory issues and relationships

Sensory issues can have an impact on romantic relationships for young people and teenagers with autism. For example, if the young person isn’t comfortable hugging other people, this affects the ways he or she can express affection and attraction.

Desensitising strategies may help. This might involve grading how much contact the young person can happily tolerate and working on extending the level of contact. For example sitting near or next to the teenager with autism then increasing the contact to touching his or her arm for a short period, working up to being able to tolerate a hug – if a hug is what he or she feels is important.