1st Edition

Understanding Autistic Relationships Across the Lifespan Family, Friends, Lovers and Others

By Felicity Sedgewick, Sarah Douglas Copyright 2023
    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    264 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Understanding Autistic Relationship Across the Lifespan is an accessible overview of autistic relationships from the early years through to old age. This much-needed book combines the latest research findings with first-hand accounts to offer insight into the relationships of autistic people and how they differ to those of non-autistic people in a range of ways.

    Felicity Sedgewick and Sarah Douglas delve into life's stages and their challenges, revealing how navigating relationships can lead to misunderstandings, rejection, and trauma – but also to genuine connection, support, and joy. Illustrated throughout with extracts from interviews, and with extended narratives from Sarah, it explores key topics including relationships in the early years, childhood friendships, teenage friendships and romance, adult romantic and sexual relationships, LGBTQ+ relationships, finding community, family relationships, and issues in the later stages of life. The authors explore a wide range of emotions and life situations, examining the social world of autistic people and the strategies they use to navigate it.

    Understanding Autistic Relationship Across the Lifespan offers practical recommendations for both autistic and non-autistic people on how to have the healthiest and most satisfying relationships possible. It is essential reading for all those working with autistic people and studying autism, as well as autistic individuals and those close to them.



    1: Introduction

    2: First Steps - Relationships in the early years

    3: Moving On Up - Childhood friendships

    4: Big School - adolescent friendships

    5: Teenage Dreams - adolescent dating

    6: With A Little Help From My Friends - adult friendships and finding community

    7: Well, Hello There - sexual and romantic relationships in adulthood

    8: A Family Affair - adult families

    9: Getting Older - older adulthood

    10: Toxic - Problematic relationships and victimisation

    11: Tips and tricks for good relationships with autistic people

    12: Conclusion

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    Felicity Sedgewick is Lecturer in Psychology of Education at the University of Bristol, with a research specialism in the relationships of autistic women, girls, and non-binary people. She has worked with autistic people in a variety of settings, with these experiences driving her research interests and helping shape her desire to do work with a positive real-world impact.

    Sarah Douglas is an autism study advisor who hascontributed to much-needed areas of research such as education, self-harm, suicidality, anxiety, intimate partner violence and sexual assault. She is also currently volunteering for SARSAS, supporting survivors of all genders, and is a member of their Autism and ID Advisory Group.