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Autism and relationships, by Sarah Hendrickx
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Autism and relationships, by Sarah Hendrickx



Autism and relationships, by Sarah Hendrickx

Autism and relationships, by Sarah Hendrickx



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Autism and relationships, by Sarah Hendrickx Autism and relationships, by Sarah Hendrickx Presentation Transcript

  • Sex and Relationships – Women with Asperger syndrome Sarah Hendrickx w: www.asperger-training.com t: 01273 711258
  • Where are we now?
    • Potentially large numbers of undiagnosed women
    • Belief that AS is male condition
    • Limited research into sex and autism
    • Even more limited research into sex and AS
    • Varied profile of AS across individuals
    • Small sample numbers of women
    • Anecdotal evidence
  • ‘ An AS Woman?’
    • Less sense of being a ‘woman’ – ‘I’m just me’.
    • Tomboy/male brained?
    • Pragmatic/Logical
    • No game-playing
    • Open book
    • Straight-forward
    • Trusting/naïve/gullible
    • May be less concerned with social fripperies (fashion, make-up etc.)
  • Expectations of Relationships
    • Non-verbal signals – spotting interest
    • Sharing – possessions, plans
    • Companionship – sharing time, chatting
    • Physical contact
    • Emotional support (empathy)
    • Compromise – doing things you don’t want to
    • Imposition on relationship on life
    • Team-work – ‘couple’
    • Understanding of two-way nature (reciprocity)
    • Acceptance of changes and endings in relationships
    • Early first sexual experiences (Hendrickx)
      • Often borderline consensual/abusive
    • Different perspective on monogamy
    • Predatory relationships (Hendrickx)
      • Fewer friends to help recognise sexual predators
    • Promiscuous behaviour sometimes seen (Attwood, Henault)
      • Poor personal boundaries
      • Wanting acceptance
      • Unable to read hidden agendas of partners
      • Unable to read signals
    AS Women & Sex - research
    • New study suggests those with ASC are 7x more likely to experience Gender Identity Disorder
    • Anecdotally higher numbers of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans-gender (compared to general population) (Hendrickx)
    • Testosterone? Androgens? Male-brain?
    • More pragmatic partner choice based on other aspects (shared interests, understanding) rather than gender being primary focus?
    • Feeling of ‘not fitting in’ attributed to wrong gender when it may be just AS?
    • Different experience of gender identity?
    • Less affected by social aspects of gender?
    • ‘ Me in the preferred gender’
    • 1:1 interaction (not groups)
    • Limited, not constant – e.g. once a week
    • Accepts for yourself
    • Shares interests
    • Valued for knowledge
    • Meets physical needs
    • Does not add to stress
    • Often also neuro-diverse/AS
    The Perfect AS Partner/Friend
  • Relationship Tips
    • Remember: Many non-AS people have not found the perfect partner. It’s not just AS
    • All relationships are difficult
    • Create own template for relationship
    • Create own template for partner
    • Ignore what ‘supposed to do’
    • Asking for help to learn hidden motives and spot the bastards!
    • Find someone with AS?
    • Embrace your uniqueness
    • Like yourself