Autism and Trans(38 Posts)
Firstly, apologies, I seem to be starting an awful lot of threads at the moment.
I just read this article and am totally exasperated at the lack of critical thinking by the author. They state that
Research demonstrates an increased prevalence of autistic children and young people who are gender questioning or identify as trans.
And the article continues to say how you need to listen the child and not label them etc then segues seamlessly into affirming their chosen gender, and how to teach them new rules for their new gender etc.
I don't understand why an organisation purporting to advocate for people with autism doesn't even consider for a second that the increase in prevalence in people with autism is because of their autism, and that perhaps affirming and transitioning them may in fact not be in their best interests.
That reads like it was written by someone who supports transitioning in adults, not someone who advocates for autistic children. It doesnt surprise me at all that transing seems to make sense to kids who have autism.
If someone tells an autistic child the reason they feel awkward or different is because they are in the wrong body, that will make perfect sense to them. They may well believe if they present themselves differently they'll be better understood. They cant question it in the same way a non autistic adult would, and they wont play or experiment with it in the way a non autistic child might.
Listen to children but you dont put them in charge of life changing stuff. I'm always amazed that people who would be horrified at a child getting a tattoo or piercing will support them changing sex.
I have an older child who is on the autistic spectrum and identifies as trans. What staggers me is that the gender difficulties here are treated as absolute and unchanging (although some reference to challenging stereotypes). The only thing which is unchanging about an autistic child is the autism.
There is lots of information about how young people with autism can struggle with their gender identity for a few years, for it to resolve itself further down the line. That is not to say they should be dismissed or not supported, but even WPATH suggests encouraging autistic people to look at a neutral option.
Looks more like a recruitment drive to me.
Female aspies r very logical, much less empathetic than NT women and see right through sexist BS of gender due to that. I know this because I am one. Some are also highly sexual. All this makes them GNC feminists, not trans. In fact, HFA women r walking proof that sexed brains are nonsense. It's beyond sickening that the trans cult is now preying on them.
What's even scarier is that most autistic women& girls go undiagnosed well into adulthood or their whole lives. Their no. could be as high as 3 in 4. Not knowing what's wrong with them makes them very vulnerable to the trans folk offering a "solution". It took me a whole decade of research to figure out that I have ASD. I feel like I dodged a bullet by never considering the " wrong body" brainwashing.
Sophie Walker was tweeting about autism and eating disorders/ mental health the other day. I cannot square that with her party's support for trans when there is such an obvious link there. Surely she must know?
A lot of people on the Autistic spectrum are prone to black and white thinking, generalising and stereotyping. The world can be very confusing/intense for them so it's comforting to put people into boxes. They may believe if they like stereotypical boy things they're really a boy and same with girl things. I hope they really know what they're doing.
DJBaggySmalls has it nailed. This is written by someone who is an advocate for adults wanting to transition.
All these adults dabbling, meddling, grooming (and I use the word deliberately) in children and adolescent's lives with zero qualifications and zero interest in their welfare - just their own overwhelming desire to change the world in their own narrow image.
As someone on the spectrum I do often feel quite marginalised by regular society. I would imagine that many autistic people do feel like outcasts at least at some point in their lives. I fitted in when I was younger but as I've aged the gap between myself and neurotypical women in particular has widened immensely. As soon as I came to the realisation that i'm very possibly autistic, I started to spend more and more time on autistic forums. I felt such an amazing sense of relief to finally find my tribe and i've found myself identifying more as a person on the spectrum than as a woman. I don't feel accepted by many 'normal' women and have been bullied and ostracised by women both at work and socially. Men generally leave me alone and seem to accept me as I am much more. I think that if I was twenty years younger and I found myself on forums promoting transitioning I may have been susceptible to the idea of being in the wrong body. As it is, I'm well into my thirties and very aware that it's a spectrum issue.
This link really needs to be investigated more.
Same as the link between 'transboys' and sexual abuse.
This was where I came into this issue. Autism creates a feeling of being an outsider. You do not understand why you are different, why you do not fit in, why there is a big barrier in communication, in relationships. If you don't understand it then you look to understand why. Is it something about you that is wrong? Are you adopted? Are you an alien? Are you in the wrong body? It has to be something major because it affects everything about you. Worse still for an autistic child who fears change like the devil, they reach puberty and suddenly the body changes. You would do anything to avoid being out of control. To avoid change. When I was a child 40 years ago I knew something wasn’t right. I even wanted to change my name to a gender neutral one. But I’m not trans. Was never trans. Just terribly frightened of growing up. And an undiagnosed autistic. I’m just glad I dodged the bullet and didn’t have the current fad to contend with. Because if someone comes along and tells you it’s actually yes you are in the wrong body for your gender I might well have accepted that.
It concerns me greatly. It’s dangerous and potentially abusive to autistic people.
