Independent Lens: Autism in Love

About This Episode

Finding love can be hard enough, 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. Autism in Love offers a warm and stereotype-shattering look at four people as they pursue and manage romantic relationships.

Thirtysomethings Dave and Lindsey, both “high functioning” and employed, have learned to cope with each other’s quirks and different ways of communicating. The couple, who have been together for eight years, contemplate marriage, despite misgivings. Meanwhile, Lenny constantly struggles to accept that autism will always be part of who he is. The biggest hurdle? The label has made meeting and dating girls seemingly impossible.

Stephen’s autism manifests itself in more obvious ways, but even his detached affect and monotone speech are no barrier to love. After 20 years of marriage to Gita, they are faced with the ultimate test of terminal illness. Despite his limited speech and her physical deterioration, their love persists as Stephen supports Gita in her battle with ovarian cancer.