Autism, Sexuality and Romance: From a Better Understanding to Attuned Support

Our insight in autism, sexuality and relationships has improved over the last four decades, yet questions remain relating to themes that impact the daily lives of autistic adolescents and adults. The presentations in this panel focus on directions for future research on autism, sexuality and relationship, and highlight recent findings relating to these priorities. In the first presentation, a research agenda on autism, sexuality and romantic relationships developed with researchers, autism advocates, and stakeholders at INSAR 2018 and additional groups of autistic adults is presented and discussed. The second speaker discusses sexuality in autistic women. Data from an online survey on sexuality in autistic women compared to autistic men and women in the general population, revealed a lower desire for sex, notwithstanding higher levels of experience and more negative sexual experiences. The third presentation offers insight in on how autistic individuals experience the role of sensory processing in dating and sexuality. Our last speaker discusses the experiences and needs of professionals in working with autistic adults presenting with gender identity questions. This study revealed the need for knowledge on gender issues in professionals working with autistic people in order to provide them with attuned support.
Saturday, May 4, 2019: 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
Room: 516ABC (Palais des congres de Montreal)
Panel Chair:
J. Dewinter
L. Graham Holmes