04/20/2012 02:20 pm ET Updated Jun 20, 2012

Devoted But Dateless

A CLOSE friend keeps saying: "Just lie about it on the first few dates. It'll be all right." She means lie about age. Not mine, though -- my son's.

Danny, my older child, is 16; we were told he was autistic when he was 3. His father and I were divorced several years ago. I can go out only when my ex-husband is with the children, or when I can find a baby sitter, which means there is no room for spontaneity, for that moment when you're chatting online and one of you says, "Let's meet for coffee now."