Medical Questions > Relationships > Dating Forum

An Autism-Based Relationship...Good or Bad?

Hi all.

I'm new to this kind of thing and this will be my very first post, so I thought I would start of with a few details about myself...

I am a 'nearly 22 year old' male with Asperger's Syndrome, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). My girl, who turned 17 last month, is also on the Autism Spectrum, but has the more 'traditional style Autism', though she doesnt stim at all and can carry on a decent conversation, occasionally repeating things she is interested in. Our 12.5 month anniversary was on June 17th, though the only 'dates' we have had so far have been through 'camp get-togethers', so we are never by ourselves.

I have talked to her mom about perhaps letting us be together for real and allowing us to go on real dates. She said she would think it over. My concern is that she wont let us, even though she knows how both her daughter and myself feel about each other. I dont want to pressure her at all, but am very nervous as to her decision. My parents dont accept my girl at all an are clueless of the fact weve been with each other this long. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading!
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replied June 19th, 2013
Extremely eHealthy
I know a minuscule amount about any type of autism.

I have a friend who is now struggling to cope with a son who has been diagnosed with a type of autism. He is big enough and strong enough to overpower her and his siblings and sometimes causes lots of damage when he suffers a tantrum. The only help offered by the medics is tranquillisers.
He is highly intelligent but often needs information to be presented in a more comprehensive way and he has difficulty accepting what is obvious to others. He generally needs routine and predictability and becomes very insecure and emotional when his routine is broken. The experts say he will have developed coping mechanisms by the time he reaches adulthood and will be able to deal with the world on its own terms.

If the outlook for your girl is as optimistic then eventually she should be able to manage a relationship and survive the inevitable trials and disagreements of it.

At 17 this girl is still a girl and is probably still pubescent. It will be another four or five years until she is fully formed in matters of character and personality.
Her mother will be understandably concerned about a number of things; some of them revolving around the fact you are a man with the needs and wants of a man and her daughter is still little more than a child even though she probably has the physical appearance of maturity.

These would be a mother's concerns for any daughter even without autism. No mother wants to think of her daughter being assaulted, raped, murdered or made pregnant which is what might happen if the girl is allowed out of the sight of her parents. Few mothers sleep well while their children are out of sight.

It is natural for a mother to be over-cautious and over-protective and perhaps to over-react. Add to this the fact of autism and these motherly qualities are likely to be multiplied.

She might only be the girl's mother to you but in reality she is also an expert on autism, her daughter's type at least, and has 17 years of experience. This mother could probably tell the experts a few things they didn't know.

I feel you are right and she isn't going to allow those dates to happen yet. Although this is possibly motherly over-reaction it could also be knowledge that her daughter's coping mechanisms aren't yet well developed and concern that any relationship trauma could set her progress back considerably.
She is probably correct in her concern.

You can assume some of her objections are likely to be about sex. You could perhaps begin by assuring the mother her daughter's virtue will remain intact and then to ask her to detail her other objections in order to give you a chance to answer them.
I fear you will have to be patient a year or two more.

You could perhaps ask if you could visit the girl sometimes at home and perhaps share a family outing with them. This would allow them to know you better while you get to know your girl and her family better.

I am sorry I can't be more help.
Good luck!
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