Exploring the Social Experience of Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Views on Friendships, Dating and Partnerships

Jenna Johnson, Roy Richard Hanes

Abstract


This article reports on the social and intimate relationships of autistic adults. The results describe both negative and positive experiences, as well as possible insights into how their communities can be more inclusive and provide better social opportunities specific to this population. The methodology for this study includes both quantitative and qualitative data and utilizes participatory action techniques. The purpose of the research is to provide an opportunity for autistic adults to discuss their social experiences and aspirations, as much of the existing research on this topic comes from parents, family members, professionals and service providers, yet rarely from the individuals themselves. This study attempts to address this disparity by focusing on the perspectives of autistic people – by sharing their stories and by including the participants in the research process itself.


Keywords


autism, neurodiversity, personal relationships, dating

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