From all of us at the AARC, Happy Valentine’s Day! Check out our latest Quick Tip training for helpful hints planning your Valentine’s Day celebrations for any age on the spectrum. Join Kendra, Aimee, and special guests as they discuss best practices to support individuals on the autism spectrum during Valentine's Day and review helpful resources for dating and relationships on the spectrum.
February is often known for being a month dedicated to love and romance. Navigating romantic relationships are not easy for anyone, whether or not you are on the autism spectrum. Nevertheless, autistic adults may face more difficulties than their neurotypical peers when navigating the world of dating.
Individuals on the spectrum may misunderstand social cues from their partner, fail to recognize their partner’s feelings, or experience difficulty seeing things from their significant other’s perspective. This can cause conflict or hurt feelings.

Does this mean people with autism can’t become partners? Of course not!
Whether you are a parent or professional supporting individuals on the spectrum who are interested in dating, or a self-advocate who is interested in a romantic relationship, there are helpful resources that can assist you. Check out the links below:
Social Stories
Teach what a “relationship” is & help to identify each type
 
 
Access the six-part social story series on relationships developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). This series reviews the relationships between families, friends, romantic partners, acquaintances, and strangers.
Relationship Boundaries
Help individuals to “see” social boundaries & avoid exploitation
 
The Circles Curriculum and interactive application helps young adults with autism understand the different relationships in their life and the appropriate level of intimacy between people.
Click here to submit a request to check-out this program free from the SESA library.


Sexuality Education
Sex Ed resources created for individuals on the spectrum
 
  1. ABC’s of Sexuality and Adults
  2. OAR Sex Ed for Self-Advocates
  3. Sex Ed Podcast
Dating Tips
Tips and tricks for navigating the dating scene

  1. Ten Steps for Teens
  2. Dating Tips from a Self-Advocate
  3. Dating Someone with Autism
Resources of the Month

The resources of the month are available in the Special Education Service Agency (SESA) Library. Search for items on the SESA website, or contact the librarian, Anne Freitag, at afreitag@sesa.org or 907-334-1301.

