AN AUTISTIC man feels that more is required to raise awareness and acceptance of the difficulties that adults on the spectrum have in finding a suitable platform to date. 

Andrew Edwards, from Gwersyllt, has long campaigned to raise awareness of some of the issues people with learning disabilities face. 

Ahead of World Autism Acceptance Week (April 1-7), the 39-year-old is highlighting the difficulties faced by people like him when using online dating platforms. 

Andrew said he has tried every conventional dating site, as well as an autism specific one. Nearly all of these he has deleted and downloaded several times over.

“The constant ghosting for literally no reason a matter of seconds after they messaged the time before can make my moods fluctuate wildly depending on a girl replying," he said. 

Andrew feels that this affects his autistic stress levels greatly whilst playing on his obsessional nature with the constant scrolling.

He added: “The etiquettes of online dating I find very difficult as I rely very heavily on verbal and visual social cues. This is along with body language and in room atmosphere.

"There seems no or little sense to me with the etiquettes of online dating. I felt constantly judged by those on online dating sites due to the way my autism is so contradictory in that I can greatly achieve in writing three published books (including an autistic memoir), but I still greatly require my family support network.”

Andrew believes that it would be very beneficial for there to be local dating groups or advice in Wrexham and North East Wales for those who are neurodivergent or have similar conditions who don’t have academic learning disabilities.

“There is literally nothing of this ilk for those described above in the region," he said. "Face-to-face interactions generally would work better for people on the spectrum as we rely heavily on facial cues."

This is due to autistic people not always getting whether the other person is being serious or not. 

"In person or interaction on video call also work better as when you message someone online it is the waiting for a response that I struggle with due to the not knowing," Andrew added.

"Autism doesn’t go away at a certain age. It is lifelong. Those on the spectrum still require help throughout their lives, including with romantic relationships." 

Nonetheless, Andrew believes that he can still one day find the love of his life.

“I am only 39, which is at the around the halfway point of my life, so I can find a romantic partner until I take my last breath, can’t I?”

He recently set up a new supportive Facebook group to help bring people with disabilities together.

"I am hoping that the group can get enough numbers to regularly meet up in such surroundings as a pub quiz, local sporting events, gigs, walks, or whatever those in the group would like to do," Andrew said.

The group already has over 100 members and its first meet up event is scheduled to take place next weekend. 

It will be held at Cwtch Pottery Cafe on Eagles Meadow in Wrexham between noon and 2pm on Saturday, April 6.