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Autism and relationships, by Sarah Hendrickx
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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

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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?
      Sexuality
      • ‘ 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