Abraham Nielson and Anita Lesko never thought they’d find love. Since both are on the autism spectrum, they found the intricacies of socialization to be a bit difficult. But when they found each other, they proved themselves wrong.
They met at an Asperger’s support group (which Lesko started!) and forged a great friendship. Then after an intimate dinnertime discussion, their relationship blossomed into a beautiful romance.
The lovebirds said “I do” on a Saturday in September. But it wasn’t an ordinary wedding for several reasons:
- It was open to anyone who wanted to come.
- The nuptials took place in San Diego during a conference called Love & Autism: A Conference with a Heart. This was a perfect choice on the couple’s part, seeing as the conference centers on romantic relationships for those on the spectrum.
- Everyone who contributed to the wedding is on the autism spectrum. That includes the wedding party, the cake baker, the musician, the usher…everyone except some members of the audience, naturally. For this reason, it’s being hailed as the “first all-autism wedding.”
They decided upon this setup, in part, to show that people with autism can find love; but also because many with autism are, unfortunately, excluded from major social events and parties. Both the bride and groom experienced this throughout their lives. In fact, neither of them had ever been to a wedding before. So they were determined to change that.
“I figured our wedding could give folks on the spectrum an opportunity to get to attend a wedding and be part of something like that,” Lesko said. “…I want people to know that people with autism have real emotions, and that I’m going to cry on my wedding day. We may not tend to show emotions like other people do, but inside, we’re feeling the same thing—sometimes even more.”
There’s no doubt it was a beautiful day, not just for Lesko and Nielson but for everyone involved, too. I’m sure I speak for many people when I offer a huge congratulations to the couple! Here’s hoping that their lives together are filled with utmost joy.
A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.