Electronic books may be accessed from anywhere in the state. If you've used our e-books before, go to the login page here. If you haven't, please contact Anne so she can set up a username and password for you.
Autistic's Guide to Dating: A book by autistics, for autistics and those who love them or who are in love with them
By: Emilia Murry Ramey and Jody John Ramey. J. Kingsley, 2008
For people on the autism spectrum, dating is often an elusive art form, requiring the very skills in communication and social perception that don't come naturally to them.
Note: This is an ebook; contact Anne (afreitag@sesa.org) for the login information.
Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum: A parent's guide to the cognitive, social, physical and transition needs of teenagers with autism spectrum disorders
By: Chantal Sicile-Kira
Perigee Books, 2006
"... a complete guide to the cognitive, emotional, social, and physical needs of preteens and teenagers with autistic disorders, ranging from the relatively mild Asperger's Syndrome to more severe ability impairment. Using clear examples, practical advice, and supportive insights, this book covers: health risks such as seizures and depression; treatments, therapies, and teaching strategies; teaching skills to cope with puberty, self-care, and social skills; teenage emotions, sexuality, appropriate relationships, and dating; middle school, high school, and developing an Individual Educational Program; preparing for life after high school."
An Asberger Marriage
By: Chris and Gisela Slater-Walker
J. Kingsley Publishers, 2002
Examines a successful marriage from two perspectives: a husband who has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and his wife coming to terms with a marriage in which there would never be an intuitive understanding despite her husband's good intentions.
Also available as an ebook; contact Anne (afreitag@sesa.org) for the login information.
Asberger's Syndrome and Sexuality: From adolescence through adulthood
By: Chris and Gisela Slater-Walker
J. Kingsley Publishers, 2002
“Playing the dating game is often tricky: all the more so for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. How do AS adolescents and their families cope with sexual feelings and behaviour? What help can be given if a man with AS oversteps the mark in expressing his sexuality? How do people with AS deal with intimacy and communication in sexual relationships? In this comprehensive and unique guide, {the author] delivers practical information and advice on issues ranging from puberty and sexual development, gender identity disorders, couples' therapy to guidelines for sex education programs and maintaining sexual boundaries.”-Publisher's website
The Aspie Girl's Guide to Being Safe with Men: The unwritten safety rules no-one is telling you
By: Debi Brown
J. Kingsley Publishers, 2013
This is essential reading for every girl and woman on the autism spectrum, from age 13 upwards. Appreciating that Aspies need explanations to be explicit and comprehensive, Debi Brown provides sound, practical strategies for staying safe in many different situations, sensitively yet honestly explaining what the Aspie girl's rights and choices are, and how to act on her choices to stay safe.
Autism Asperger's: Solving the relationship puzzle
By: Steven E. Gutstein
Future Horizons, 2000
... psychologist and autism specialist, has dedicated his life to bridging the social gap between children with autism and the rest of us. The result of his efforts is an innovative program—Relational Development Intervention—that takes social skills teaching to the next level. First you'll learn about the social development pathway of neurotypical children and the life-changing detour taken by children on the autism spectrum. Then Gutstein takes you beyond theory and describes practical ways to steer children with autism onto a path of self discovery and social awareness, one that will ultimately bring them home to meaningful friendships, shared emotions, and heartfelt connection with the people in their lives.
Freaks, Geeks, and Asperger's Syndrome: A user guide to adolescence
By: Luke Jackson
J. Kingsley Publishers, 2002
Adolescence and the teenage years are a minefield of emotions, transitions and decisions, and when a child has Asperger syndrome, the result is often explosive. Luke's book gives guidance on bullying, friendships, when and how to tell others about AS, problems at school, dating and relationships, and morality.
From Like to Love for Young People with Asperger's Syndrome (autism spectrum disorder): Learning how to express and enjoy affection with family and friends
By: Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett
J. Kingsley Publishers, 2013
Presents activities for parents to work through with their children to help them understand and express affection. Children will learn to identify their own and others' comfort and enjoyment range for gestures, actions and words of affection, and the different ways to express feelings for someone, appropriate to each relationship and situation. The activities can be undertaken at a pace that works for the individual family. The book also guides parents through the challenges faced by their child, which will lead to greater understanding and confidence in their relationship.
Getting a Life with Asperger's : Lessons learned on the bumpy road to adulthood
By: Jesse A. Saperstein
Penguin Group, 2014
"Author, speaker, and autism advocate Jesse A. Saperstein knows a lot about living with Asperger's. Diagnosed at the age of fourteen, Jesse has struggled, triumphed, flubbed, soared, educated, and inspired. Along the road to adulthood, he has learned many lessons the hard way. In this honest and engaging book, he offers a guided tour of what he's learned about getting along with others, managing emotions, succeeding in school and work, building relationships, and more. Among his Asperger's Rules are: - Clean Up Your Own Mess (including but not limited to credit card debt, out-of-control collections, and your cesspool of a room) - You Can't Bail Out the Titanic with a Wineglass (or change the world of online dating) - Serving as a Role Model to the Next Generation of Asperger's Syndrome - Navigating the Challenges of College and the Unrelenting Storm of Transition - The Road to Catastrophe Is Paved with Good Intentions (understanding how others perceive you, even if they're wrong) - WIN: Work Is Necessary (you are talented enough to maintain employment even if your options are not ideal) - Confronting Memories of Bullying and Showing Mercy Toward Yourself Heartfelt, insightful, and generous, this book will enlighten and inform readers, whether they are on the autism spectrum or not."-- Provided by publisher.
