Unfortunately, the source of information on relationships for adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome can be pornography for males and television “soap operas” for females.
Teenagers with Asperger’s syndrome often are eager to understand and experience the social and relationship world of their peers, including romantic relationships and sexual experiences, but there can be problems regarding the source of information on relationships and sexuality.An adolescent with Asperger’s syndrome usually has few, if any, friends with whom he or she can discuss and be informed about relationship topics such as romantic or sexual feelings and the codes of sexual behaviour.The predisposition to develop a special interest can have other effects on the development of relationship knowledge.Special interests have many functions for people with Asperger’s syndrome, and one of these is to acquire knowledge to understand bewildering aspects of their experiences.For example, a hug may be perceived as an uncomfortable squeeze that restricts movement.
The person can become confused or overwhelmed when expected to demonstrate and enjoy relatively modest expressions of affection.
The charges tend to be for sexually inappropriate behaviour rather than sexually abusive or sexually violent behaviour.
Adolescent women with Asperger’s syndrome may use television programs and films as source material to learn about relationships, and fail to recognize that the actions and themes are not an accurate portrayal of how to achieve and maintain a relationship in real life.
She may have no female friends to accompany her on a first date, or provide advice on dating and the social and sexual codes; consequently her parents may become concerned about her vulnerability to promiscuity, adverse sexual experiences, and date rape.
There is a relationship continuum from being an acquaintance to being a partner.
To achieve a successful relationship, a person also needs to understand and respect him- or herself.