Love on the Spectrum

05 August 2020

Love on the Spectrum is a reality television show currently being streamed on Netflix (Cert PG). This 5-part series follows young adults on the autistic spectrum as they experience the highs and lows of dating while trying to find that special someone. Our brilliant volunteer Paul watched the series for us. Here he shares his thoughts on the programme.

If you haven’t heard of Love on the Spectrum the trailer will give you a great idea of what to expect from the show.

Paul’s review

As an autistic adult myself, I felt that the series presented the challenges that we face very well. These challenges become even more so heighten when trying to meet someone on a date and can include:

  • Difficulty with starting or sustaining conversation
  • Not being able to pick up on non-verbal gestures, facial expressions or hints
  • Lack of empathy, or knowing what other people are thinking and feeling
  • Anxiety when faced with new or unfamiliar situations or people
  • Understanding people’s actions seeing them as unpredictable and confusing
  • Difficulty with understanding unwritten rules which guide behaviour, such as knowing which chair to sit on in a room or not knowing when to end a conversation
  • Judging how much information to give, especially if asked open questions
  • Finding the appropriate level of formality
  • Over-focusing on a single topic or interest and talking about it at length
  • Understanding ‘physical boundaries’ and personal space
  • Perfectionism which can increase stress when something does not go to plan
  • Over or under sensory sensitivity – (sight, taste, smell, sound, touch, balance, body awareness) which can impact the ability to concentrate.

I am glad that the series shows that people on the spectrum do want to fall in love and have friends.

I enjoyed the journey that the show presented with before, during and after the dates. It was interesting to see both sides to dating with success and not so successful aspects. The inclusion of LGBTQI + relationships as well as heterosexual relationships within the show was refreshing to see also.

This series was presented in a friendly and supportive manner but I felt that at some points during the series it became more comical. Although it was done so in a very light-hearted way.

I am glad that the series shows that people on the spectrum do want to fall in love and have friends but we have difficulty in achieving this due to the condition. The reality of loneliness and feeling of isolation can become even more so apparent as you get older. The need for a good support system from family and friends is vital to sustaining a fulfilling and enjoyable life.

Conclusion

I would definitely recommend watching this series as it presents both sides of dating from the successful to the not so successful aspects. This series provides an insight into the world of being autistic and the barriers that we face when trying to find that special someone in life.

I do hope that Netflix creates another session of Love on the Spectrum as it would be great to see how the cast members got on with their search but also to see autism spectrum condition being highlighted on television.

Read more of Paul’s blogs