Thomas describes the first time he met Ruth as a “wow” moment.
“When I met her it was incredible. One of the first things she asked me was ‘do you know Harry Potter?’ And it took me a second but I realised she was asking that because I share the name with the main villain in Harry Potter — Thomas Riddle,” he said.
Thomas and Ruth have been dating for a year.
Ruth was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of 14 and Thomas was diagnosed with high-functioning autism two years ago.
“I came away from that first encounter thinking she was quite different, unique, because it’s something I would do — I’d make those leaps ahead and people would always be confused about things I was saying.
“So when she was leaping ahead I was thinking wow. This girl is wow.”
One in 100 people are currently diagnosed as being “on the spectrum” in Australia.
Watch Ruth and Thomas below. (Post continues…)
Autism was once viewed as a form of childhood psychosis, or the product of bad parenting.
These days, those misconceptions are being challenged and Ruth says she and Thomas are also proof that people on the spectrum can form meaningful relationships.
“I think it’s rubbish because I can feel just as much as any other person can, I just don’t know how to react to emotion. I don’t know what to do with the emotion I’m feeling,” she said.
“I can definitely feel. I like having a relationship.”