Bridging the Perspective Gap: Strategies for Couples with ASD to Foster Mutual Conversations and Emotional Connection


In any relationship, meaningful conversations are the foundation of emotional connection and understanding. However, when one partner has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it can sometimes be challenging to establish mutual conversations where both partners feel heard and fulfilled. In this blog post, we’ll explore specific strategies, complete with examples, to help couples bridge the perspective gap, maintain low anger levels, and collaboratively find solutions together.

Understanding the Perspective Gap

The One-Sided Conversation:

  • Example: John (with ASD) talks at length about his favorite hobby without noticing Jane’s disinterest.

Lack of Reciprocity:

  • Example: Jane tries to share her work challenges, but John quickly redirects the conversation back to his own interests.

Fulfillment Gap:

  • Example: After a conversation, John feels satisfied but doesn’t realize that Jane feels unheard and disconnected.

Strategies for Mutual Conversations

Active Listening:

  • Strategy: Teach the person with ASD to actively listen by paraphrasing their partner’s statements.
  • Example: Jane says, “I had a tough day at work,” and John responds, “It sounds like work was challenging today. Tell me more.”

Turn-Taking Rules:

  • Strategy: Implement turn-taking rules where both partners can speak equally.
  • Example: John and Jane agree to share their thoughts during dinner conversations.

Empathetic Statements:

  • Strategy: Encourage the person with ASD to practice empathetic responses.
  • Example: Jane says, “I’m worried about the upcoming project,” and John responds, “I understand why you’re feeling worried. Let’s discuss how I can support you.”

Visual Cues:

  • Strategy: Use visual cues to indicate when to switch roles in a conversation.
  • Example: Placing a small object in the center of the table as a signal to switch from talking to listening.

Questioning Techniques:

  • Strategy: Teach open-ended questioning techniques to foster deeper conversations.
  • Example: Instead of asking, “How was your day?” John asks, “Can you share a highlight from your day?”

Reflection Time:

  • Strategy: Encourage both partners to reflect on the discussion after a conversation.
  • Example: John and Jane take a moment to discuss how they felt during their conversation and what they appreciated.

Express Needs Clearly:

  • Strategy: Encourage the person with ASD to express their needs for a fulfilling conversation.
  • Example: John says, “I’d love to hear more about your day, too. Can we take turns sharing our experiences?”

The Fulfilling Conversation


  • Outcome: Both partners actively participate, sharing and listening with equal engagement.

Emotional Connection:

  • Outcome: Conversations deepen emotional connections as both partners feel understood and valued.

Solutions Garnered:

  • Outcome: Problem-solving becomes more effective as both perspectives are considered.

Creating mutual conversations in a relationship where one partner has ASD is possible with patience, understanding, and structured strategies. By actively listening, using turn-taking rules, practicing empathetic responses, and employing visual cues, couples can bridge the perspective gap, maintain low anger levels, and collaboratively find solutions. These efforts lead to more fulfilling and connected conversations, strengthening the bond between partners and enhancing overall relationship satisfaction.

To learn more about what steps to take if you suspect that you or your partner may have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), please click on the following link to our next article: What to Do If You Suspect You or Your Partner Has ASD. Understanding and addressing ASD can be a transformative journey for your relationship, and this article will provide you with valuable insights and guidance.

Take the first step towards a healthier, more fulfilling marriage today! If you’re experiencing challenges in your relationship and suspect that an assessment could provide clarity and guidance, don’t hesitate. Visit to schedule your assessment now. Invest in your relationship, nurture your love, and embark on a journey toward a Sizzling Hot Marriage. Your future together can be brighter, starting with this simple step. Don’t wait; take action today!

Picture of Joe Follette, Jr., M.Div., M.S., LMFT

Joe Follette, Jr., M.Div., M.S., LMFT

Joe Follette, Jr., a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 25 years of experience, founded Lifestyle Therapy & Coaching in Huntsville, Alabama. He combines his background as a former pastor with his therapeutic expertise to help adults achieve fulfilling marriages. He works with individuals, couples, families, and more. He offers virtual therapy with programs and courses designed to treat specific challnges. Pick up a copy of his free book, "Don't Give Up On Love," to become a better you in your relationships. Joe is known for his positivity, warm personality, and commitment to helping clients live their best lives. Book a free 15-minute Clarity Call with Joe to begin your journey to healing and growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.