How does a person with ASD date successfully? How do we effectively teach relationship skills? Teaching social thinking is a good place to start. Michelle Garcia Winner has done excellent work in this area. Her book Socially Curious, Curiously Social teaches perspective taking, facing social challenges, creating thinking flexibility and building strong friendships. Having successful friendships can set the groundwork for successful dating later on. The hidden curriculum is another good place to start.
She highlights several ways to teach those unspoken, hidden social rules through social narratives, cartooning, Power Cards , and video modeling. Many of the basic social rules apply to dating and relationships such making conversation, school dance etiquette, talking on the telephone and eating in restaurants. Since every situation is different and everyone has their own personality, this type of format is great to use with people on the spectrum as the social rule is stated on one side, and the other side is how does it apply to me and what are my feelings around it.
He sent out a list of his personal dating tips which I think are quite good. Here are 10 tips for guys to think about: Letting other people praise your accomplishments is much more attractive to girls and women than acting like you are your own biggest fan.
Work on your manners. Girls tend to appreciate a guy who knows not to talk with his mouth full, how to stand back and let someone else enter a door first, and how to keep his voice volume low in a crowded movie theater. Get a girl mentor, or several. I made friends with girls in my high school classes who I could ask questions about what girls expected or would like. An older sister or even your mom can be a great source of information.
Find a girl with interests similar to yours. Maybe you both excel in a class. Get to know a girl before you ask her out. Less pressure makes for a better first date. When you ask a girl on a date, make it specific. If you wish, you can then wait a few days and ask her out again to a different event. One of the biggest mistakes guys make is talking too much about themselves or their interests.
This is a special challenge for guys with Asperger Syndrome. When you talk with a girl, make your point and then give her a chance to respond. If she changes the subject, try and talk about the new subject for a while.
Assume that a girl cares as much about her interests as you do yours and her opinions are just as valid. She is not less or more, she is different — in some interesting ways. People often talk about things to help them think them through, or just to have another person sympathize. Pointing out what you see as a simple solution to her problem is not likely to earn you admiration for being smart.
Girl-world has a lot of icebergs. Consider joining a support group for teens or adults on the spectrum. These are often safe havens in which to discuss feelings, fears, and practice valuable social skills to use in the real world of dating and relationships. No one will ever be perfect at it, but practicing social skills and learning the hidden curriculum are good places to start.
Autism Awareness Centre believes that education is the key to success in assisting individuals who have autism and related disorders. Note that the information contained on this web site should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice. Did you enjoy this post? Please share it with your friends on your favourite social network.
Maureen Bennie Maureen Bennie created the Autism Awareness Centre in to address what she saw as a gap in support and advocacy for those struggling with autism and autism spectrum disorders. For Maureen, education brings positive change to the lives of those affected by autism and autism spectrum disorders.