Jerry was 21, but had made only one friend in his life.That "friend" was actually someone who had used him.He used individual counseling, an assertion training group, and self-help books. More importantly, he was much happier with himself and his life. Most people I see don't start at such a low level and only want or need much less help.If you think you have a long way to go, then it is helpful to know that others have gone even further.
Each session is highly engaging and interactive with quizzes, games and practical instruction which helps to embed learning.The study,the largest randomized controlled trial to show improved social functioning in young adults with autism, appears in a special issue of the online Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.Elizabeth Laugeson is the founder and director of the UCLA PEERS Clinic, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute and the study's principal investigator."Most young adults on the autism spectrum really want to have friends and even romantic relationships, but they don't know how to do that," Laugeson said.Jerry came to counseling because he was tired of being so shy and wanted to be able to meet women and eventually marry and have a family.He knew that his current path was not leading him in the right direction, and he was very upset about it. I helped him with conversational skills, assertiveness skills, and with building self-esteem and confidence. Nevertheless, within three years he became president of a fraternity, had all the dates he wanted, had lots of friends, and had changed his major to one requiring a high level of interpersonal skills.Jerry was successful primarily because of his persistence and continual conscious effort to improve his skills and confidence. The focus of this self-help manual is to help you improve your conversational and intimacy skills.I have counseled with and taught these skills to hundreds of people seeking ways of becoming more outgoing and assertive, more confident, and more able to develop close relationships with others-especially others in romantic situations."Most of the treatment and research in autism focuses on children.It's as if we've forgotten that these children grow up to be adults with their own unique challenges that very often affect their ability to become employed and establish meaningful friendships and even romantic relationships."Our study offers encouraging findings that, through an evidence-based, caregiver-supported intervention, adults with autism can improve in ways that may help them be more successful in these aspects of their lives," she said.Dating can feel very daunting at first, it often brings up many negative thoughts and emotions.We can struggle to believe we could ever meet someone special, or convince ourselves that our confidence won’t survive any further disappointment.