Kristen Fitzpatrick (37) and her daughter Olivia Cantu (18) want to help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder to find love. To do so, they started SpectrumSingles.com in January as a dating and social media website.
"We wanted to create a website that brought together people on the spectrum for dating and friendships, but also be able to differentiate people's spectrum traits," said Cantu.
Olivia and Kristen both have autism, so they made the perfect team to start a new community for others like them. They said that they were disappointed that online communities for autistic individuals were created and run by non-autistic people.
The site uses a 184-question test, called the Spectrum Compatibility Test (SCT), to match users. Topics like social comfort, attention tendencies and sexual preferences are covered in the test, including multiple choice questions like "I find social situations easy" and "I am fascinated by numbers."
The test results categorize users by a color that ties to their place on the spectrum, which can be essential to find companionship for people who have certain needs and boundaries.
Cantu said, "Because we all are autistic on the site, we can easily share each others experiences that we may have difficulty expressing to non-autistics."