Year 2010 - 2012
Main Events & Performances
Music Background: 'Tomorrow' sung by the FCAPSG kids, choir, Ron on the piano

The year of the 'AUTIST'!
& the Geneva 'Poster Boy'!


Home Announcements Mama's Page Papa's Images Year2017 2010-2012 2007-2009 Video Gallery My Life History Scrapbook My Comic Book

junluchie adea junluchie adea
Published on Nov 16, 2012
 You may play this video to provide a background if you feel like reading the artcles on Adult autism.

November 3, 2010
Geneva Centre International Symposium on Autism
The logo and the text below are copied and pasted from the Geneva Centre For Autism website at


Imagine living in a world where you are constantly bombarded with messages that you don’t understand, where you can’t find the words to express yourself and where you continually feel a sense of loneliness and isolation. This is the reality that many children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) face every day.

At Geneva Centre for Autism, our services build skills in children so they can realize their potential. Working in partnership with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and other community partners, we develop and deliver a wide range of innovative services that meet the unique needs of children on the Autism spectrum. These services are provided by a multi-disciplinary team that includes psychologists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists and behavioural therapists.

HOW TO GET STARTED The point of entry to access Geneva Centre for Autism's services is done by calling the Centre at 416 322 7877. Your call will be directed to the appropriate department.

Ron was referred to the Geneva Centre For Autism by the Hospital for Sick Children right after he was diagnosed with autism Asperger Syndrome and from thereon started his journey into the world of autism. It was the Sick Kids hospital's Children Development Centre (CDC) who referred Ron to the Geneva Centre for Autism. With their wide array of experience, their involvement has placed Ron's developmental needs in perspective and context. (Notes from Ron's parents)

The Geneva Centre Asperger Program is designed to meet the specific needs of individuals with Asperger Syndrome between the ages of 12 and 18 years and their families. The program comprises the following elements:

®Individualized consultation with members of a multidisciplinary team including:

lSpeech and Language Pathologists lOccupational Therapists lBehaviour/Communication Consultants lDevelopmental Paediatrician lBehavioural Psychologist

®Series Workshops: Parent training on topics including behaviour, social communication and independent daily living.

®Groups: Teen groups focusing on learning social boundaries, building self-esteem and coping with anger and anxiety.  

The Geneva Centre provided Ron with workshop for us and Ron's caregiver with behavioural intervention therapy and skill building workshops using music and social skills teaching strategies., Ron with his caregiver attended workshops to learn group skills through music, role-playing, and performance. Ron and his parents were introduced to, and explored the use of a variety of musical instruments to learn, take turns, and to share experiences and enjoyment with others. All these were facilitated by a Music Therapist, a Social Skill-Building Group Facilitator, and supported by a volunteer.

To register your child for TPAS services, please call Surrey Place Centre's intake at 416 925 5141 ext. 2289 or speak with the intake worker at Geneva Centre for Autism at 416 322 7877.

Visit the Geneva Centre Website (Click arrow BACK in browser to return here)



They're Autistic—and They're in Love
FEBRUARY 1, 2009 7:00 PM

lindsey nebeker  & dave hamrick

There are two bedrooms in the cozy Jackson, Mississippi, apartment: Dave Hamrick's is like a dad's den, with a striped beige armchair and a hanging map; Lindsey Nebeker's is darkly girly, with spiky dried roses hung over a bed topped by a graphic leaf-print quilt. After work on any given evening,

Dave and Lindsey are likely to be orbiting the home separately, doing their own thing. Dave may be flipping through magazines, pausing to stare fixedly at design details or leaning in to inhale the scent of the pages. Lindsey typically sits down to eat alone—from a particular plate with a particular napkin placed just so—and may slip so deeply into her own world that Dave has learned to whisper "Psst…" when he approaches so as to not startle her and, on a bad night, make her scream.

An observer might assume the two are amicable, if oddball, roommates. But Lindsey, 27, and Dave, 29, are deeply in love. And they are autistic.

