Autism in Love

Autism In Love



Finding love can be hard enough for anyone, but for those with an autism spectrum disorder, the challenges may seem overwhelming. The disorder can jeopardize the core characteristics of a successful relationship — communication and social interaction. Filmed in a highly personal style, Matt Fuller’s Autism in Love offers a warm and stereotype-shattering look at four people as they pursue and manage romantic relationships. Learn More.

Diana Sarko, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy at the SIU School of Medicine, and Kirsten Schaper, Clinical Instructor at the SIU Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Sarko’s research focuses on sensory processing and social aspects of autism, and working with teens. Schaper’s specializations include Autism, Communication Disorders and Therapy, and Alternative & Augmentative Communication.

There were 42 persons in attendance and about 5 or 6 walk-in library patrons joined us for this event. The screening and discussion were very productive – people were very interested in the subject and engaged in sharing stories about how the disorder has impacted their lives in a variety of ways. The audience expressed great interest in the handouts and additional information provided such as the PBS KIDS Thomas & Friends autism tool kit.

“I found the event to be very meaningful. It was great to see so many people from the community interested in the topic… There were two families with children [in attendance] who had been diagnosed with A.S.D. I loved that the event created an environment in which these people felt comfortable sharing their personal experiences with a group of semi-strangers. – Sarah Caldwell, SIU student enrolled in the College of Education.

“I enjoyed watching the film very much. It was moving and made me think about an aspect of autism spectrum disorder that I hadn’t really considered before. I think one of the best things about this was that it made me want to learn more about A.S.D and how to provide support to individuals who may be struggling with issues such as low self esteem, depression, and complicated relationships.” – Nick Mertens, Engagement Coordinator, WSIU.

Toolkit Logo

Thomas & Friends Autism Educator Toolkit Students with ASD can struggle with impulse control, flexibility, problem solving and emotional regulation. Thomas & Friends offers educators the unique opportunity to support the development of these fundamental skills in their students with ASD, while also taping into these student’s strengths and interests. Learn More.