UCR to Screen Documentary Film “Autism in Love”

Community invited to view intimate film exploring how people with autism pursue and manage romantic relationships

An artistic image of the characters in the film Autism in Love

Autism in Love is a feature-length documentary that follows the lives of four autistic adults as they pursue and manage romantic relationships.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — In commemoration of National Autism Awareness Month this April, the University of California, Riverside will host a screening of the film Autism in Love, followed by a Q&A session and reception led by Jan Blacher, Distinguished Professor in UCR’s Graduate School of Education and director of the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center.

Directed and produced by Matt Fuller, Autism in Love is a feature-length documentary that follows the lives of four autistic adults as they pursue and manage romantic relationships. Looking beyond the disorder’s origins and early interventions, the film explores a relatively undocumented aspect of autism, “What happens when children with autism become adults with autism and want to have lives of their own?”

Blacher said UCR is sharing the film as both an educational and art experience.

“We also hope it will bring the SEARCH mission closer to home – that autism is a lifelong experience and that the early educational needs of young children with autism will soon become the pressing social issues of young adults,” she said. “We know from today’s statistics that there will be a tsunami of young adults on the spectrum by 2020. Not only are we unprepared to help employ and educate these young adults after high school, but we also shouldn’t assume that a typical social life will come easy.”

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors, according to the science and advocacy organization Autism Speaks. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified one in 68 children as having ASD.

The free event will be from 4-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 at the UCR Alumni and Visitors Center, 3701 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside, CA 92521. Community members are invited, but space is limited. Those interested in attending should RSVP. Event parking will be provided in UCR Lot 24, across from the Alumni Center.

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