Every day of their relationship, these two beat tremendous odds. That's because the very definition of autism suggests that for adults with this disorder, love—especially the lasting, live-in kind like Lindsey and Dave's—is not in the cards at all.

About 1.5 million people in the United States (an estimated one fifth of them are female) have autism, with varying degrees of severity. The disorder can create sensory issues, like hypersensitivity to touch and sound, and impair social skills. While some autistics are gifted (often in music or math), they may be utterly baffled by the nuances of small talk and eye contact. Expressing empathy can be virtually impossible. Imagine a first date—never a breeze for any of us—with those limitations.

"I hear a lot of loneliness, sadness and fear among the autistic adults I meet," says Stephen Shore, author of Beyond the Wall and an internationally recognized expert on autism who has the disorder himself. "Without a natural understanding of communication, it's much more difficult for people with autism to find and sustain an intimate relationship." They have hearts that feel; it's the funky wiring in their brains that makes things so challenging.

Contrary to stereotype—the Rain Manesque loner who'd rather count toothpicks than make friends—adult autistics often know what they're missing out on and hope to find love, like anyone else. Since hanging in a crowded bar or going on a blind date can be terrifying, many connect through social-networking websites. Still, successful relationships aren't very common, especially relationships in which both partners have autism.

Lindsey and Dave have experienced their fair share of heartache: at school, among so-called friends, in their search for partners. Yet both have also summoned the courage to take a risk, perhaps the biggest risk of their lives, for each other. Theirs is a still-unfolding tale—an unconventional story about unconditional love.

Autism has been making headlines lately, especially now that more and more children are being diagnosed with it. Celeb mom Jenny McCarthy, for one, speaks and writes about her son's autism.

The head writer for Days of Our Lives developed a story line about an autistic child based on her parental experience. Last fall, autism-awareness advocates raised hell over the "Autism Shmautism" chapter in comic Denis Leary's latest book.

Observations included "Yer kid is not autistic. He's just stupid. Or lazy. Or both."

The attention, good and bad, has made it somewhat easier for adult autistics to find acceptance in the world. Former America's Next Top Model contestant Heather Kuzmich—who has Asperger's syndrome (considered an autism spectrum disorder) and who had trouble making eye contact in TV interviews—has become a role model. Claire Danes is starring in a forthcoming HBO biopic about best-selling autistic author Temple Grandin. Also helpful are sites like, geared toward autistic adults, where users can find answers to questions such as "How do I learn to flirt?"

Lindsey, an auburn-haired beauty with an artistic, bejeweled style you might call peasant-goth, has been more fortunate than others (including her severely autistic younger brother).

When she was 19 months old and not talking, her parents tested her for autism, and she got the benefit of early treatment. Today, her occasional wandering gaze and the forced cheer in her voice make her seem just a bit off. It takes effort, she says, not to sound "robotic."

Even as Lindsey's speech caught up and her talent for playing piano emerged, she developed habits typical of autistics: staring for hours at the fibers of a carpet, for example, or performing soothing rituals like stepping on cracks in the sidewalk.

Classmates teased her mercilessly, and she'd come home with kick me signs on her back. Real friendship seemed painfully out of reach for the eccentric, awkward girl who came across as blunt. In high school, when another student asked Lindsey what she thought of her new makeup, Lindsey recalls, "I told her it looked fake. She became silent, and I knew I had blown it."

Depressed, Lindsey burned herself with a curling iron and cut her arms with safety pins, hiding her injuries with sweatshirts. "Lindsey's struggles were heartbreaking," says her mother, Anne Nebeker, 63, a retired teacher in Logan, Utah. "I was very anxious about how she would manage as an adult and whether she would have a social life at all or find love."

Yet Lindsey's torment fueled a determination to learn the very skills that eluded her. Her best resource: Dale Carnegie's self-help classic How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Advice as simple as "Be a good listener" began to help, especially by college. The subtleties of romance, however, remained a mystery. She'd fool around with a guy and get dumped a few days or weeks later without explanation. "I had no idea what I was doing that was scaring guys away," says Lindsey. "I felt like I had failed somehow." In her early twenties, she gave up. "I decided to focus on the friendships I'd managed to make," she continues, "and quit worrying about love altogether."


