How to be a Good Partner To Someone Autistic

how to be a good partner to someone autistic

Communication is an essential part of any relationship, but it can be a bit more complicated when one partner is autistic. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can learn to embrace the spectrum of communication and build a strong, healthy relationship.

Decode the Autistic Language

One of the most important things you can do is learn to decode the autistic language. Autistic individuals may have difficulty with nonverbal communication, such as body language and tone of voice. They may also struggle with social cues and sarcasm. So, it’s important to be clear and direct in your communication.

Master the Art of Literal Listening

Another key to successful communication is mastering the art of literal listening. Autistic individuals often take things very literally, so avoiding figurative language and being precise in your word choice is important. For example, if you say “I’m starving,” they may take it to mean that you haven’t eaten in days. So, be mindful of your language and be as clear and direct as possible.

Sign Language Isn’t Just for the Deaf

Finally, don’t be afraid to explore alternative forms of communication, such as sign language. While sign language is typically associated with the deaf community, it can also be a useful tool for autistic individuals who struggle with verbal communication. Plus, it can be a fun and unique way to connect with your partner.

By embracing the spectrum of communication and being mindful of your partner’s unique needs, you can build a strong and fulfilling relationship with your autistic partner.


Plan Dates Like a Pro

So you’ve got a date with your autistic partner, and you want to make sure it’s a great one. Here are some tips to help you plan a date that’s both fun and comfortable for your partner.

The Sensory-Friendly Extravaganza

First things first, keep in mind that many autistic individuals can be sensitive to certain stimuli. This means that loud noises, bright lights, and strong smells can be overwhelming and uncomfortable. So, when planning a date, it’s important to consider these sensitivities.

One way to do this is to plan a sensory-friendly extravaganza. This could be a trip to a museum, art gallery, or aquarium, where the environment is generally calm and quiet. Alternatively, you could plan an outdoor activity like a picnic in a quiet park or a hike in the woods.


Another thing to keep in mind is that many autistic individuals thrive on predictability and routine. This means that surprises and sudden changes in plans can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. So, when planning a date, it’s important to be clear and upfront about what you have in mind.

One way to do this is to create a detailed itinerary for your date. This could include information about where you’ll be going, what you’ll be doing, and when you’ll be doing it. This will help your partner feel more comfortable and in control, which will make the date more enjoyable for everyone.

In summary, planning a date with an autistic partner requires a bit of extra thought and consideration. By keeping in mind their sensitivities and need for predictability, you can create a date that’s both fun and comfortable for everyone involved.


Ace the Space

When it comes to relationships, everyone needs some alone time once in a while. This is especially true for people on the autism spectrum. Sometimes sensory overload can be too much to handle, and a cosy corner can provide a much-needed break.

But what makes a cosy corner cosy? It’s all about the details. Soft lighting, comfortable seating, and calming decor can make all the difference. Think about adding a weighted blanket, some noise-cancelling headphones, or a lava lamp for some extra ambience.

The Great Escape

It’s important to have a plan in case things get overwhelming. Whether it’s a crowded party or a noisy restaurant, sometimes sensory overload can be too much to handle. That’s where exit strategies come in.

First, it’s important to communicate with your partner. Let them know when you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a break. This can be as simple as a code word or a hand signal.

Next, have a plan in place for where to go and what to do when you need to escape. This could be as simple as stepping outside for some fresh air or finding a quiet corner to regroup.

Remember, it’s okay to take a break when you need one. With a little planning and communication, you can ace any social situation.


Navigate the Social Maze Together

Parties can be overwhelming for anyone, but for someone on the autism spectrum, they can be downright terrifying. The noise, the crowds, the bright lights, the unfamiliar faces – it’s a lot to take in. As a partner, you can help make the experience less daunting by following a few simple guidelines.

First, make sure you both know what to expect. Talk about the event beforehand, and give your partner as much information as possible. Let them know how long you’ll be staying, who will be there, and what the plan is for getting home. This will help them feel more in control and less anxious.

Once you’re at the party, stick together. Don’t leave your partner alone in a corner while you go off and socialize. Instead, make a point of introducing them to people and including them in conversations. If your partner needs a break, find a quiet spot where they can relax for a few minutes. And if they’re feeling overwhelmed, be ready to leave early.

The Plus-One Protocol

If you’re attending an event as someone’s plus-one, it’s important to remember that your partner may have different needs and preferences than you do. For example, they may need to sit in a certain spot, or they may not want to participate in certain activities.

To avoid any awkward moments, talk to your partner beforehand and find out what their expectations are. If they have any specific requests, make sure to communicate them to the host or hostess. For example, if your partner is sensitive to noise, you might ask if there’s a quiet room where they can retreat if needed.

During the event, keep an eye on your partner and check in with them regularly. If they seem uncomfortable or overwhelmed, offer to take a break or leave early. And don’t be afraid to advocate for them if necessary. If someone is being rude or insensitive, speak up and let them know that your partner’s needs are important.

Remember, being a good partner to someone on the autism spectrum means being supportive, understanding, and willing to adapt to their needs. By following these simple guidelines, you can help make social events more enjoyable and less stressful for both of you.


Cultivate Patience, Grasshopper

When it comes to being a good partner to someone with autism, cultivating patience is key. It can be frustrating when your partner takes longer to process information or needs more time to adjust to changes in routine, but remember that rushing them will only lead to more stress and anxiety. Instead, take a deep breath and embrace the Zen of relationship pacing.

One way to do this is by practising mindfulness. Take a few minutes each day to focus on your breath and clear your mind. This can help you stay centred and present, even when things get hectic. You might also try incorporating some gentle yoga or stretching into your routine to help release tension and promote relaxation.

The Waiting Game

Another important aspect of cultivating patience is learning how to play the waiting game. This means giving your partner the time and space they need to process information and make decisions at their own pace. It can be tempting to jump in and offer solutions or advice, but sometimes the best thing you can do is simply be there to listen and support them.

One way to practice the waiting game is by using active listening techniques. This means paying attention to what your partner is saying, asking clarifying questions, and reflecting on what you hear to make sure you understand. It can also be helpful to use nonverbal cues like nodding or making eye contact to show that you are engaged and present.

Remember, patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to being a good partner to someone with autism. By embracing the Zen of relationship pacing and learning how to play the waiting game, you can create a stronger, more supportive relationship with your partner.

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