I have just found out today that the man I have been dating for 6 months is mildly autistic. I had no idea about this until just a few hours ago, so this realization left me shocked. I understand autism and that it is nothing like mental retardation, or anything to that extent. But still I feel like I am doing something morally wrong by continuing to date him. Should I end the relationship because it isn't fair to him, seeing as he may not fully understand his feelings or mine? Or should I continue the relationship because his autism is only mild? Please let me know what you think, I am completely torn and cannot figure out whether I am doing something horribly wrong or not.
I would add to Louise's eloquent response one point: autism is the name for a spectrum of mental functioning and I suspect that if your boyfriend functions in a way that you did not notice anything remarkable, then he is on what they call the "high end" of the spectrum. You should discuss with him his history and his diagnosis. You may also wish to read some of the first-person accounts of people with autism, such as Temple Grandin 's.