Empowering Autistic Girls and Women

TRIGGER WARNING PLEASE BE AWARE THAT MATERIAL IN THIS RESEARCH DISCUSSES ABUSE AND MAY BE TRIGGERING FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE

In this research women with ASC (aged 22–30 years) diagnosed in late adolescence or adulthood gave in-depth accounts of: ‘pretending to be normal’; of how their gender led various professionals to miss their ASC; and of conflicts between ASC and a traditional feminine identity.

Experiences of sexual abuse were widespread in this sample, partially reflecting specific vulnerabilities from being a female with undiagnosed ASC. Training would improve teachers’ and clinicians’ recognition of ASC in females, so that timely identification can mitigate risks and promote wellbeing of girls and women on the autism spectrum.

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