That's when she met Dave. It was 2005, and they were at an autism conference in Nashville. Diagnosed at three, Dave grew up with pronounced fixations. He'd tote around empty Clorox bottles, and carry a thermometer to assess the air temperature. Like Lindsey, he had trouble making friends.

Dave also has Tourette's syndrome, which can overlap with autism; it's the cause of his near-constant head jerks and occasional stuttering and grunting noises. His parents were told he would always be in special education, never able to work or live on his own. By fourth grade, he was in a mainstream class; he went on to college, where he majored in meteorology.

When he and Lindsey met, Dave says, "I was hopeful, but realistic." They e-mailed and talked on the phone, then hung out again a few months later at a conference in Virginia. On their last night there, at a café, Dave took the plunge. Seeing Lindsey's hands resting on the table, Dave reached for them. "When she didn't pull away, I knew I had a positive result," he says in his endearingly geeky, textbookish way.

The next day, he gave her a bouquet. "I'd never gotten flowers from anyone, other than my dad after a piano recital," says Lindsey. Looking Dave in the eye was hard for her. So, she says, "it was a relief to close my eyes and lean in to kiss him. I had my guard up, but some part of me was willing to give it a try."

Two years later, Lindsey and Dave moved in together. It's a big step for any couple, but for autistics, it can mean merging two rigid ways of life. Dave likes it cool; Lindsey likes it warm.

Dave needs his mattress firm; Lindsey needs hers soft. These may sound like trifles, but what's merely irritating to others may be, for an autistic, 20 fingernails on 20 blackboards. They've discussed every last detail, down to lightbulb preference.

When Dave awakes for work, Lindsey—a night owl—may still be up from the evening before. By noon, she's improvised a few riffs on her beloved Steinway and is performing the 20-minute ritual of preparing her three thermoses of coffee (touch of flavored syrup, drop of almond milk, heat, adjust, repeat), which she will take with her to her job…at Starbucks.

Being a barista isn't her Plan A. She dreams of studying photography or special ed in grad school. Dave has turned his fixation on temperature into a meteorology career (his e-mail name is "weatheringautism").

An entry-level forecaster at the National Weather Service, he finds his job exciting. It requires only limited face-to-face contact with strangers; on a typical day, he gives callers weather reports or heads out, alone, to release a weather balloon.

Both often come home exhausted, like actors who've been on stage all day. That's one reason Lindsey and Dave need so much time alone after work, and why they rarely call each other to check in and chat. "Every day, we put out so much effort to speak properly in the workplace and other social settings," says Lindsey. "When we talk on the telephone, our conversations normally don't last long because we get uneasy when the small-talk script runs out."

On weekends, they're more likely to prowl a bookstore than go to a party or a restaurant. Their friends—mostly from college and conferences, some of whom are autistic—don't live nearby. They also prefer to eat by themselves. Dave, as if he had superhero hearing, is sensitive to the sound of chewing. He can eat only cooked vegetables—never raw, crunchy ones. Lindsey finds it so torturous to deviate from her food rituals that Dave's occasional invitation to dine out can send her into sobs. "I just keep telling him, I'm so sorry, I can't,'" she says. "I feel awful about it."

Once in a while, with enough notice, Lindsey says yes and they'll head to a bright and bustling pan-Asian buffet; it's the opposite of romantic. Dave, lit up like a kid on Christmas Day, will happily put away several crabs' worth of crab legs. Lindsey, wary of food she didn't prepare herself, would rather prod stiffly at her wasabi than moon over Dave. But what other diners can't see is something even more tender than canoodling: Lindsey and Dave's willingness to step outside their comfort zones to please each other.