The goal - when you say transboys in that context are you meaning girls who have transitioned/now identify as male? Or boys that now identify as female?
Not only needs researching more, better training needs to go to schools with much better counselling services, much better awareness of sensory needs with access to occupational therapy to find strategies to reduce discomfort and body awareness to help avoid body dysmorphia, much better support with social skills and relationships, and much more funding to CAMHS. (And a squadron of pigs would be nice too )
I am livid however at the 'identifying as having autism' fad emerging in and around the trans community. Yes, many people suspect they may have autism and it has never been picked up (especially women and girls), many are waiting on the pathway to diagnosis and whether or not they are diagnosed will always have needs around social communication, but to just say 'I identify as autistic' is hugely disrespectful. (I hadn't run into the 'I identify as having a chronic illness' a la playing Helen from What Katy Did, either until this weekend - rather like the girls in Victorian times making themselves up and getting as thin as possible to look as if they had TB, and be 'pale and interesting' as a fashion.)
Dr Zucker says "It is possible that kids who have a tendency to get obsessed or fixated on something may latch on to gender. Just because kids are saying something doesn't necessarily mean you accept it, or that it's true, or that it could be in the best interests of the child." Zucker was forced to resign from his gender clinic for daring to suggest maybe there are other approaches that aren't whole-hearted enthusiasm to push the child into a new gender.
Mermaids called him "backwards".
This link really needs to be investigated more
Unfortunately studies looking into the link between trans and autism have all so far been aggressively closed down for being transphobic. People forced to resign.
My dd declared herself trans about 6 months before her asd diagnosis at 14
She's now not trans and is new romantic
She lives her life playing different roles and trans was one of them
I shudder to think where we would be if someone had agreed with her that she was indeed a boy trapped in the wrong body
This was where I came to it too @Lilpeeky. But I go a step further. I think the prevalence of ASD among GNC people is proof that gender is externally imposed through social signalling. Such that many autistic people are immune to gender. They are just themselves and don't internalise the expectations of others because they don't detect the social signalling as toddlers because they can't. I know that many aspects of autism cause great suffering but I actively celebrate my dd's gender immunity. It one of her many autism super powers.
This is one of those things where it's clear that there's an issue, the medical community knows that there's an issue, but they've completely abandoned their caretaking role at the behest of pressure groups.
Yy to everything that everyone has already said (I think)
Marking my place as another autistic mner.
Gender is an arbitrary social expectation, another invisible hurdle to trip over.
Completely agree with lilpeeky's post, you've described my teenage years very well!
I'm so pleased trans wasn't a thing thirty years ago, I dread to think how my life would have panned out if it was.
I find the current transmovement so worrying because I see how easily I could have believed it when I was younger. The constant feeling of being different but not knowing why. When Lily Madigan tweeted about how "half of transgender youths are attempting suicide" it just made me think actually that's possibly autistic youths you're talking about there. If you just type into Google 'autistic people and suicide' or 'autistic people and depression' there's a fair amount of articles that talk of a correlation.
Sorry, having reread my post I apologise if I caused any offence.
I'm trying to find out who this Joe Butler person is.
I teach children with autism, previously was in mainstream. I've only come across any 'gender issues' with children on the spectrum- in fact, the rigidity goes both ways as I've had a child refuse to do work that he decided was too 'girly' (he'd come from mainstream.)
The main child I'm thinking of - we didn't do any of this. He was allowed to enjoy his passion for girly things and yes it was a special interest. But his narrow black and white thinking was challenged eg refused to play football in pe till I showed him the women's football team and a male team dressed in pink. Then happily did it - he had absorbed very narrow stereotypes from tv (american tween shows) and girls around him. He had begun to latch on to sex changes etc but seems to have seen the right people and later on decided he was happy in his body, and I think gay.
I wish I could explain more but it's probably not appropriate. But I'd suggest that true professionals such as an ed psych, play therapist or speech therapist would disagree with this guidance.
What's most upsetting is that this is under the umbrella of the NAS which that site seems to be linked to. And we were confused about what to do for the best so might have referred to something like this.
Doug, anxiety and depression is a big factor among teens and adults with ASD because the world is so hard to navigate and understand, especially ime those who are 'more aware'. A few parents I know have said that it's almost a blessing their child doesn't know they're autistic as those who are more aware find it all so much harder.
Anxiety is frequently a big barrier to learning too.
The goal - when you say transboys in that context are you meaning girls who have transitioned/now identify as male?
Girls who identify as boys. One of the large gender critical transkids sites (not sure if it was gender trender or 4thwavenow) said that they had never had a FtM come to them who was not Autistic or had suffered sexual abuse. It stuck with me. A lot of FtM transitioner stories do mention sexual abuse too, and it makes sense..its 'safer' to be a boy/man. Even though it doesn't work out that way.
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