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Cheak-Zamora: Relationships Matter to Those with Autism

Nancy Cheak-Zamora portrait

Dr. Nancy Cheak-Zamora’s study titled “Sexual and Relationship Interest, Knowledge, and Experiences Among Adolescents and Your Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” will be published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior Journal in November.

Dr. Cheak-Zamora conducted this study in order to improve the understanding about young adults with ASD’s thoughts and feelings about romantic relationships.

“We learned that many of the young adults are interested in having a romantic relationship and are struggling to know how to start or maintain a healthy relationship,” Dr. Cheak-Zamora said.

The results of this study showed that young adults with ASD get their views of partnerships from their parents, and they seem to have a small number of people who offer advice about friendships or romantic relationships. In addition, many doctors and health care providers aren’t having these conversations with them.

“This study gave young adults with ASD a voice. It helps dispel the myth that individuals with ASD aren’t interested in being in romantic relationships and it identifies an important need for education and skill building,” said Dr. Cheak- Zamora as to why she conducted this study.

Congratulations, Dr. Cheak-Zamora!

Read the study here.