After Omnibus: Soldiering On
Olmsted on Autism: The Art of Chess

Happy Valentine’s Day from Chantal Sicile-Kira

Valentine Managing Editor's Note: You'll recognize Chantal from Autism One Radio and Autism File magazine. Please take a look at all of Chantal's books at AMAZON HERE. She's a powerful advocate for children on the spectrum, particularly children who are older, like her own son.

By Chantal Sicile-Kira

My son is looking for a girlfriend, and believe me, he  is quite a catch He’s  buff from working out twice a week at the gym, and he’s a babe magnet - he was invited to the senior prom by one of the most popular girls at school. He’s even been on MTV  highlighted on an episode of True Life.

He’s on Facebook  (Relationship Status: Single; Interested In: Women Looking For: Friendship, Dating,  A Relationship, Networking; Political Views: Go Obama!), and requested a cell phone for his birthday (although he is non-verbal) so he could text any potential friends. Did I mention he still requires 24 hour supports and help with everyday living skills? Maybe he should be looking for a wife (OK, not a very PC joke, but admit I have a point in some cases).

Most people worry about what is going to happen to their child with autism when he is an adult. Of course I do, too, not a day goes by that I don’t think about, or worry about it, or research workable ideas. My son is after all, 20 years old. 

I used to work with young adults like  my son in a state institution years before he was born (you see, you can catch autism by osmosis). I am not immune to all the sad and horrible stories such as the Sky Walker murder case and others perhaps less intense but still not nice. I often get emails  from  parents of young adults asking about what they should do, how are they going to cope, and I feel their pain.  We all have barely enough energy to make it through an autism –filled day, let alone plan for the future.

Jeremy is trying and we are thinking about different work options and we are not sure where that will go. It seems work is scarce even for neurotypicals right now.  I sort of have the housing plan  thought out because he is pretty clear about what he wants, I just don’t have the money to pay of any of it, and I don’t think our government does either (but I digress).

Yet, this being close to Valentine’s Day, I am thinking about what has been on Jeremy’s mind for some time.  Girls. Girls  and how to get them. Housing, jobs, functional living skills – these are very important. But for the moment, Jeremy is fixated on girls. And who can deny that  relationships and  affection are needed components for a happy life? A little sex doesn’t hurt either.

At Christmas time, Jeremy communicated that he did not want to buy a Starbucks gift card  for Ralph, the tutor that takes him to workout at LA Fitness. Jeremy decided he  wanted to buy Ralph  a calendar with pictures of girls on it.  He went to the mall with a respite person and chose one that was aptly titled “Hot Buns.” I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Maybe he was inspired by the  Charger’s Cheerleaders who sometimes work out at the same gym.

 I miss the prepubescent years when Jeremy was examining the guitars in the music magazines and not the beautiful female models holding them.  It’s my own fault. I’ve been trying to get Jeremy to enjoy more age-appropriate entertainment for years. But do you know what finally got his attention away from Big Bird?  Entourage! That’s right - that HBO series about four guys from New York, now living in Hollywood, where one of them has hit it big as a movie actor. It’s all about their tight friendship, getting acting gigs, and hooking up. How to get a girlfriend and how to land  an acting role is basically what this show is about. There is a lot of eye candy for the guys on here. (And the male actors are not so bad-looking either.)

Jeremy believes that Ralph is the best tutor to help him get a girl.  Now, I know they both enjoy the female scenery at the gym from what I’ve heard, but still….. For now, we are focusing on explaining to Jeremy that he needs to work on his communication skills in order to have a relationship or to contemplate the possibility of  future  physical intimacy. Thus his  interest in cell phones and Facebook. We are also trying to find friends for him to practice  his conversational skills , perhaps  a friend of the female persuasion.
Saturday, Valentine’s Day, Ralph is coming to take Jeremy to work out at the gym. Maybe, the Charger Cheerleaders will be around this weekend and working out. A little eye candy might help keep him going until he gets a girlfriend.

