Skip to navigation Skip to content

Looking for additional assistance? Contact the ASERT Resource Center Close

ASERT
Resource Center

The ASERT Resource Center serves as Pennsylvania’s leading source for up-to-date and accurate information and resources for individuals with autism, their families, the community and the professionals who support them. Contact the ASERT resource center to speak with a resource specialist who can help you learn how to discover and access resources in Pennsylvania.

When should I contact the Resource Center?

If you have additional questions about information you found on PAautism.org or would like to invite an outreach specialist to attend an event, conference, or support group, someone at the resource center can assist you.

Be sure to visit the following pages below here on PAautism.org to find helpful information. If you still have additional questions, contact the Resource Center.

By phone
1-877-231-4244

Are you located outside of Pennsylvania?
The ASERT resource center is focused on specific resources in Pennsylvania. If you are in another state, the resources specialists will not be able to help you. Please visit the resources section of PAautism.org, as some of the online resources may be applicable to residents of other states.

           

Dating Q & A with Dr. Melissa Brown

By: Out of Sync Woman

Q: I’m really nervous about dating, especially approaching someone for the first time. I have a hard time reading other people’s body language. Do other people not on the Autism Spectrum have similar experiences?

A: Absolutely. Most people are quite nervous to introduce themselves to someone they are interested in.  It is a natural human need to want to fit in and not fail.  Most people are afraid of failing so they never really try.  And to be honest if we never try, we will never succeed.  There will be times if we do approach someone, it does not work out well and then there will be times of success.  So, it never hurts to introduce yourself and offer a compliment to someone whom you might want to get to know.  

Q: Dr. Brown, are there any viewing recommendations that you would suggest for the body language of flirting?

A: I do not have any specific recommendations but books or movies about body language are very helpful. There are many movies in pop culture which demonstrate healthy and unhealthy ways to flirt. It is always important if you are unsure of a behavior to seek out the support of a trusted person and run it by that individual. 

Q: I have a hard time with small talk. What topics are good when trying to show your interest in a person? 

A: I always encourage people to try and take note of what is happening in the world. Was there a recent awards show? Is there a new trend like a picture that is setting records on Twitter or Instragram? Is there something happening in the world that is uncommon, like a total solar eclipse.  We do not need to know everything about everything! If we have a little nugget of what is happening in the world, it can often lead to other conversations.  I recommend looking at the news highlights in a variety of categories (even ones you have no interest in like sports or entertainment). We do not have to dissect the national political debate but we can certainly discuss what happened on Instragram with the Egg picture or who has better coffee, Starbucks or Dunkin’?

Q: Anything I shouldn’t talk about? 

A: I encourage people to avoid hot button topics like religion or politics. These are for later discussions when you are more serious about one another. These are not necessarily topics to jump into and debate when you are first meeting someone.  I say keep the tone light and jovial!

Q: I have a hard time turn-taking in conversations. I either talk too little or I talk too much. Any suggestions on how I can work on that?

A: I say use the rule of thumb of 2-3 sentences to convey your point and then ask a question of the other person. Allow time for reflection and convey that to the person if they ask you a question and you need a moment to process. It is a welcome response if someone asks a question and the other person says, “Hmmm, interesting, give me a moment to collect my thoughts on that…” You are acknowledging the other individual and providing that person with a prompt that you are thinking about the question asked and not simply ignoring what he/she has asked you.  

Thank you to Dr. Melissa Brown, PsyD, of PinnacleHealth Psychological Associates in Harrisburg, PA for your helpful responses regarding the perplexing world of dating!



    Stay up-to-date!

    Subscribe to our email newsletter for upcoming events, training sessions, news and resources.

    subscribe today

    Create an Account

    Creating an account allows you to set up preferences for the type of information you view. It allows for a customized user experience tailored to your interests and needs. You can also sign up for ASERT newsletters and other announcements using your PAautism.org account.

    create an account

      Change font size:    A A A Change screen contrast:    normal high contrast high visibility