The former Miss America system contestant and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music-trained opera singer knew she had a different conception of romance than her previous boyfriends had and, for that matter, everyone else.“People tend to think of romance as spur of the moment and exciting,” she told me.
“Studies have shown that people with autism can have feelings that are stronger and deeper than those without autism,” said John Elder Robison, bestselling author of and autism advocate.
“We will constantly not be able to read whether someone is interested, so you can have an insecurity about whether the person you're dating likes you,” said Plank.
In heterosexual courtships where men are still often expected to pursue women, males with autism are at a distinct disadvantage to their female counterpart.
Seemingly basic, non-sexual touching may be an issue, as well.“It may give them discomfort for someone to kiss them lightly or hold their hand,” Massey said.
“They need pressure, and that's not typically what you think of with tender, romantic love.”Perhaps because so much of their behavior runs counter to mainstream conceptions of how to express affection and love, people with autism are rarely considered in romantic contexts.