Autism in Couple Relationships

  • 5 hours 9 mins
  • 30 days to complete course
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Certificate of completion
  • Suitable for everyone
  • Updated in February 2022

Course summary

The aim of this course is to equip participants with knowledge and strategies for increasing relationship satisfaction where one or both partners have autism.  The initial promise of the relationship is exhilarating, each partner adoring the other and highly motivated to make it work. All couples discover issues, as the relationship develops, but when each partner’s neurology is working slightly differently, the other’s perspectives, needs and expectations can seem incomprehensible and communication almost impossible.  The issues can become more difficult and regular couple counselling sessions do not seem to work.

This course recognises and celebrates the qualities of both partners, and presents strategies commonly found to be helpful in improving neurodiverse relationships.  Tony and Michelle draw on their extensive experience in autism and couples counselling to present this seminar.

Who will benefit?

  • Couples where one or both partners are on the autism spectrum
  • Relationship counsellors
  • Clinical psychologists

Learning objectives

To identify the:

  • To increase understanding about autistic and non-autistic perspectives in a couple relationship, highlighting differences and similarities.
  • To develop realistic expectations for change in the relationship.
  • To develop strategies for increasing effective communication between partners.
  • To understand the developmental phases of the relationship, from meeting to aging, and to be able to match strategies to the developmental stage.
  • To learn strategies to increase the effectiveness of each partner for managing their own stress, emotions and supporting each other.
  • To adapt autism-friendly techniques for sharing the workload of a household/family.
  • To understand each partner’s love language and how to meaningfully express and receive love in the relationship.
  • To explore the expression of affection and intimacy and how this may be different in autism.

Module breakdown

Module 1


  • Qualities of an Asperger partner
  • What attracted you to your Aspie partner?
  • What attracted you to your neurotypical partner?
  • What signs indicated he or she was different?

Module 2


  • Question time
  • What signs indicated he or she was different? – continued
  • Effects of the relationship on each partner

Module 3


  • Question time
  • What strategies strengthen the relationship?
  • Research on couples where one partner has Asperger’s syndrome
  • The Relationship Minefield Programme
  • Session 1 Love and attraction
  • Session 2 Communication of thoughts and emotions
  • Session 3 Stress and anxiety management
  • Session 4 Anger expression and management
  • Session 5 Love and affection

Module 4

  • Question time
  • Session 6 Intimacy
  • Session 7 Working as a team
  • Session 8 The future