Adjusting to sex took time. Lindsey was somewhat nervous about the fact that she was a virgin and Dave was not. "Spontaneity was not an option," she says. "People with autism really have to mentally prepare for everything." She felt bogged down by the procedures she'd established in her head from seeing romantic movies like Pretty Woman—"OK, now I'm supposed to take off his shirt." Three years into their relationship, though, they readily visit each other's beds.

Marriage, they say, is a possibility; children, they're less sure about. Both worry about a genetic predisposition to autism, a valid concern, especially given that both Lindsey and her brother have the disorder. Even if they adopt, parenting seems perilous. "Dealing with our rituals and sensory issues demands so much from us," says Lindsey, "that I don't know how we'd take care of someone else."

Lindsey still gets depressed when people misunderstand her. "Sometimes, after a bad experience, I shut myself off from the rest of the world," she says. "I don't have to face judgment in my room." Recently, as a man at work was talking, she tuned out but kept nodding and smiling (a frequent habit). Suddenly he blurted, "Did you hear what I said? I got mugged last night." Lindsey was crushed. "It's exhausting," she says, "to be 27 and still have to work at getting interactions with people right."

These are the times when she needs Dave most. "He reminds me that tomorrow is another day," she says. "He makes me feel like I'm worth something." Dave loves to stand behind her, wrap his arms around her waist, press his nose into her hair and take long, deep breaths. Last Valentine's Day, he festooned their bathroom mirror with plastic gel hearts (he's been obsessed with the shape since he was a kid). They're still there today.

Though connecting with others will be a lifelong struggle, Lindsey and Dave have formed a bond that defies their autism. They may sometimes come across as blunt to strangers, but speaking their own minds clearly and directly—just as they did when they moved in together—has helped their relationship. There's none of the "if you have to even ask what's wrong, then forget it" passive-aggressiveness many couples experience, no expectation of mind reading. "People like Lindsey and Dave put so much thought and dedication into making their relationship work," says Diane Twachtman-Cullen, Ph.D., a speech-language expert who specializes in autism and knows the couple well. "Frankly, we could all take a page from their playbook."

Lindsey's mom is similarly awed. Anne Nebeker recalls that when Lindsey and Dave came to visit her for the first time, "we went to a local lake. The two of them were running around and splashing water at each other, and I was so pleasantly surprised to see them doing a normal-couple thing like that.

Even when Lindsey calls him Hon' and it sounds natural, not forced and rehearsed, I am amazed. I am so happy to see her in love."

These days, when Dave whispers as he approaches Lindsey, she'll whisper back; it's become a term of endearment. "Psst…," he'll say after he walks in the door and sees Lindsey in the living room. Her face lights up when their eyes meet. "Psst!" she'll respond, smiling. She knows that with Dave, she's in a safe place. "I'm so lucky to have found him," she says. "When I'm with him, I forget about my challenges."
Writer Lynn Harris is a contributing editor at Glamour.


Geneva Centre 2010 International Symposium on Autism

Ron Michael Adea - 2010 Symposium Ambassador
At each International Symposium on Autism, Geneva Centre for Autism provides a poster featuring an individual with autism who has demonstrated an outstanding creative talent of his or her own as our Symposium Ambassador. Previous Geneva Centre for Autism “Ambassadors” have included remarkable painters, sculptures, cartoonists and even dancers.
POSTER ARTIST: David Beresford

Adults with Autism

What happens when someone with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) leaves school and makes the transition to adult services, college, work, job training, or a new living situation?

Coming of Age: Autism and the Transition to Adulthood
Marina Sarris
Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Date Published: 
April 8, 2014

What do we mean by the transition?
When you get to be 18 or 21, it's like falling off a cliff. We don't do a great job of educating parents about what's going to happen after school ends.

Technically, the transition is a formal process that begins by age 16 for a student who receives U.S. special education services. That is when school systems must begin helping those students plan for life after high school, such as college, work, vocational training, independent living and adult disability services.

Autistic and seeking a place in an adult world

Teachers will ask students about their interests and develop goals to be inserted in the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP). Adult service agencies may be invited to participate, since they may be handling the student's needs after he leaves high school or reaches age 21.

