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"Today we know that they actually very much desire romantic relationships, but their abilities in this aspect of life are limited.They have a hard time reading the other person, they're very direct, and are often perceived as annoying."But love is like the proverbial elephant in the room, and most of the time it's ignored." "I want a girlfriend," said Yura, 31, who works as a waiter and lives in sheltered housing.

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Then, the "organized behavior, clear rules and brief interactions can actually be very good for them," she said.At the May 31 event, one counselor helped a man realize that he did not have to rule out a women he was interested in just because he lives in Tel Aviv and she lives about 12 kilometers away, in Petah Tikva.When participants with extensive difficulties take part in speed dating, the plan is to give them a sheet with suggested questions to help them conduct conversation.In the first event at least, organizers made an effort to group together people of a similar age and with a similar levels of disability.Your comment was successfully submitted and will be published in accordance with site policy.

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But what is perhaps more important than the differences between this event and other forms of speed dating is the fact that they are all driven by the same underlying realization: Many single people want to find partners, whether or not they are on the autistic spectrum.

"Over the years, different groups have helped us in many areas of life, such as employment, education and housing," said Ro'i, who took part in the speed-dating event.

There were also tip sheets that advised the approximately 15 juice-sipping and cookie-nibbling daters in attendance that "this is not the time to talk about your problems" and that they should show an interest in the people they meet, but not subject them to the third degree.

And the MCs prepared participants for disappointment, saying the evening was a valuable exercise in social interaction even if it doesn't lead to long-lasting love.

Before planning the evening, Steiff and Pilo participated in an evening of regular speed dating to give themselves ideas for how to adapt the event to suit the unique needs of the participants.