Special interests have many functions for people with Asperger’s syndrome, and one of these is to acquire knowledge to understand bewildering aspects of their experiences.Teenagers with Asperger’s syndrome often are eager to understand and experience the social and relationship world of their peers, including romantic relationships and sexual experiences, but there can be problems regarding the source of information on relationships and sexuality.He was so happy and the date was progressing well, when the girl became embarrassed and confessed that she asked to go out with him only to complete a dare from her friends. People with an autism spectrum disorder have difficulties understanding and expressing emotions, and an emotion that is particularly confusing to people with ASD is love.

The program soon will be evaluated in a research study conducted by the University of Queensland in Australia.

One of the diagnostic characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome is the development of a special interest that is unusual in terms of its focus or intensity.

His requests for a date had been consistently rejected.

Then a very popular and attractive girl in his class suggested the two of them go for a date at the cinema.

Due to her naivety, the adolescent girl may not recognize that the interest is sexual and not a way for the boy to simply enjoy her personality, company, or conversation.

She may have no female friends to accompany her on a first date, or provide advice on dating and the social and sexual codes; consequently her parents may become concerned about her vulnerability to promiscuity, adverse sexual experiences, and date rape.

The person can become confused or overwhelmed when expected to demonstrate and enjoy relatively modest expressions of affection.

I have recently developed a cognitive behaviour therapy program for children and adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome to explain the emotion of love and the ways to express that you like or love someone.

We know that young adults with Asperger’s syndrome have significant difficulty developing peer relationships and are developmentally delayed in knowing what someone may be thinking or feeling.

Typical children do this naturally and have practised relationship skills with family members and friends for many years before applying these abilities to achieve a successful romantic relationship.

Someone with an ASD also may be conspicuously immature in his or her expressions of affection, and sometimes may perceive these expressions of affection as aversive experiences.