But don't assume a young adult is merely transferring between two equal disability systems, one for children and one for adults. The adult system is different at its core.

A student with a disability who is eligible for U.S. special education services is guaranteed to receive them until he graduates high school or turns 21. Not so with adult services. That same student may be eligible for adult services, such as housing assistance, day programs, supported employment and job training. But whether and when he receives those services depends on funding. States often administer such programs through developmental disability and vocational rehabilitation agencies. The states set their own guidelines for eligibility and funding.

Many states have waiting lists for adult services, particularly housing. For example, Connecticut had 15,000 people with intellectual disability who were eligible for services in 2013, but only limited funding.

To receive funding, someone on a waiting list had to be in a crisis, such as facing homelessness, abuse or a progressive illness. Many states parcel out funds for adult services to those who are in crisis or have the most severe needs.

"When you get to be 18 or 21, it's like falling off a cliff," said Zosia Zaks, a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor who works with adults with ASD. "We don't do a great job of educating parents about what's going to happen after school ends."

The responsibility for obtaining services also shifts. Public schools are tasked with finding children with disabilities and providing them services. But in the adult system, you must apply for services and ask for what you need. "It requires self-advocacy," explained Mr. Zaks, program supervisor at the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism in Towson, Md.

Youth with Autism at Risk After High School

The National Autism Strategy aims to help all adults with autism into work. Kellie Nauls, project coordinator for the Moving On Employment Project in the Shetland Islands, talks about how a pilot in the region is helping young people with autism to find and keep a job. CLICK IMAGE TO LEARN MORE...

Once in college, students with disabilities will have to request the accommodations they need to be successful, and their schools need only provide the "reasonable" ones. Parents who consider themselves experts on their child's special needs may find themselves largely shut out of the process after high school because of privacy laws.

Students who have experience making their needs known will fare better in this self-advocacy system.
Not surprisingly, the road to adulthood can be rocky. More than half of the youth with ASD had no job and no involvement with postsecondary education in the two years after leaving high school, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics.

"It appears that youth with an ASD are uniquely at high risk for a period of struggling to find ways to participate in work and school after leaving high school," according to the research team, led by Paul T. Shattuck Ph.D. They also warned of "potential gaps in transition planning" for youth with ASD,3 a caution mentioned by other researchers studying the post-high school employment of people with autism.4

But don't panic. There are things parents, teachers and schools can do to help with the transition.

Start Transition Planning Early
Parents ask me, 'When should I start with transition planning?' I say, 'Age six,' and people look at me like I'm out of my mind. Ernst VanBergeijk Ph.D.

For one, you can begin planning sooner. Experts say that transition planning ideally begins when children are very young, as parents and schools lay the foundation for skills needed to negotiate adult life.

"Parents ask me, 'When should I start with transition planning?,'" said Ernst O. VanBergeijk, Ph.D., M.S.W., associate dean and executive director of the Vocational Independence Program at New York Institute of Technology. "I say, 'Age six,' and people look at me like I'm out of my mind. 'That's way too early,' they say. But I say, you need to visualize your child at age 21. What are the building blocks for independent living skills?"

What is it like to be an independent adult?
Daily living skills – which include personal hygiene, housekeeping and handling money – can be taught beginning in early childhood, he said. Complex skills can be broken into small steps and gradually increased in complexity as a child gets older and learns to do each step, he said.

Take work and money management skills, for example. A parent can begin by teaching her child to perform simple chores and giving him an allowance for the work, he said. The child can learn about money by placing his coins into separate tins for spending and saving.

The payoff for learning these skills is high. A 2014 study of adults with ASD found that those with better daily living skills were more independent in their job and educational activities.5

Focusing on Daily Living Skills in the Transition Years
Schools may not always consider daily living skills when drafting transition goals for a diploma-bound student. Parents can request that those skills be included in the IEP, said Dr. Amie W. Duncan, a psychologist who has studied this issue. Her research team found that half of the students with ASD and average or above average intelligence had deficits in daily living skills.6

Another item to consider: adding "travel training" as a transition goal. Travel training is hands-on teaching about how to travel safely to jobs and other destinations using public transportation.

