Thursday, 4 April 2013

So, tonight is going to be debut for a live online interview for the week of autism.
Exciting! The theme is autism and women, a subject that I am fairly qualified to speak about seeing as how I'm a woman with autism ;-)
I've been collecting views of other women on the spectrum and it has been fascinating to see how everyone has, pretty much, the same view about why autism is often not as easily recognized in women. Why we first get diagnoses focusing on either the consequences of autism (depression) or a wrong diagnosis such as Borderline.
It is frightening to realise that had I first had a diagnosis of Borderline, I would have accepted it. Yet the treatment/s are exactly the opposite to what someone with autism needs.

Can you imagine what state your brain will be in by the time you've gotten the correct information?!
No wonder women with autism have a high rate of depression, especially people who have had conflicting diagnoses!

One of the questions I'm going to be asked tonight is, 'do I think that autism is more of a challenge for women than for men.'
Can you imagine how arrogant it would be for me to say, yes, it's much more of a challenge...It is not worse or heavier, it is different. We have different challenges to men, but I would never say that those challenges weigh heavier compared to challenges men with autism face.
It's easy to think that way though. When you look at the expectations society has of women, the amount of different 'jobs' women are expected to be able to handle and how much we are expected to be verbally strong...then yes, it's easy to think 'we have it much harder'.
But look at what men have to face. Society expects men to not verbalize how they feel, to show no weakness in any area (apart from at home with your about confusing!) and be dominant+ successful if possible.
I know a lot of men with autism who are very sensitive, whose emotions are extremely near the surface, who don't like to play the social 'game' (if they see it and understand the game rules that is) and who are fairly timid+ careful.
So no, auti men do not have it 'easier' at all.

Comparing our differences is necessary I suppose when it comes to the science part of how we are different to men...but in daily life I'd rather be looking at the similarities.
When we keep focusing on differences, we don't open our minds to connect on a deeper level. This is a big danger that we have to be aware of as people with autism, but also as human beings.
We need to get over the 'different' aspect, and focus on who the person is. Who the essence of that person is. Only then will we learn to connect to the world around us and care about what happens to others.


  1. I have to disagree.

    Differences -not just between men and women or adults and children but also between all of them- are very important to identify.

    The Autism Spectrum Rating Scale serves a purpose. Although there is something they call 'classical autism', most people will not be a 10 on that scale.

    By the way, I pretty much know for sure that today's leading therapy for Borderline (Jeffrey Young's Schema Therapy) would have revealed the autism in no time.

  2. Thankyou for your reply Mary. I am though slightly confused in your comments.
    I did not say that it is not important to identify the differences between how autism manifests in the different groups.
    I state quite clearly that I feel that is of course 'necessary', but that I would also like to look at the simularities.
    In the end, each diagnosis of autism is based on the person sitting infront of the diagnoser, hence my reaction of 'focusing on who the person is'.
    I did not say that the Autism Spectrum Rating Scale has no purpose. It is of course essential, otherwise no-one would get a of course it serves a massive purpose.
    I myself cannot comment on the Jeffrey Young's Schema Therapy as I have no experience with it. I do however know that (based on international research) women with autism have a greatly increased chance of receiving multiple incorrect diagnoses prior to their diagnosis of autism compaired to men. Borderline features in this research as one of the main incorrect diagnoses.
    That is something that I worry about as I'm sure you can imagine.

    I hope you will re-read what I wrote and understand my comments a bit better after seeing this response. Thankyou for taking the time to write a comment :-)