“Autism in Love”, a documentary focusing on how people with autism experience love and manage relationships, is scheduled to air on PBS’s “Independent Lens” series on January 11th. The film follows four people with autism as they search for and maintain loving relationships.
The film shows a young man named Lenny has been feeling unhappy because he wants a girlfriend, and he doesn’t have one. According to his mother, it’s hard for him to fit in and seem normal.
One percent of the world’s population, like Lenny, has autism spectrum disorder, which can make it difficult for those with this condition to process and respond to social cues. Though it’s commonly thought that being on the spectrum inhibits verbal displays of affection, in an interview with the Huffington Post, the director of the film, Matt Fuller, related that autism is not at odds with meaningful romantic relationships.
Dr. Paul Wang, the head of medical research at Autism Speaks, an advocacy and research group, agrees with Mr. Fuller: “Although we think about autism, and people with autism, in terms of a social impairment, the deficit isn't in desire.”
As Matt Fuller’s film demonstrates, there’s hope for those on the spectrum to build a loving relationship. People on the spectrum both want to love and be loved.
Martha Millar is a special education attorney who serves clients throughout California.
You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her today for a free telephone consultation at 916-724-5211.
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