Gisela and Christopher Slater-Walker married in 1994. They met while both studying Russian at Manchester University in the UK. They live in Hertfordshire with three children from Gisela’s previous marriage and their son George. Chris was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 1997. They are the authors of An Asperger Marriage.
Top Tips for both partners:
1. Know what makes each other laugh – and enjoy laughing together. A sense of humour can be really uniting. A good funny film or comedy series is a good way of enjoying each other’s company. Doing anything together is a good thing, and be prepared to try something new that your partner enjoys. You never know what new interest you might discover.
2. Be happy to do things separately. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to spend all your spare time together.
3. Avoid blaming Autism or “Neurotypicalism” for all your relationship problems! No-one’s perfect.
4. The Autistic response to a problem will be that the best way of helping is to find a solution, the “Neurotypical” response is to give a hug or sympathy. Both responses have equal merit and it is the thought behind the desire to help that is important.
To the non-spectrum partner:
5. Make it very clear if you would like help; your Autistic partner wants to help you but may not be able to anticipate your needs.
To the autistic partner:
6. Try to make it clear to your partner (by telling them) if you are feeling stressed.
Copyright © Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2012.