Despite harmful stereotyping, children and adults with autism are just like everyone else. While they may experience the world differently than their neurotypical peers, they still want to make the most out of life and work through important milestones, such as buying a house, raising a family, and falling in love.
This means that marriage can definitely be on the cards for yourself and your partner, especially if you are madly in love. However, it would be naïve to believe that autistic adults do not face certain challenges in the same way autistic children may. This means that you may need to make certain accommodations during the process to make the day enjoyable for all!
Here are some top tips to get you started!
- Take the stress out of the process. Many couples find getting married stressful, especially as there is so much to plan. However, to make the process as fun as possible for yourself and your partner, you must find a way to keep stress to a minimum – especially as studies suggest that autistic adults experience stress and anxiety much more intensely than others. The easiest way to do this is to give yourself plenty of time to make arrangements, so you do not feel rushed or overwhelmed.
- Find fun in the chaos. As mentioned above, planning a wedding can be chaotic – so it’s crucial that you keep the end goal in sight and find plenty of ways to have fun along the way. For example, choosing diamonds and wedding rings can be exciting, especially if you make it an activity you can do together instead of doing it separately.
- Put together a routine for the day. Routine and structure are so important for those with autism and related disorders. This is because it helps them to establish predictability, reducing stress and allowing them to find effective ways to cope with their symptoms. While your wedding day will be very different from your average Saturday, putting together a schedule ahead of time will help them to manage their expectations and accommodate for these changes. For example, you can put together a timeline of the day, detailing what will happen and when.
- Think about any accommodations that need to be made. Much of the wedding planning process for an autistic partner is the same as any other wedding planning scenario. For example, you’ll need to find flower girl dresses, a carter, and the perfect venue. However, you should also figure out whether you need to make any specific accommodations to help your partner feel more relaxed and comfortable. For example, you may need to reduce the number of guests present, so they do not feel overwhelmed. Alternatively, you may want to speak with the caterers to ensure the favorite foods are served as opposed to those they don’t like or may cause sensory discomfort. Remember, weddings don’t have to be traditional to be fun – they’re a celebration of your love with your partner, so they should accommodate every one of your needs and wants.