Spectrum Singles members are assigned a color based on their results, which matches them to other users -- either for a romantic relationship or a friendship.“Decoding their intentions is exhausting,” said Meranda Jacobs, an engineer from Nashville, describing the most difficult part of meeting new people.
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She's unable to process the subtle hints or body language cues that indicate how he is feeling at a given moment, so the couple must practice very clear-cut verbal communication.
In past relationships, partners described Fitzpatrick as "weird," "eccentric" and "intense," she recalls, which led her to be constantly anxious in social situations.
"I was aware that I was 'different' and was made to feel ashamed because of it," she told The Huffington Post.
Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with autism in her 30s, which she considers a turning point. Now, the 37-year-old and her husband of 14 years have the information and tools necessary to make their relationship work.
Fitzpatrick's 18-year-old daughter, Olivia Cantu, is also on the autism spectrum.
Cantu has experienced social difficulties, similar to those her mother described, that have negatively impacted some of her relationships.
After researching what tools were available to help people with autism make social connections, Cantu was disappointed.
Some of the dating sites she found included a description of autism, which Cantu said would be just as silly as a site like Christian Mingle outlining the definition of Christianity.
Cantu was inspired by e Harmony's compatibility test -- which primarily measures personality traits of people who aren't on the spectrum -- to create a questionnaire specifically for people with autism.
She turned to Fitzpatrick, who used her background in research design and methods to create The Spectrum Compatibility Test (SCT) for their site.
The SCT is a 184-question test that asks about social preferences, sensory tolerance or intolerance, and views on sex and physical affection.