Points to consider:
1. Neurodiverse couples can use a visual system, such as a wipe off board to communicate their stress level at this time of day.
2. Each person with ASD presents differently with his or her challenges.
3. Encourage humor in your life together.
4. Executive function deficits may be mistakenly attributed to lack of motivation, and/or behavior or personality problems.
5. Executive function tasks include planning, organizing, prioritizing, time management, emotional regulation and impulse control.
6. Eye contact may be difficult and sometimes facial expressions may not reflect an individual’s true feelings.
7. Finding a path to a respectful, loving and fulfilling long lasting relationship is every committed couple’s desire.
8. In a relationship where one individual is on the autism spectrum, there are likely many more opportunities for misunderstandings and frustration.
9. Individuals on the autism spectrum are not sure how to connect with others.
10. Individuals on the autism spectrum can have both an impaired and an enhanced time perceiving their own bodily functions.
11. Inertia, both starting and stopping tasks, can be a challenge for people on the autism spectrum.
12. Information processed by the senses can easily overstimulate an individual on the autism spectrum.
13. It is a challenge for most couples to find a balance between their needs and expectations, and their partner’s needs and expectations.
14. It is important that you both learn your personal ways of de-stressing and express these needs to each other.
15. Just as in any relationship, individuals with ASD need partners who are understanding and respectful of their needs.
16. Leisure time together can be an important bonding opportunity.
17. Light touch may feel like pins yet actual pinpricks may not be felt at all.
18. Many people with autism crave intimacy and love, but they don't know how to achieve it in a romantic relationship.
19. NT partners are often relied upon to perform many executive function tasks within the relationship.
20. People on the autism spectrum suffer from anxiety.
21. People with ASD almost universally say it is difficult to process verbal information while maintaining eye contact.
22. Persons on the autism spectrum often have trouble staying on topic and maintaining a conversation.
23. Realize you might not understand your partner’s perspective.
24. Remembering the positive characteristics of both you and your partner will enhance your self-esteem and help motivate you as you work through your relationship challenges.
25. Senses may be overly sensitive (hypersensitive) and/or under sensitive (hyposensitive).
26. Sensory issues can impact just about all aspects of life from the selection of clothes, foods, bedding and furnishings that are comfortable for both partners to what environments and activities may be enjoyable for both partners.
27. Sensory issues very often affect individuals on the autism spectrum.
28. Sitting side by side might work best for communication.
29. Social cues are often missed or misread.
30. Social events are often difficult for a person with ASD and you will likely be the one arranging the social events.
31. Social skills are affected.
32. Some couples find that texting, emails and/or information written out on paper, sticky notes, calendars or wipe-off boards is very advantageous.
33. Some people with ASD are hypersensitive to various lighting.
34. They can feel blind to everyday subtle social cues from their partner, which can cause conflict and hurt feelings.
35. They may seem unaware of what is in plain sight and/or process words as “noise”.
36. Transitioning from work to home may be stressful for your partner on the autism spectrum.
37. Verbal communication is often processed more slowly and words interpreted literally.
38. You and your partner likely have different ways of alleviating stress.
39. You may need to give your partner with autism explicit information and practice on how to give hugs.
40. Your partner likely has executive function deficits.