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While Paulette doesn't necessarily think women with autism have it easier than men, she has noticed that her neuro-typical dates have particularly valued many of her autistic traits.
“I’ve found that people who are neuro-typical really appreciate the qualities that people on the spectrum posses: complete honesty and almost an inability to lie,” she said.
A constant complaint among the individuals interviewed for this piece is the misconception that people with autism can't express love or care for others.
“I think a lot of times someone will go out on a date with someone on the spectrum and think they’re a robot,” said Alex Plank, founder of Wrong Planet.net, a popular online autism community.
The way to Paulette's heart is through her Outlook calendar.
They make eye contact and look away, and they look again and they look away,” said Laugeson.
He quickly realized acting confident was the key to dating success, especially if you're a man.
However, maintaining that confidence may be the hardest part of dating for someone on the spectrum, because of their difficulty processing social cues from others.
“We know people with autism think very concretely,” said Laugeson.
“Social skills can be abstract behavior that's difficult to describe, but we try to break it into concrete steps.”For example, PEERS will take the seemingly mundane, but actually complex act of flirting and translate it into a step-by-step lesson.