Author: Jodie van de Wetering
Date: 25 november 2019
Supporting women with autism spectrum disorder
It’s not often you see someone with autism spectrum disorder in mainstream media. And when we do, these characters tend to be male, nerdy and single. Think Rain Man, Sheldon Cooper and various mean-spirited memes.
Now, though, it really feels like things are changing.
Women with autism are more present in writing about the condition, research, advocacy and public speaking.
Our Spectrum Queen, Hannah Gadsby, talks openly about how ASD affects her, and the public perception of autism is changing to include women, girls and femme-presenting people.
ABC series Love on the Spectrum follows an assortment of young autistic adults finding their way through the psychological haunted-house-mud-run-obstacle-course that is dating and relationships in the 21st century.
And in a great sign that society’s concept of autism is evolving, we’re meeting different genders and sexualities.
In the show, the adorable first-date couple, Chloe and Lotus, mention they were diagnosed at 11 and 12 respectively.
That’s late, considering specialists like to get stuck into early intervention before a child turns six, but they’re still babies compared to women whose conditions aren’t being picked up until their 30s, 40s and beyond.
For a long time, research into autism and what we knew about how it presented was largely based on men and boys, meaning girls miss out on diagnosis and therefore miss out on support they need until they’re too old to access it.
Since autism as a concept is still relatively recent, in many ways we just don’t have the framework in place to support an adult autistic population. Yet.
From: ABC Life. Read more here