HYGIENE AND DATING WITH AN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER Heidi Ross SSW Case Manager/Coach ScenicView Academy Introductions Dating with an Autism Spectrum Disorder Things they are struggling with • Understanding non-verbal communication • When it’s appropriate to approach someone • Understanding how to introduce themselves • What to say when you are first meeting someone • Socially appropriate conversation ideas • Sharing to much information • Presenting themselves in a socially appropriate way Black and White Thinking • We live in a world where we all break the “rules” • Because of Black and White thinking someone who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder doesn’t understand the world around them. For example: If we say you should never burp in public, then why do people burp in public sometimes? • A Benefit to teaching someone with Black and White thinking is you can be very honest with them if you have already developed a relationship with them. Avoiding the fantasy • Because of a desire to form relationships, but the difficulty that desire presents, many of adults and adolescents enjoy movies, video games, online gaming, and sometimes chatting online or by phone. • Most of these hobbies have them believing in the falling in love at first sight or other unrealistic fantasy. • Teach about how to build a relationship starting with friendship. “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” Ann Landers Meet Develop Friendship/ Get to know each other Start to date Frequency of 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 100th dates. 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 First Date 2nd Date 3rd Date 4th Date 100th Date Continue to develop relationship Long term Love/ Marriage Hygiene •Teaching the facts. Being very explicit. Describing how to clean and what to clean. •Sensory issues getting in the way. Finding motivation. Other Dating Tips • Sometimes the internet is a good place for adults to meet someone because they can navigate a conversation online better than in person. • Teaching how to be safe while on the internet. Letting them know that things aren’t always as they seem. • Missing the subtext: Sarcasm is often lost when talking with someone with ASD. • Using examples of things they already understand to teach them about dating. Ex: Help them see how a job interview is a lot like dating • Teaching Chivalry and how to be a lady. Questions?