Growing Up on the Spectrum : A guide to life, love, and learning for teens and young adults with autism and Asperger's
By: Lynn Kern Koegel and Claire LaZebnik
Viking, 2009
A renowned autism expert collaborates with a parent of an autistic teenager in this guide to helping teens with autism. Addressing issues from a changing body to how to succeed in college, this inspiring volume offers hope and wisdom for parents, therapists, and educators.
Intimate Relationships and Sexual Health : A curriculum for teaching adolescents/adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders and other social challenges
By: Catherine Davies & Melissa Dubie
AAPC Publishers, 2012
A complete curriculum for teaching about sexual health and intimate relationships, taking into consideration the learning preferences, sensitivity, social and other issues characteristic of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Complete with handouts, checklists, and CD-ROM with blank forms and handouts.
The Journal of Best Practices : A memoir of marriage, Asperger syndrome, and one man's quest to be a better husband
By: David Finch
Scribner, 2012
At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, What the ... is wrong with my husband?! In the author's case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years after he married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains his ever-growing list of quirks and compulsions, his lifelong propensity to quack and otherwise melt down in social exchanges, and his clinical-strength inflexibility. But it doesn't make him any easier to live with. Determined to change, he sets out to understand Asperger syndrome and learn to be a better husband, no easy task for a guy whose inability to express himself rivals his two-year-old daughter's, who thinks his responsibility for laundry extends no further than throwing things in (or at) the hamper, and whose autism-spectrum condition makes seeing his wife's point of view a near impossibility. Nevertheless, he devotes himself to improving his marriage with an endearing yet hilarious zeal that involves excessive note-taking, performance reviews, and most of all, this book: a collection of hundreds of maxims and hard-won epiphanies that result from self-reflection both comic and painful. They include "Don't change the radio station when she's singing along," "Apologies do not count when you shout them," and "Be her friend, first and always." Guided by the journal, he transforms himself over the course of two years from the world's most trying husband to the husband who tries the hardest, the husband he'd always meant to be. Filled with humor and surprising wisdom, this book is a candid story of ruthless self-improvement, a unique window into living with an autism-spectrum condition, and proof that a true heart can conquer all.
Life and Love : Positive strategies for autistic adults
By: Zosia Zaks
AAPC, 2006
"Written for adults on the spectrum and those involved - parents, spouses, friends - this book is divided into two sections: life and love. In the life section, the author describes and suggests concrete ways to deal with some of the issues and problems faced by those on the autism spectrum. Examples include how to accommodate sensory issues, maintain a home, and manage a career. In the love section, instead of focusing on one topic, the author includes a broad spectrum of suggestions for different types of relationships and weaves these together with the core concept of self-esteem."--publisher's website.
The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome (autism spectrum disorder) : A guide to living in an intimate relationship with a partner who is on the autism spectrum
By: Maxine Aston
J. Kingsley Publishers, 2014
Does your other half have Asperger Syndrome or do you suspect that he or she is on the autism spectrum? This title explains Asperger Syndrome, discusses whether or not seeking an autism diagnosis will help, and offers simple strategies for coping with a range of relationship challenges including communication, social, and intimacy difficulties
Relationship Development Intervention with Children, Adolescents, and Adults: Social and emotional development activities for Asperger Syndrome, Autism, PDD, and NLD
By: Steven E. Gutstein and Rachelle K. Sheely
J. Kingsley Publishers, 2002
"Remove our emotional bonds with family, colleagues and friends and few of us would want to go on living. Yet establishing and maintaining such bonds is particularly difficult for people on the autism spectrum. This volume contains over 200 enjoyable and stimulating activities and exercises ranging over the entire gamut of social and emotional development, and is applicable to anyone, regardless of diagnosis, but will be particularly valuable for those on the autism spectrum. Activities can be undertaken independently, or with a teacher or therapist, and a full schema for the evaluation of progress and objectives is included. A companion website, free to purchasers provides a wealth of further information and support."--Publisher's website.
Sex, Drugs and Asperger's Syndrome (ASD) : A user guide to adulthood
By: Luke Jackson
J. Kingsley Publishers, 2016
Luke Jackson's unabridged and sparkling sequel to his best-selling user guide to adolescence 'Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome' is the must-read handbook for teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum. With devastating clarity, Luke focuses on the pitfalls involved in navigating the transition to adulthood, and the challenges of adult life. He covers everything from bullying and drugs to socializing, sex, negotiating relationships, and finding and keeping your first job. --Amazon.com.
Socially Curious and Curiously Social : A social thinking guidebook for teens & young adults with Asperger's, ADHD, PDD-NOS, NVLD, or other murky undiagnosed social learning issues
By: Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke
Think Social Pub., 2009
"...a detailed guidebook to help teens and young adults with social thinking as they sail the stormy seas of dating, texting, lies, and everyday relationships." Glenn Saltz, quoted on back cover.
ALASKA AUTISM RESOURCE CENTER
3501 Denali Street Suite 100 | 907-334-1300