An inside look at how autism affects romantic relationships

Summary:It's a touching story worth sharing.

Usually when we write about autism on SmartPlanet, it's about new treatments and such .

I wanted to share with you a moving story I read in the New York Times about how autism affects a couple -- and it affects their relationship.

The story brings you into the world Jack Robison, 19, and his girlfriend Kristen, 18. Jack has Asperger syndrome, a form of autism. Kristen later learns that she also has Asperger syndrome.

According to the article:

Kirsten answered first. “I thought I was going to be alone forever,” she said. “Kids who picked on me said I was so ugly I’m going to die alone.”

Her blunt tip on dating success: “A lot of it is how you dress. I found people don’t flirt with me if I wear big man pants and a rainbow sweatshirt.”

Then it was Jack’s turn to answer, in classic Aspie style. “I think I sort of lucked out,” he said. “I have no doubt if I wasn’t dating Kirsten I would have a very hard time acquiring a girlfriend that was worthwhile.”

Watch the video too.

The writer Amy Harmon (who is a Pulitzer Prize winning correspondent for the New York Times) did an amazing job reporting this piece. And the reason why this resonated with me (and others) is the mix of video, text, and photos used to tell the story. This is the future of journalism -- and it's already here.

Photo via flickr/ Denise Mayumi

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech,, and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado... Full Bio

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