It can be particularly difficult when autism interferes with the ability to read and respond to social signals.
Some important questions come up around dating, and each family approaches them differently. If your teen hasn’t already brought up the topic, look for a time when he or she is in a good mood and mention your willingness to talk about dating and sexuality when your teen is ready. Discuss possible reasons that someone might not be interested in dating.Guest post by psychologist Lindsey Sterling, Ph D, and doctoral student Siena Whitham - autism researchers and therapists with UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.During a now-completed We’re so glad to address this question, given how many teens and parents express interest.While role-playing, observe how your teen shows interest, expresses compliments and responds nonverbally (e.g., smiling, nodding in agreement, making eye contact). Remind your teen that it’s important to stay at a comfortable level.Explain that these behaviors send positive messages to the other person. Discuss who, when, where and how to ask someone out. Someone your age, who you like and who talks to you and is nice to you. Once you’ve gotten to know each other, once you’ve sensed that the other person is interested. Discuss that this may be different than what others are doing or what is shown in the media. When it’s time for the date, help your teen dress appropriately and otherwise look his or her best.Welcome to one of the most challenging phases of parenting—adolescence.In all likelihood, your young teen is experiencing significant emotional, psychological and physical changes.If you need support there are people and resources available to help.Remind your teen that he or she deserves a violence free relationship and that abuse is NEVER appropriate and NEVER their fault.Reading and sending signals Also remember that the social signals involved in dating and flirting can be complex, inconsistent and subtle.Interpreting them presents a challenge for most everyone.