Couples/Partners

Intimate relationships can provide rewarding connections and challenging experiences. A partner might be the first person to identify Asperger traits in an individual who has been successful in other areas of life. Intimate relationships can be hard for anyone, but they are especially challenging when partners have different perspectives, communication techniques, approaches, and skill sets. With the right information and support, these differences can be understood and respected from both sides. Whether you are the partner of an individual with an Asperger profile or you fit the profile yourself, we are here to provide you with information and direct support you need to help your relationship thrive. We are available to help in-person as well as online and over the phone.

Essential Resources:

Neurodiverse Couple’s Coaching
Support Groups for Couples & Partners
Relationships/Friendships
LGBTQ
Diagnosis

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Married, with Asperger’s

Article
He’s finally trained! My husband of 26 years has scarcely completed a single one of my sentences all this year. Like most neurotypical people, Christopher has a tendency to want to finish someone’s sentence when there is a pause. That is not helpful for me!I received my diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome (AS) in 1994, shortly after the birth... more

Marriage with Asperger’s Syndrome: 14 Practical Strategies

Article
By Eva Mendes, M.A., Psychotherapist & Couple's CounselorThe excerpts below focus on interventions for relationships in which an individual with Asperger Syndrome (AS) is partnered with a spouse or partner who does not have AS (a neurotypical). The article in its entirety may be found at www.evmendes.com.The Asperger's Association of... more

Asperger Fact Sheet

Article
About AS:It is a neurological condition that affects the way information is processed in the brain. AS is a hidden disability. Many people appear very competent, but they have difficulties in the areas of communication and social interaction. AS has a genetic and hereditary component... more

Viewing Marriage and Relationships Through the Asperger Lens (in Spanish)

Webinar
Learn how to view marriage and relationships through an Asperger/Autism Lens. Includes helpful tips for partners and spouses. This version is in... more

Romantic Relationships with Asperger’s and Autism: Successful Strategies for Couples and Spouses

Webinar
Strategies from Eva Mendes, author of Romantic Relationships with Asperger's and... more

Viewing Marriage and Long-Term Relationships Through an Asperger’s Lens

Webinar
Learn how to view marriage and relationships through an Asperger/Autism Lens. Includes helpful tips for partners and... more

Marriage and Lasting Relationships with Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Recommended Reading
In “Marriage and Lasting Relationships with Asperger Syndrome,” Eva Mendes presents proven strategies to help neurodiverse couples in tricky relationships.  What makes this book so helpful — what makes it stand apart — is her ability to elucidate the realities of both partners in a... more

Autism-Asperger’s and Sexuality: Puberty and Beyond

Recommended Reading
Many people on the spectrum never get "the talk" from their parents, and suffer from "information deficit." This book goes a long way toward filling in the gaps in their knowledge. It takes a candid look at aspects of sex and relationships as they apply to people on the autism spectrum:Learn... more

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s

Recommended Reading
Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them)—had... more

Living Sensationally

Recommended Reading
Winnie Dunn has worked with many people with Asperger profiles. Based on her deep understanding of how their sensory issues impact their experience and functioning, she offers strategies to creating more hospitable environments and practical solutions. The book is refreshingly concise, with handy... more

Asperger Profiles: Emotions and Empathy

Article
People with Asperger profiles absolutely do have feelings, although they may have difficulty identifying and discussing them. In fact, many feelings – such as fear, anger and joy – seem to be experienced more intensely by those with Asperger profiles than by average people. In addition, some... more

Asperger Profiles: Genetics

Article
Nobody knows for sure what causes an Asperger profile. Current research indicates that there is a genetic foundation for this constellation of traits, involving a number of different genes. So it is not surprising that when a person receives an Asperger/ASD diagnosis, the family often realizes that... more

Asperger Profiles: Language and Communication

Article
Many people with Asperger profiles have complex vocabularies and sophisticated speech, but using language to communicate, also called pragmatics, is a different matter. The rules of everyday conversation that come intuitively to most people have to be actively learned by individuals with Asperger profiles. Difficulties arise in two spheres. First,... more

Married, with Asperger’s

Article
He’s finally trained! My husband of 26 years has scarcely completed a single one of my sentences all this year. Like most neurotypical people, Christopher has a tendency to want to finish someone’s sentence when there is a pause. That is not helpful for me!I received my diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome (AS) in 1994, shortly after the birth... more

Neurodiversity

Article
Diagnostic labels, by nature, define disorders and tend to ignore the strengths, gifts, and adaptive benefits of the individuals diagnosed. In contrast to this, the Asperger constellation of traits has more recently been described as the product of natural variations in human neurology that lead to differences in individual experiences,... more

Asperger Profiles: Common Characteristics

Article
As we look in detail at some strengths and challenges you might see in a person with an Asperger profile, keep in mind that people with these profiles are not all alike; they may differ from one another even more in respect to their areas of strength than in their areas of challenge.Possible Asperger StrengthsCommon Asperger... more

Asperger Profiles: Developmental Delays

Article
Every person with Asperger Syndrome is developmentally delayed, not intellectually, but at the social-emotional level. This delay can be significant; for example, a 21-year-old may seem socially and emotionally more like a 14-year-old. The social consequences of being developmentally delayed often become particularly conspicuous during the middle... more

Asperger Profiles: Understanding Strengths and Challenges

Article
When parenting, teaching, befriending, treating, working alongside, or supervising someone with an Asperger profile:Consider both the person’s challenges and his or her strengths. Balance acceptance with teaching necessary skills. Strengths-based interventions foster hope, inspiration, and energy. People with Asperger profiles... more

Ask and Tell: Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum

Recommended Reading
Edited by Stephen Shore, Ask and Tell aims to help autistic people effectively self-advocate in their pursuit of independent, productive, and fulfilling lives. Ask and Tell is unique by being the first book to speak to the twin issues of self-advocacy and disclosure for people on the... more

Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome

Recommended Reading
Girls with Asperger/Autism profiles are less frequently diagnosed than boys, and even once symptoms have been recognized, help is often not readily available. The image of coping well presented by AS females of any age can often mask difficulties, deficits, challenges, and loneliness. This is a... more

Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to…

Recommended Reading
At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, What the @#!% is wrong with my husband?! In David Finch’s case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years after he married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains... more

Romantic Relationships

Article
Romance, dating, long-term relationships, and marriage enter into the lives of some people with Asperger profiles, and of these, many start their own families and become successful parents. Dating presents challenges for many with Asperger profiles because it involves subtle social communication and requires one partner to “experience” the... more

Asperger Marriage: Viewing Partnerships Through a Different Lens

Article
The excerpts below focus on interventions and suggestions for relationships in which a man with Asperger Syndrome (AS) is partnered with a woman who does not have AS (or a non-AS woman). The article in its entirety may be found at NASWMA.org. (AANE can also assist non-AS men partnered with women with AS.)Several times a year AANE offers... more