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For the more impatient of us, there’s always Tinder.Or just going out to a bar and chatting with someone you think is hot.
Appetence is a new app that’s all about ‘slow dating’ – which is essentially just a cool way to say ‘taking it slow’.
Yet we often accept or expect that someone with autism -or any other additional support need- would not need to experience relationships and intimacy.
Whilst it should be acknowledged that some young people and adults with ASD may choose not to have a relationship, we need to create opportunities for those who do.
We should also remember that a person may not want a relationship now, but may do so in the future.
Young people and adults should also know that they can define their relationship as they wish.It is important for people with ASD to experience Friendship and learn social skills before they move in to a Relationship:o Match4Me is a dating service run by ENABLE in Forth Valley that helps people with a learning disability to find a partner.It also helps to prepare people for Relationships by offering Educational sessions in dating skills including; holding a conversation, boundaries, appropriate behaviour, the Law and consent, real life v fantasy (dangers of pornography), choosing a suitable partner, respect and responsibility, abuse, intimacy and sex, contraception and where to get help. A Survey of what Matters Most to People with Learning Disabilities in Scotland Today, Scotland: Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability and ENABLE Scotland, available here Howlin, P and Moss, P. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 57, 5 , 275-283 quoted in Hartman, D (2014) Sexuality and Relationship Education for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London The Scottish Government (2000) The Same As You?Autism-specific research on Sexual Health and Relationships is limited but the evidence available to date indicates that adults with ASD are more likely to be unmarried and isolated, and experience difficulties with social relationships, mental health issues and a poor quality of life.