Relationships / Friends

Friendships and relationships can be challenging for many people. When you add an Asperger Profile to the equation, they can become more difficult. While some individuals are content without friendships or relationships, many people seek them out and crave that human connection. With knowledge and support, you can identify and overcome barriers to finding friends and relationships.

We recognize what you have to offer as a friend and partner. AANE is here with the support and resources you need to build skills and make connections.

Essential Resources:

Calendar of Events for Adults
Support Groups for Adults
Social Activities and Events for Adults
For Couples and Partners

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Marriage with Asperger’s Syndrome: 14 Practical Strategies

By Eva Mendes, M.A., Psychotherapist & Couple's Counselor The 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... more

Asperger/Autism Spectrum Fact Sheet

About Asperger/Autism Spectrum: It is neurological and affects the way information is processed in the brain. It is often an invisible difference. Many people appear very competent, but have difficulties in areas of communication and social interaction. It has a genetic and hereditary... more

Friendships: Variations on a Theme

Lee el mensaje de Brenda en Español This month we are discussing friendships and social connections. Isolation is one of the greatest challenges facing our autistic community. Many autistic teens and adults and their family members reach out to AANE seeking social connections that could lead to... more

Sticking Around: A Spectrum Perspective on Friendships

For as long as I can remember, I have harbored an instinct to flee. Whether to escape noise or conflict or to gratify some impulse I can’t name, the deep, needling itch I feel to run is an undeniable one. I recall in early grade school making plans to run away more than once. I don’t remember... more

In(ter)dependence: A Trans Autistic Perspective

For many years I preferred to be as independent as possible because relying on others was … unreliable. I’d observed that people tend to agree to things that they don’t actually have the capacity to do, because they want to be nice and they have a hard time saying no. Being independent... more

Mutually Assured Distraction

  Gus and Leah are a married couple on the autism spectrum and members of the AANE Speaker's Bureau. Read their full bio here. ***** We are an adult couple, both of us on the autism spectrum, married for almost exactly five years. Gus is more of a classic STEM geek, working as a computer... more

Dating and Relationships

The arena of dating and finding someone special continues to be an issue for many people on the autism spectrum. Executive Director Dania Jekel discusses this topic and offers advice to those with Asperger/autism profiles who are considering whether or not a relationship is right for them. To... more

Neurodiverse Relationships

While any relationship can have its challenges, couples in a neurodiverse relationship (where one or both partners are on the autism spectrum) can face a unique set of issues. Dania Jekel, Executive Director of AANE, explores this difference and announces AANE's new training for therapists to... more

Communication Challenges in Neurodiverse Partnerships

Do you feel like your partner is "speaking a different language"? Does this communication impact important conversations you want to have with your partner? While communication is vital for all relationships, unique challenges can arise when there is neurodiversity between partners. Whether... more

First Person Account: Dating Challenges with an Asperger Profile

As an individual with an Asperger profile, AANE community member Sam Farmer reflects on some of the communication challenges he faced while he was dating and how he how he learned to become more... more

Undue Influence: Cults and Predators – Webinar

In this webinar, Steven will teach you about the basics of undue influence, and why individuals on the autism spectrum are uniquely susceptible to it. He will explain the difference between healthy and unhealthy influence. Undue influence is not just an issue for religious cults; it is used by... more

The Autism Spectrum, Sexuality and the Law: What every parent and professional needs to know

Recommended Reading
The Autism Spectrum, Sexuality and the Law: What every parent and professional needs to know Jul 21, 2014 by Nick Dubin and Isabelle Henault   A good resource for families and professionals interested in legal and criminal issues in regards to AS and... more

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

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

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

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

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