Gender and Sexuality in Autism

Föreläsning om autism och könsdysfori. Föreläsningen hålls på engelska.

Psychologist, lecturer and author, Dr. Wenn has run his own business for 22 yrs. At 2yrs, he was misdiagnosed as intellectually disabled, at school of being incapable of doing as he was told, at 17yrs misdiagnosed with schizophrenia; in and out of mental health institutions; eventually age 42yrs, diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition (ASC), ADHD, dyspraxia and learning difficulties.

Dr. Wenn is currently a Teaching Fellow with Birmingham University’s on line Master’s autism course. He resides on the Autism Open Access board and the board for SEAL, (Community College in Warrnambool, Australia) & the ICAN board, South West (Australia). He is participant and advisor for Autism CRC, Australia, and he has written numerous books (and papers) on ASC.

Gender and Sexuality in Autism          

Gender and sexuality are different things. Both gender and sexuality may be experienced differently by the autistic (AS) population when compared to the typical population (NT). In autism our brain is single focused and not traditionally bound to being socialized in ways the NT population experiences. This has implications for gender and sexual development.


Gender Dysphoria (GD)

There are frilly girly girls, there are tomboy girls, there are girls who like woodwork, hairdressing, gardening, cooking – there’s a huge spectrum that’s female. But there are also girls who know they were meant to be boys, and boys who know they’re really meant to be girls. It’s an incredibly strong thing. But it can take longer for some to connect the dots, especially if you have autism.

Some of the figures showing in autism research suggest GD and other gender and sexuality issues are higher within the autism population, than in the typical population. Suicide rates for GD in the typical population are at 44%, they may be even higher amongst the higher functioning (please forgive the term) autistic population, who have access to insight but not the social skill to know what is happening for them and how to address this.

This talk addresses the important issues in autism and GD. How to recognise GD, the basis for GD, some practical steps to consider and how to support families facing this along with what to expect in autism that’s different to the typical population.

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