True love. Many songs have been written about love. Many movies have love as their theme. Even for “normal” people, finding true love can feel more of a gamble than visiting an online casino. But for adults on the spectrum, it has its own set of complications.
The Netflix TV Series “Love on the Spectrum” is about 7 adults who are on the spectrum who are trying to find true love. It is a reality TV show and it was filmed in Australia.
Even if you are not on the spectrum, I would recommend watching this TV series.
Sometimes when you watch a reality TV show, you can just tell that the show is staged. A show’s producers will put people together who they know are going to conflict with each in order to cause conflict to cause excitement and ratings, or they purposely put in obstacles that in real life would never happen. But the show “Love on the Spectrum” is not like that.
The show does exactly what the show claims that it is trying to do. They are filming the ups and downs of people on the spectrum trying to find true love.
Some of the couples were already dating, and they ended up getting married. Other couples went on a first date and then found somebody on their second date. Others dated a few times and then decided to become friends. Others are still looking. So the show covered the whole range, including couples that were trying to figure out if they were interested in traditional boy-girl relationships or same-sex relationships.
The TV crew was very kind and understanding of the people. When a person needed a break they let them have a break.
The people who were producing the show were professionals in this area. They work with the people on the spectrum to help them improve their dating and social skills by role-playing with them. They do group seminars on teaching the social skills of dating. They do one on one sessions to provide constructive criticism and tips to help them improve their social interactions. Even if somebody is not dating, these social skills are very important in life.
I watched this show with my husband, and we both know of people in real life who are on the spectrum. We saw how people on the spectrum sometimes do not have social filters and say things as they are. Or how people on the spectrum are very sensitive to touch and how a person can be easily overstimulated by too many people, too much light, or too much sound.
Try this …
I would recommend watching the show, and then closing your eyes and trying to put yourself into the situation of a person on the spectrum trying to find true love. How do you feel? What do you think? What do you smell? What do you see? What do you touch?
Think about that and then try writing a song or video clip about how it feels.
If you need further help, contact your local autism association. They may be able to lend special hearing aids that will allow you to understand how a person exists without being able to hear. Or a blindfold and a cane or seeing-eye dog to help understand how a person who is blind sees the world through their other senses. They can also show you about other different materials that people with autism use to help cope: weighted blankets, weighted vests, or special tables and chairs to help them while working or learning.
Something else to think about …
There are 9 types of intelligence:
- spatial (visually, seeing the world in 3D)
- naturalist (understanding living things), musical (discerning sounds and their pitch, tone, rhythm, and timbre)
- existential (the why questions)
- interpersonal (sensing people’s feelings and emotions)
- bodily-kinesthetic (coordinating your mind with your body)
- linguistic (language)
- intrapersonal (understanding yourself and what you feel and think)
Not included on this list, but still valid is working memory (what is happening right now — part of short term memory), short term memory (active memory — but not processing the information), and long term memory (retrieval of memory over a long period of time).
If you talk to anybody who has a “learning issue”, you will generally find that although they are weak in one area, they are stronger in another area. When you watch the show “Love on the Spectrum”, you can definitely see this with many of the people who are featured on the show. They take advantage of their strengths to compensate for their weaknesses in order to have successful lives.
Watch “Love on the Spectrum” and take a look at musician’s age-old topic of love from a different perspective, internalize it, and let it inspire you in your songwriting on the topic of love.