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Autism And Dating CalmWear

March 25, 2018

Dating. We wonder about it for our children, and for ourselves if we happen to be single parents. The fear of letting ourselves or our children get involved with people outside of our closest circles can be incredible, even when our children understand societal norms and customs. When we have children who have Autism, the fear intensifies because we know that they may not read signals properly, and that their emotional and social intelligence is different from their neurotypical peers.

Fulfilling relationships are, however, a very big part of what makes us human, and connects us to people in ways that nothing else can. Having a partner, a constant hug, a best friend and support are how we thrive. Instead of fearing these relationships, we should embrace them, in all their glory.

Dating as a teen with ASD

As children with Autism Spectrum Disorder grow into adulthood, they will crave personal relationships, just like any other human. The issues for them are a little different than their neurotypical peers because of their differences in social/emotional understanding. This will not only make parents have fear for their children, but their growing children fear the whole process of dating.

People with Autism Spectrum Disorder often have many more questions about dating than their peers because they look to logic in the emotional part in a way that they can understand. People with ASD almost always need to have a logical explanation for how things work.

As they mature into adolescence, they may not understand the flirting aspect, or why someone may want to hear little white lies in a relationship. They come to a new situation completely honest and very forthcoming about how they feel. This can be frightening for prospective partners because they will look at it as a lack of tact, or rudeness, and may truly put them out of the equation for dating.

We can't expect our children to be untruthful, and we can't expect that they will pick up on flirting cues, or what is acceptable to say in a more typical conversation. Imagine going into a new place, with new people and new expectations and telling them exactly what you think about everything you see. Yes, that is dating for our kids. It's fabulous and will serve them well as adults, but not so much when they are first looking at meeting a prospective partner.

The expectation is that everything will be smooth, that you will see the best in everyone you meet, and that the romance stories are how love develops. For our children, it's more like fumbling in a football game and not knowing how to recover. It's quirky and fun, but not so much for the people who don't understand. 

When our kids with ASD become nervous, they refer back to their expertise in subjects, and that can be a little overwhelming for a neurotypical dating prospect. They have now fumbled the ball, so they start discussing their favorite Pokemon because that's something they know inside and out. Their date will wonder how the whole thing went sideways.

We need to give them some help and direction with understanding societal norms so they can enjoy the pleasure of dating without feeling awkward.

How can we help prepare our children for dating?

When our children get involved with online dating or meeting friends on the internet, they will be able to hide some of their truth from the people they are meeting. On the other side of this, the people who they are interacting with will also be able to hide their truth. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder are more likely to meet people online that don't have their best interests at heart because of their differences in social and emotional understanding.

We all fear for our children and what they may encounter on the internet. Have them stay away from this form of dating or meeting friends, to ensure their safety and your piece of mind.

With that in mind, there are many things we can do to help encourage our children to meet people and broaden their social circle not only to date, but to make new friendships:

  1. Date people you get to know through common interests. Get involved in volunteering, or social groups that have an interest for you.
  2. Work on the uncomfortable neurotypical skills. People watch and see how they interact with each other. Experiment with body language and speech with family members or good friends.
  3. Pick one night or day a week to go to an event where you don't have to be social, but can watch interaction, like a sporting event or concert.
  4. Learn to read cues to see if the other person is interested. Watch for eye contact, small smiles, flared nostrils, and how close the person may sit to you. These are cues that will show interest.
  5. Learn how to ask a person out on a date. Start by initiating pleasant conversation that isn't forced. Get to know the person over a few different meetings and wait to ask them until you feel that the conversation goes smoothly. Then just ask!
  6. If you are uncomfortable being alone, go out in groups that are of interest to you. Make events a social gathering where you know the person of interest will be there.
  7. Double date. It takes the pressure off and will allow you and everyone else more opportunity to be themselves. When you feel comfortable, express that you'd like to spend some one on one time with the person, even if it's just a walk. Get to know them outside of the crowd after you feel comfortable.

The big thing for parents is to watch the cues people are giving your children as well, and have open and honest conversations with your children about what someone's motives may be. Help them to understand that not all people that are nice, are truly wanting to spend time with them.

Sometimes signals get crossed, so make sure your child has someone they can confide in, and that you can be detached enough to clearly see what your child is needing to learn. Dating will become easier as our children get older and learn how everything works, but the first few can be very difficult. Encourage them not to give up, but to learn something from each experience. 

What if I'm a single parent and want to date?

Single parents have a difficult time when it comes to dating for many reasons. Finding the right partner, one that is caring and compassionate who will love your children like their own is a tough thing to find. On top of that, there may be guilt or feelings of selfishness for wanting to have a relationship that isn't exclusive to your children.

