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Anyone experienced in Gender Issues with ASD Teens ?

(9 Posts)
EverybodyKnows Thu 17-Jan-13 13:22:10

Have also posted this in SN Teens but there is more traffic here so here goes

That's it really - my nearly 13 resident DSD, who is also diagnosed with ASD, has been struggling with this, especially in the past year. She is is currently seen by a psych team at CAMHS for several other issues such as self-harming, self image and social communication problems.

She has confirmed to us last year that she prefer girls. Fine with us, this is not an issue.

She currently uses binding and clothes to look like a boy and lately has been obsessively researching Transgendered , FTM sites and is looking up packing and the such.

I feel we must handle this sensibly and try to give her the space to express herself. However, we are questionning ourselves because she tends to have very powerful obsessions, lasting from a few months to years, which completely fill her thoughts and days. OTOH, we feel we must manag this carefully as if it is really what she wants, she will need a lot of support with it IYSWIM


PolterGoose Thu 17-Jan-13 13:41:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

porridgeLover Thu 17-Jan-13 14:07:31

Poor girl. Knowing that its hard for any child to make the transition from child to adulthood, I worry about DS.
Already, I've started to have conversations with him that talk about respect and safety as I worry he is very vulnerable.
He has difficulty with the transition from old to new time when the clocks change in March so what will these changes do to him?

I dont have any advice, but it does occur to me that a lot (most?) girls go through a phase in early puberty of having crushes on other girls. Is that what is going on for her?

EverybodyKnows Thu 17-Jan-13 14:40:09

She's not accepting her puberty changes at all sad

Periods are a nightmare and she takes the pill to help with that.

She is resentful of the fact we told her there is a need for a good amount of counselling before she can do anything about changing gender. She doesn't understand how we can't just turn up at a hospital and order a GRS hmm.

Communication is extremely challenging at the best of time and is quite painful this moment. She seems to have settled in SS despite the fact it is a girls school but she is getting more and more praise for her participation in classes. confused

cankles Thu 17-Jan-13 16:03:46

Hi Everybodyknows, I don't have personal experience of this but have lose connection to it in my workplace, and I don't think it's as incommon as maybe thought; I will have an ask to see if there is any literature that might help; it sounds to me though that you are being supportive and doing all you can - as you say this might be her most recent obsession, however, there's is always the possibility that it isn't and you seem to be preparing for both x

EverybodyKnows Thu 17-Jan-13 17:18:05

Thank you cankles, much appreciated.

I am indeed trying to cover both fronts and keeping communication on the subject with an open mind.

What worries me is her own expectations of it all and if she realises what a massive change it actually is. it is a tough issue to deal with coupled with her own vision of the world.She is still very emotionally young and struggles with '' cloudy '' concepts where it's not all black or all white.

mariammama Thu 17-Jan-13 17:45:25

Tavistock gender clinic is good. The clinic used to be quite 'refrigerator mother' re autism back in the 1980s, but their ASD service is quite well-known now. The guy who wrote this book is probably the one you want, but sadly, is US based.

mariammama Thu 17-Jan-13 18:00:20

I've heard of very distressed children being given hormone-blockers, to delay further puberty changes... if she's having periods, it might be technically challenging, but something might be possible. If she's emotionally a young 8 year old, and not coping with being a girl, being able to 'pause' her body till the rest of her catches up might allow her to cope now. And a (very?) delayed decision is more likely to be one which works out well longterm.

The Pill will be boosting her hormones even higher, to early-pregnancy levels, and perhaps making her breasts larger, Another method of (temporarily) stopping her periods might be better but involves taking her to an expert.

EverybodyKnows Thu 17-Jan-13 18:05:39

I've had that chat with the GP and they recommended the continuous pill to avoid periods - I'm worried now the pill is making it worse IYSWIM.

I think that loosing the androgynous body of childhood has a lot to do with this.

Perhaps ask our CAMHS to evaluate the issue ( she doesn't talk about her gender issue with them at all, which I think is not helping them help her ! ) and perhaps give us a referral for further investigating.

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