For example, a hug may be perceived as an uncomfortable squeeze that restricts movement.

The person can become confused or overwhelmed when expected to demonstrate and enjoy relatively modest expressions of affection.

She may have no female friends to accompany her on a first date, or provide advice on dating and the social and sexual codes; consequently her parents may become concerned about her vulnerability to promiscuity, adverse sexual experiences, and date rape.

There is a relationship continuum from being an acquaintance to being a partner.

One of the diagnostic characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome is the development of a special interest that is unusual in terms of its focus or intensity.

In adolescence and early adult years, the focus can be a person, which could be interpreted as a typical teenage “crush,” but the intensity and some of the associated behaviours could lead to accusations of stalking or harassment.

Typical children do this naturally and have practised relationship skills with family members and friends for many years before applying these abilities to achieve a successful romantic relationship.

Young adults with a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome or high-functioning autism also have conspicuously limited social conversational skills or ability to communicate emotions, especially affection.

The charges tend to be for sexually inappropriate behaviour rather than sexually abusive or sexually violent behaviour.

Adolescent women with Asperger’s syndrome may use television programs and films as source material to learn about relationships, and fail to recognize that the actions and themes are not an accurate portrayal of how to achieve and maintain a relationship in real life.

These abilities are not intuitive for people with Asperger’s syndrome.