Meanwhile, best wishes to all of you for a very Happy Valentine’s Day. Share a chocolate or a glass of wine, or a GFCF cookie with someone you love.

Chantal Sicile-kira is the mom of two teenagers, one severely impacted by autism, and the award-winning author of three books. Chantal writes a column  for The Autism File, hosts a radio show on Autism One and moderates webinars for Her books are:  Autism Life Skills: From Communication and Safety to Self-Esteem and More - 10 Essential AbilitiesEvery Child Needs and Deserves to Learn;   Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum: A Parent's Guide to the Cognitive, Social, Physical, and Transition Needs ofTeenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorders , Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDs.  For more information, visit:


Nancy Allison

Chantal, I was at a conference you did in Indian Rocks Beach, Fl. several months ago. Like the rest of the moms with autistic boys, our hearts go out to them, and we hope that at some point in life they find someone for them. My son is 21, verbal, and said last week "I can't get a *#*#* girlfriend to save my life!" I felt so bad for him. Wish there were more groups for autistic children of various age groups, they seem to only have groups when they're young.

chantal Sicile-Kira

Thank you for all your comments and kind words. I know my son isn't the only one out there craving companionship and intimacy, and it is wonderful to hear your stories. I'll keep you posted, and do the same if you have an idea or good story to share!

All the best, Chantal


My nephew had a chance to have a session with Soma when she was in his area and my sister raved about it. I hope her high expectations approach is explored by more educators.
Thank you Chantal Sicile-Kira for leaving a trail of bread crumbs for kids who may be heading down that complicated social road in the future, although its difficult for me to imagine it now.

I wonder how long it will be until augmentative communication devices are doing peer to peer PECS messaging?

Yolande Dewonck

Hi Chantal
I am new to your site, I am a grandmother born french, my grandson Donny,who leaves with me is 26 years old he also loves all pretty girls, and he also is a good catch. he is 6ft 4" dark hair blue eyes verbal speak French English and some Spanish.
his mom is also name Chantal and she has another son Jonathan and a daughter Nicole, they leave close to us so we visit a lot.


Jenny - That's OK, our kids are not PC...they don't have to be because they don't have an ounce of bigotry in them. It's to be expected that they would focus on a certain ethnicity, Asian, or a certain attribute, white teeth, because they're always looking at the trees, not the forest.
My son likes women we would say look "Indian". His unabashed admiration of an Indian woman in her full wedding regalia in a hotel lobby(he stopped dead in his tracks, looked up at her and just said, "wow") got him an impromptu invitation to a very elegant and opulent wedding reception.
Twyla, I too am planning on living forever, but in the meantime, I'm hoping my nine year old stays so cute so some girl will make a project out of him. When I see what some women marry, I think maybe my son has a chance.

chantal Sicile-Kira

Thank you everyone for your comments. I hope it helps you with your teens... We do need to take time to enjoy them with all the craziness going on in the world.

Kim, Tito and Soma are big advocates for autism- Soma is the one responsible for the Rapid Prompting Method she developed for teaching her son, Tito. She is the Educational Director of HALO where she puts on workshops. Soma taught Jeremy, as well as teaching me how to do the RPM, and that is how come Jeremy can now type and learned his academics to be going for his diploma.


Of course Soma and Tito are here Kim. You sooo underestimate AoA...totally cool to have them here....!


Thank you for this great article, Chantal. My son is 11 and although he still loves Elmo and the gang, it seems he has always loved the ladies--the prettier the better--but now he has begun to address the female staff of his school, and a couple of my regular girlfriends as, "Hey, there beautiful!"

Since so much of sex is what we think about in our heads, I have found myself being concerned about him having a normal sex life--I mean, who's going to teach him what to think about? Silly as that may sound, most things have to be taught, maybe this is one of those things too. Maybe it won't just come naturally, like so many things didn't.