Some programs, such as Project SEARCH, help move students with disabilities into workplaces during the transition years.

Daily Living Skills: A Key to Independence for People with Autism

Marina Sarris
Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Date Published: 
April 10, 2014

Cafe Serves Up Jobs For Young Adults With Autism

With a broken alarm clock, Zosia Zaks feared oversleeping for an 8:30 a.m. college class. Who wouldn't? But his solution was anything but typical; he decided to sleep in his classroom to make sure he wasn't late.

As someone with Asperger's Syndrome, he lacked a so-called adaptive skill – in this case, performing the steps needed to replace a clock battery – that makes adult life easier.

Mr. Zaks, now a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and other experts say adaptive skills, or skills of daily living, need to be taught explicitly to people on the autism spectrum. Taking a shower, brushing your teeth, riding a bus, crossing the street, shopping or preparing a meal: all of these are adaptive skills.

Such skills are considered essential to adulthood. "For example, difficulties with everyday activities such as bathing, cooking, cleaning, and handling money could drastically reduce an individual's chance of achieving independence in adulthood," according to researchers.1

Sometimes, parents and teachers of children with autism may focus more attention on teaching academic and behavior management skills than on daily living skills. Some may assume that daily living skills are less important. Or they may believe that a person with average intelligence will learn those skills on his own.

In fact, intelligence may have nothing to do with it. Problems with daily living skills "may be especially prominent in those with higher cognitive abilities" and autism, according to one study.1

The Center for Excellence in Autism (CFEA)i s a leading provider in the community offering services for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). CLICK IMAGE TO GO TO SITE.

Autism and the College Experience
Marina Sarris
Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Date Published: 
May 12, 2014

Elizabeth Cuff is a computer whiz and talented artist, but she decided to leave college after just one semester. It wasn't the work that stumped her, but rather decoding what professors wanted. Liz has Asperger's Syndrome, and though she got some "accommodations" from the college, "it was not what I was expecting," she said. "There wasn't enough support, like I was used to in high school."

She had trouble asking teachers for help when they looked busy, and she had to wait to get answers to questions. She found the instructions for some assignments to be baffling.

Many U.S. students struggle to adjust to the challenges of college: dormitory living, sudden independence, rigorous classes, and a new social world. But for people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the transition can be more abrupt and dramatic.

The Individualized Education Programs (IEPs, for short) that helped them from elementary through high school disappear in college.

Their parents are no longer able, or welcome, to advocate for them. And their struggles with communication, organization or interpreting social nuances can multiply exponentially in college, away from the watchful eye and structured world of parents, principals and special education teachers.

Researchers have found that young adults with ASD have low rates of employment and education after they leave high school.

They were less likely to be employed than youth with intellectual disability, a learning disability, or a speech/language impairment. More than half of the youth with ASD had no job and no school participation in the first two years after high school, a higher percentage than the youth with those other disabilities.1

The picture improves with time. Almost 35 percent attended college and 55 percent held a paying job in the first six years after receiving high school diplomas or certificates.1 Still, most students with ASD either don't apply to college, don't get admitted, or don't stay in college.2,3

Many people with autism are capable of a college degree but require a range of supports to help them succeed.4 As Ms. Cuff found, however, the supports available in most colleges differ radically from what's available in high schools. And those college supports may not address some of the unique needs of students on the spectrum.

To help prepare students for college, parents should gradually give them more responsibility. For example, they shouldn't always rescue them when they miss due dates or forget materials they need for school at home, said an article in a publication for school psychologists. "Students need self-knowledge in order to understand what kind of weaknesses they will have to account for in the unstructured world of college," it advised.5

Needed: An "Interpreter of the Social World" for Students with ASD
The biggest issue is not academics. It's navigating the social environment and having the independent living skills necessary to be away at college.

