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Asperger Love

Teenage love with Asperger’s Syndrome. Connecting when it’s not easy.

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Jack and Kirsten. (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

A new report found that autism diagnoses jumped 72% since 2007. Those with Asperger’s are on the high-functioning end of that spectrum. They struggle with social cues. With navigating friendships and forming close relationships.

But of course they have emotions and want love. But forming loving bonds when you can’t read another person’s expressions can be challenging.

We’ll talk to one couple that’s navigating those challenges. And finding that their shared diagnosis helps them understand each other.

This hour, On Point: On the spectrum and in love.

- Jane Clayson

Guests

Amy Harmon, Pulitzer Prize-winning national correspondent for The New York Times, covers the impact of science and technology on American life, author of the E-book: “Asperger Love: Searching for Romance When You’re Not Wired to Connect“. (@amy_harmon)

Jack Robison, adult with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Kirsten Lindsmith, adult with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Dr. Max Wiznitzer, practicing Pediatric Neurologist at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurology at Case Western Reserve University Medical School.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “The months that followed Jack and Kirsten’s first night together show how daunting it can be for the mindblind to achieve the kind of mutual understanding that so often eludes even nonautistic couples. But if the tendency to fixate on a narrow area of interest is sometimes considered a drawback, it may also explain one couple’s single-minded determination to keep trying.”

Washington Post “A government survey of parents says 1 in 50 U.S. schoolchildren has autism, surpassing another federal estimate for the disorder. Health officials say the new number doesn’t mean autism is occurring more often. But it does suggest that doctors are diagnosing autism more frequently, especially in children with milder problems.”

The Telegraph “However, in Aston’s experience, this appeal can wear thin. ‘Women fall in love and want to nurture this unworldly, slightly vulnerable man and help him grow up. As the relationship settles, though, they often find their own emotional needs aren’t being met.'”

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