As a parent, trying to meet new people and enjoy relationships can be difficult because we don't know how our children will react to our new partnership, or how our new partner will react to our children. Dating becomes an intricate web of emotions and fears that can be overwhelming enough to make us all stay away from it.

When you have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the difficulties increase because of the fear of finding someone who will be able to love and communicate with your child, in a way your child understands. Change can be difficult for children with ASD, more difficult than their neurotypical counterparts, and to some single parents the effort put into dating may just seem a little too much. When this happens, you may feel resentment toward your child for not being able to live a 'normal' life.

You have a million appointments with your ASD child. Where will you find time? It's important for all adults to have nurturing relationships, including partnerships and friendships. There are some important things to remember, whether you have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder or not. The same rules apply to you as they do to your child:

  1. Meet people face to face. Spend time communicating with them before you decide if it's worth pursuing a partnership. At the very least, you may end up with a supportive friend.
  2. Make sure your time spent without your children is time just for you. Make sure you get yourself involved in social activities where other people have the same interests as you. We all need time to ourselves and to pursue our own interests. Give yourself permission to do so.
  3. Join a support group where you meet other parents of children living with ASD. You will always find support in your daily living with other parents that understand how tough it can be.
  4. Enlist a trusted friend or family member to help you find a suitable person. Sometimes it's much easier for them to see what you may need than it is for you.
  5. Don't do it until you are ready. The challenges you will face in finding a partner will be worth it when you are 100% ready to have someone play an important role in your life, and the life of your family. 
  6. Never settle for anything less than what you would want for your children, your family or your best friend. There is no compromising when it comes to decisions that will involve the rest of your life.  The person who steps in will play a very large role. Make sure they are up to the task.
  7. Take your time.

Dating can be difficult even under the best circumstances, but when we factor in different family circumstances, dating can seem incredibly overwhelming. Be cautious, but don't close yourself off to the possibility.  You deserve the very best for yourself and your family. Autism Spectrum Disorder doesn't have to affect your ability to have great relationships, it just might change the way you get there.

As children with Autism Spectrum Disorder grow into adulthood, they will crave personal relationships, just like any other human. The issues for them are a little different than their neurotypical peers because of their differences in social/emotional understanding. This will not only make parents have fear for their children, but their growing children fear the whole process of dating.

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If your measurement is between two sizes, you are best choosing the smaller size. CalmWear needs to provide gentle sensory compression to the muscles, to work effectively.

CHILD TANK TOPS / VESTS & T-SHIRTS

Size

Chest

CM Inches
0 46cm 18"
1 48cm 19"
2 52cm 20.5"
3 54cm 21"
4 56cm 22"
5 58cm 23"
6 60cm 23.5"
7 62cm 24.5"
8 64cm 25"
9 66cm 26"
10 68cm 26.5"
12 70cm 27.5"
14 74cm 29"
16 78cm 30.5"
18 82cm 31.5"

 

CHILD SHORTS & LEGGINGS PANTS

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Waist

CM Inches
0 43cm 17"
1 45cm 17.5"
2 47cm 18.5"
3 49cm 19.5"
4 51cm 20"
5 53cm 21"
6 55cm 21.5"
7 57cm 22.5"
8 59cm 23"
9 61cm 23.5"
10 63cm 24.5"
12 65cm 25.5"
14 67cm 26.5"
16 72cm 28.5"
18 77cm 30.5"

 

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Size
Chest
Shoulder to Crotch
CM Inches CM Inches
2 52cm 20.5" 44cm 17.5"
3 54cm 21" 46cm 18"
4 56cm 22" 48cm 19"
5 58cm 23" 50cm 19.5"
6 60cm 23.5" 52cm 20.5"
7 62cm 24.5" 54cm 21"
8 64cm 25" 56cm 22"
9 66cm 26" 58cm 23"
10 68cm 27" 62cm 24.5"
12 72cm 28.5" 66cm 26"
14 76cm 30" 72cm 28.5"

 

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(Please note: For women, the chest is measured under the bust )

Size

Chest

CM Inches
XXS 80cm 31.5"
XS 84cm 33"
S 90cm 35.5"
M 96cm 38"
L 102cm 40"
XL 108cm 42.5"
2XL 114cm 45"
3XL 120cm 47"
4XL 126cm 49.5"

 

ADULT SHORTS:

Size

Waist

CM Inches
XS 84cm 33"
S 88cm 35"
M 92cm 36.5"
L 97cm 38"
XL 102cm 40"
2XL 107cm 42"