I guess I need not have worried too much. My son has recently started remarking how, "Miss Tina looks beautiful in a blue dress," or "Leah looks beautiful in a blue dress." I think my son may have developed a "blue dress" fetish!? Still, I pray for an older girl with plenty of patience and a knack for instruction.


Uh, folks, do you know who Soma and Tito are??? Welcome!


Soma Mukhopadhyay

Go Jeremy :)
Soma and Tito

carol hoernlein

Urgent - Alert.

I just got off the phone with John Erb. The officials in Virginia Beach have arrested him WITHOUT criminal charges and have locked him in a cell there. They are officially going after him for wanting to further investigate the vaccine link to autism. They are trumping up charges of a psychiatric nature due to his announcement last week that he will be opening a center in Virginia for INDPENDENT research on autism.

They are going after anyone who is not buying the official Offit line that vaccines are safe.

Please call who ever can help, John. I am currently unable to get there. He sounded calm considering the circumstances, but John was supposed to appear on a radio program today. They arrested him before he could host an autism picnic and speak on a radio program. He has been arrested without charges and is being held in Virginia at this moment. If anyone can please find out more - he was only given a minute to make one phone call.

John has apparently angered Big Pharma once again. Please help if you can. Please spread the word. This is unacceptable that you can now be locked up for questioning Big Pharma based on one recent court case involving only three children. In America. I can't believe this just happened.

I don't know where else to turn right now.

Patti Carroll

Chantal - I think it's time I read your books. My almost 12-year-old son came home from school yesterday with a Valentine note for me. I was so excited to read his loving words, but imagine my surprise to discover that it was a request to spend Valentine's Day with his "girlfriend"!

He absolutely adores his 14-year-old cousin, who he now refers to as his "best girlfriend". He told me the other day that he is over his former girlfriend - who also happens to be his sister!

Watching my little boy begin to figure out the laws of attraction and affection in his own sweet, autistic way has been one of the memories I will always cherish.

Thank you for giving me a glimpse of what the future holds. I definitely need to prepare myself. Just like your son - my boy is quite a catch!


Thank you for this!
My son is 12 and in the fun stages of puberty. He is not very verbal... he really doesn't have any means of effective expressive communication.

But I have recently figured out that he has a total Asian-girl fetish. I apologize for not being very PC, but it is what it is.

He is super sad that we moved away from his dream home... on campus family housing that was 96% international students, and the majority were Asian. We have been gone a year now and he asks to go back every day :)

I sit here and wonder how I will deal with this as he gets older... his new found awareness of all things puberty associated. I have dreaded these days since he was a toddler!! And here we are!
I suppose like everything else, we will take it one day at a time.

Happy Valentine's day to all!


Thank you, Chantal -- what a nice article. Nice to take a break from causation contoversies and focus on the present. My son is 16 and, while he used to only be fascinated with pictures of fans, candles, washing machines and spiders in magazines & catalogues, these days he also loves to look at pictures of pretty girls smiling. He says, "I like it girls laughing about -- clean teeth!" and sometimes "I like it kiss her!"

My plan for his future is for me to live forever. I'm assuming I can make that happen, right? On the off chance that doesn't work out, at least he has two sisters who can visit him in the lovely group home that will surely exist?

Anyway, for now we just enjoy him.


Sweet!~ May Jeremy find his forever love.
He seems like a great catch!



Yeah, what Kim said!

And thank you for your books, your advocacy, and this wonderful Valentine's treat.


Chantal, your work is so important. You and Barb Fischkin are trail blazers for us. My Mia is 14. Gianna is 12 and I see her eyes wandering over to the cute boys.

Readers, I strongly suggest you get all of Chantal's books. They are an important read for parents and EDUCATORS too.

Thank you, Chantal. I'm a bit long in the tooth, but give your son a Valentine's kiss on the cheek from me!


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