Discover SPARK

When SPARKs Fly: David and Vell’s Journey to Love

Dominique Stilletti

Date Published: April 14, 2022

David knew he wanted to find “the one.” Vell wasn’t sure if she was ready. But when the two met on a dating app for singles on the spectrum, sparks began to fly. There was just one problem: they lived nearly 9,000 miles apart.

David and Vell finally met in person in 2020 when Vell moved to the United States from the Philippines. They were told that “autistic people can’t date” and “autistic people can’t live independent lives.” Now, they are happily married and want to share their story with other people with autism and their families. They hope to encourage other autistic adults who want to give dating a try.

Like any couple, David and Vell experience challenges, but autism has never been one of them. In fact, their autism diagnoses help them understand one another better. The couple joined SPARK in early 2022 and are excited to learn more about their autism together. David hopes to learn about related medical concerns he should be aware of, and Vell hopes to understand why she has autism and about future SPARK research studies and findings.

Watch to learn more about David and Vell’s relationship and hear their advice for other autistic adults looking to step into the dating world.

Photo provided by the Baria-Mitchell family.