by ROSE MENDOZA
In Fort Lauderdale, FL, Nico Morales and Latoya Jolly met online. In December 2015, Nico sent the first message while on vacation with his family in Guatemala. Soon after Morales sent the message they went on their first date. Friends and family now say it is hard to keep them apart. The two met on a dating website called AutisticDating.net. Morales, 19, and Jolly, 23, both have Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s is a high-functioning form of autism characterized by average intelligence and a difficulty socializing and communicating with others. Depending on the severity of these social deficits people with Asperger’s have trouble maintaining and understanding relationships, especially romantic ones.
Jolly attends Atlantic Technical College in Coconut Creek, FL. She says she is often uncomfortable when she talk to people who are not autistic. Hence why she avoids eye contact during conversations but with Morales she says she doesn’t have that issue. “It’s easy to talk to him,” she said. “I can understand, like, what he goes through and stuff because I went through the same thing, too.” Morales attends Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL, says Jolly helps him deal with the emotional ups and downs with having Asperger’s syndrome. “I honestly don’t know what I did to deserve such an amazing woman like Latoya in my life,” Morales said. “But who am I to question a good thing?”