There has been a huge gap in the online dating community. Until recently, the autism community has been under-represented in a world full of websites like eHarmony and OKCupid or specialty sites like J-Date and My Lovely Parent (the dating site for older, single parents). Where are the sites for people on the spectrum?!
Olivia Cantu and her mother, Kristen Fitzpatrick, noticed there was something missing from the world of online dating: a site built by people who are on the spectrum for people on the spectrum. The two of them are both on the spectrum and used their knowledge of their community to create SpectrumSingles.com.
Fitzpatrick used her background in research design to create a personality test for members called the Spectrum Compatibility Test (SCT). The SCT, similar to tests on sites like eHarmony, is comprised of enough questions (in this case 184) to get a good sense of who their members are so that they can connect them with others. The questions are designed to help people find matches on the vast spectrum. For example, people who are not comfortable with loud noises can find others who share that trait. Once completing the SCT, new members are given a color, which is how they meet others!
SpectrumSingles is not solely focused on the romantic side of relationship building either. People can become members simply to find friends! The fact that the community is online makes it very easy to communicate with others. Without the overwhelming stimulus of many public places or the pressure to read body language, members can communicate comfortably and get to know each other better.
The website is also dedicated to community building. They worked with Michael McCreary from AspieComic to create this hilarious video series for SpectrumSingles, filmed with actors who are on the spectrum themselves!
Do you have some dating advice of your own? Share with us in the comments!