Colleges and universities are used to providing accommodations to students with learning or physical disabilities, but students with ASD often have needs that extend beyond the classroom, Dr. VanBergeijk said.

"If you send a person to college with a hearing impairment, you provide an interpreter of the hearing world, but our people on the spectrum need an interpreter of the social world," he explained. "The biggest issue is not academics. It's navigating the social environment and having the independent living skills necessary to be away at college."

A student may be accused of stalking because he doesn't know how to show his interest in a potential date appropriately, he may irritate professors by interrupting and correcting them, or he may become upset if someone sits in "his spot," he said. The student may become a target. He knew one student with ASD who left an Ivy League university because of bullying in the dormitory, he said.

Students may need special accommodations for dorm living, such as the option for a single room and lighting that doesn't cause sensory problems. Whether colleges can provide that is "hit or miss," he said. Colleges may interpret the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act differently and may be affected by their size, budget and mission, he said.

Mr. Magro, 26, said he had a "disability single" – a single room for students with a disability – as a freshman. He served as a resident advisor in his sophomore and junior years, which afforded him his own dorm room.

His freshman year was the hardest, as he moved from a tiny high school to a much larger university. "It was a rough transition to learn how to get along with other people and how to meet other people," he said. "One of the big things that helped me was asking questions, and really working on adjusting to college life by keeping in touch with family and close friends from home," he said.

He also went public with his diagnosis. He gave a presentation on autism in class, and at the end, he told his classmates he was on the spectrum, diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified at age 4. "For the most part, people were warm and welcoming," said Mr. Magro, now an Autism Speaks staffer, motivational speaker and author.

An article by Dr. VanBergeijk and researchers Ami Klin and Fred Volkmar recommended that colleges offer social skills groups, counseling, vocational training and life coaching to students with ASD. They also encouraged students to take community college courses while still in high school.4



The desire to connect with another person and build a satisfying relationship exists in everyone. It is common and natural for people with autism and other developmental disabilities to seek companionship; however, they often experience problems due to difficulties communicating with others and recognizing non-verbal cues.

For parents and other family members, their loved ones’ safety is a common concern. It is important to keep in mind that with support, people with disabilities are able to overcome challenges associated with dating and develop successful relationships.


Dating allows two people to get to know each other better; however, it can be a confusing process to navigate.

If you are interested in someone, how do you act on those feelings? How do you ask someone out on a date? What steps should you take to prepare for a date?

Becoming Empowered and Katherine McLaughlin.

Online dating has become a popular and quick way to meet people. Unlike traditional dating, meeting online gives each person the opportunity to protect their identity until he/she feels comfortable enough to reveal more personal details. This is especially helpful for individuals who prefer to wait to disclose their disability. Although there are benefits to online dating, taking the necessary safety precautions is important.

Romantic Relationships

Common characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may make it difficult for individuals to initiate and manage romantic relationships.

Discomfort with physical affection, high levels of anxiety, and difficulty with eye contact may lead to lack of affection and intimacy within the relationship. Fortunately, these issues can be managed with open and honest communication.

Individual with ASD should explain to their partners why they behave the way that they do. Partners, in turn, should be supportive and willing to compromise so that a comfortable median can be reached. Many people on the autism spectrum are looking to be in a relationship; however, there are others who are content with being single.

Dating and choosing to be in a relationship are personal choices that depend on the needs and preferences of the individual. Below are a few ways that parents and caregivers can support their loved ones through this journey:

■Talk about relationships and dating and let the individual decide whether it is for them. If he/she wants to pursue dating, inform him/her about acceptable behaviors, the importance of consent and personal space, and other expectations.

■Encourage the individual to get involved in group events and activities. Interacting with peers may create more opportunities for finding a potential partner.

■ Do research. Reading books, exploring websites, and talking to other parents, counselors and educators are useful ways to learn more about how to effectively support individuals with disabilities in dating and relationships.

