A frequent topic of conversation in my office involves dating. There is usually a mix of curiosity, anxiety, and horror as we wade through those conversations, with parents feeling both ready for their young adult to date, and also scared. Not surprisingly, the young adult often feels a combination of motivated, intrigued by the possibilities, and…wait for it…anxious.
Dating. This is a life task that most people will engage in. It is tough for most people (on and off the spectrum) and filled with both angst and success stories. I’m inclined to think that most people will try dating, and very few should be prohibited from/seriously supervised while dating.
Dating is essentially friendship plus romance, an equation that seems rather soothing. You probably have the skills to establish friendships (a necessary ingredient). Add romance and clear communication, and you have dating. Back to that friendship thing: friendship skills are imperative. If you feel rusty in that department, start with friendship skills before you dive into dating! (Mallory Griffith can help you.)
Probably dating is a touch more complex than “friendship + romance.” A few months back I wrote a short article for Autism Parenting Magazine about that very topic. (Our writing/professional group about an article a month publishes in Autism Parenting Magazine – look for us: Mallory Griffith, Emily Daniels, and Rita Roem. Topics vary widely! And we don’t decide titles or graphics…) In any event, the dating article is now available on the magazine’s blog. Happy reading!