Tips from Self-Advocates
The following suggestions are written by people who identify themselves as having a developmental disability. These people present their own recommendations based upon their own experiences.

Moving From Friend to Partner/Sweetheart

When I was in school it was not easy to make friends. I started to get out in my community and meet people at groups, volunteering, clubs and playing sports. And it is a big challenge to find a friend.

You have to put yourself out there to find the right friend. Friends don’t care if you have a disability or not. Friends like you for who you are, not what you give them. Imagine you are at a dance and out of nowhere there is someone standing close to you.

Like a genie they keep popping up, checking you out. Will you feel too shy to ask them to dance?

You need to walk, cruise over and introduce yourself and shake the person’s hand and tell them your name.

Step 1: Feeling Interested When you have a crush on someone you need to decide if you are going to act on those feelings. Ask yourself: Can a potential girlfriend/boyfriend be…. Someone already in a relationship? Someone who has said she/he is not interested? A paid support person/teacher? Someone under 16?

Step 2: Getting to Know Someone After you meet that person you need to spend time with them and see how they act around you. Use your self-advocacy skills and let the person know how you feel by: Tell the person how you feel (“I like you and I like spending time with you.”) Talking on the telephone. Ask him/her to join you at a group activity. Ask him/her out on a date.

Step 3: Becoming a Couple Relationships usually start off being fun and exciting. Here are a few topics you may need to talk about as a couple. When conflicts come up it’s often not the issue, but how you work through it and learn how to communicate better.

Feelings about commitment—Will you only date each other?

Feelings about touch—What kind? How much?

Communication—How will you communicate with each other (phone calls, e-mails, text messages, etc.)?

How often?

How much time will you spend together?

How often will you see each other?

How to handle a long distance relationship?

Interactive Autism Network: Romantic Relationships for Young Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

Dating, Marriage & Autism: A Personal Perspective

THE BOOK: The Asperger Love Guide
The Asperger Love Guide: A Practical Guide for Adults with Asperger's Syndrome to Seeking, Establishing and Maintaining Successful Relationships (Lucky Duck Books) , Kindle Edition by Genevieve Edmonds (Author), Dean Worton (Author) 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review See all 4 formats and editions Kindle Edition CDN$ 24.44 Read with Our Free App Hardcover CDN$ 175.95 1 Used from CDN$ 284.40 8 New from CDN$ 107.48

Ron playing Brahms for Dada Du at home: Uploaded on Feb 21, 2011 here is Dada Du before going to Toronto Gen Hospital for laser surgery of her benign tumor in her larynx (voice box)

Visiting Lolo & Lola Adea: With Ma Jocelyn (Jokli) AdeaSamson, Luchie Carolino Adea and Leo Adea at The Westbury Long Term Care Residence.

Lola Myrna nee Dandana-De Leon (Dada Du's niece) with her husband Lolo Jet Jeturian and Tita Candy Jeturian Sison
(Dec 2013)

By Tita Myra Calaranan Bangsil March 11, 2012 ·Lola Sonia (Quesada) & her husband Lolo Tirso Calaranan, BACK ROW: Lolo Tirso, Tito Eggay Quesada, Tita Anna Cruz, Lola Sonia Quesada Calaranan, Tita Ludette Calaranan, cousin Darren Calaranan Idquival. FRONT ROW: Lolo Nestor Quesada, cousin Cha Cha Quesada, Lola Ninya Quesada and Tita Jenny Quesada.

Tito Ruben and Tita Chita (Quesada-Cadayona) Serrano

Lola Pina baldemor; tita Celia and cousins in Paete

tito arnie, tita loyd

ninong arnold


Home Announcements Mama's Page Papa's Images Year2017 2010-2012 2007-2009 Video Gallery My Life History Scrapbook My Comic Book

Created on MS FrontPage 2003 (Academic version)
Technical & HTML Programming Consultant: Rey Q. Carolino
[Copyright © 2017 QC Net Canada All rights reserved] 
Since September 28, 2006