Autism society

(134 Posts)
HDDD Thu 16-Sep-21 17:24:35

I was just on their website for something else and noticed their autism and gender identity page so clicked through....https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/what-is-autism/autism-and-gender-identity
"Gender identity and biological sex are different things. People are usually assigned a gender at birth according to their genitalia – male or female. "
NOT HELPING ANYONE THIS ASSIGNED BUSINESS!

OP’s posts: |
MonsignorMirth Thu 16-Sep-21 17:31:26

"People are usually assigned a gender at birth according to their genitalia – male or female. "

How can you helpfully point out that sex and gender are two different things then immediately get them the wrong way round?! No gender is recorded at birth. Sex is. Dear me!

HDDD Thu 16-Sep-21 17:34:26

Yep, my eyes smiled at the first line and I thought YES, then blimey O what a let down sentence two was. It had never crossed my mind that the Autism Society would be promoting this assigned nonsense.

OP’s posts: |
Franca123 Thu 16-Sep-21 17:34:47

Is something going on with Autism generally? I watched a Channel 4 documentary recently and it was a bit cult like. And lots of very odd statements. Lots of them and us. And come and join us. Apparently people with autism 'are wired differently' with no explanation of what these 'wires' are. Felt a bit disparaging when they talked of 'neuro-typicals'. I'm no expert, only knowing one person with Autism. But the one person I know doesn't have some cool, fun identity thing. He has a serious disability which impacts his life and his families' life severely. The documentary just had a whiff of something uncomfortable about it. I'm sorry if this is rude to anyone. I would like to understand better.

HDDD Fri 17-Sep-21 08:22:09

I don't know the documentary you are talking about so can't comment on that. I do think highlighting autism is a good thing, and understanding neurodiversity. I don't like the idea of a them and us or come join us though, that sounds odd.

OP’s posts: |
Tibtom Fri 17-Sep-21 08:55:18

I have certainly seen a strong narrative that disparages 'neurotypicals' and creates 'them and us'. Those espousing this also tend to overlook all those who are not neurotypical for reasons other than autism - learning disability, adhd, tourettes, fasd, dyslexia, dcd, very high iq, brain injury, genetic syndromes, dyscalculia, BPD....

JulesRimetStillGleaming Fri 17-Sep-21 09:53:36

Autism activism has exploded on social media in the last few years and yes, there's a strong current of 'difference not disability' and frankly bullying tactics aimed at people/ groups that are seen to deviate from what is accepted autistic dogma according to these vocal activists. Gender is a part of the belief system as is the validity of self-diagnosis and policing of language to obliterate the notion that people are affected to differing extents. Functional labels are a big no no.

I'm autistic myself (late diagnosed) and tend to frequent online groups that look at all this anger with bemusement and alarm.

Advertisement

Fluffypastelslippers Fri 17-Sep-21 09:55:36

Is something going on with Autism generally? I watched a Channel 4 documentary recently and it was a bit cult like.

Oh yes. Absolutely. It's a choice people make these days. 'Self diagnosed' angry

I am autistic and I hate that these idiots have a voice and think they can speak for me.

QueenPeary Fri 17-Sep-21 09:58:00

Is something going on with Autism generally? I watched a Channel 4 documentary recently and it was a bit cult like.

I definitely think so. It has become for some people a cool club to join. That's not to say someone who wants to join the cool club might not actually have it, but there is a lot of self-diagnosis and slagging off of "normies" and going on about your special superpowers, and puritanical policing of how you're allowed to phrase/refer to people. It mirrors the trans ID situation in some ways and of course as we know can often affect the same people.

Some people who have relatives with severe autism have raised objections that it ignores and sidelines the negative aspects of that, and that as you can claim to be autistic when you're barely any different from anyone else, it's losing its meaning.

Franca123 Fri 17-Sep-21 10:08:20

The documentary I watched seemed to ignore people with severe autism. I can imagine being very annoyed by it if I was a carer for someone with autism. Last night I watched a short programme on BBC Iplayer about a family where three of their children had autism. They seemed totally fine and it seemed like a personality rather than a disability. I understand that these children now all identify as trans. I'm quite fascinated by this.

PinkyU Fri 17-Sep-21 10:14:07

If you don’t understand autism I’d encourage you (general) to do lots of reading before posting about it. There’s a lot of information out there.

Some of the posts on here are really quite ignorant, autism as a personality trait(?).

Tibtom Fri 17-Sep-21 10:14:14

Some people who have relatives with severe autism have raised objections

I can just imagine the response to this! "How dare you, a neurotypical, speak on behalf of an autistic person. It doesn't matter that they are your child, you will never know as much about them as me even though I have never met them." Followed by "there is no such thing as severe/mild autism. Even though I live independently and have had a successful carer and self-diagnosed in my 40s, whilst your child is nonverbal, incontinent, cannot manage even basic self care, and needs two carers with them in order to leave the house safely, I am just as impacted as they are. "

MrsOvertonsWindow Fri 17-Sep-21 10:17:28

The Autism society have been targeted just as so many other organisations have been. And the fact that they are concerned with children makes them doubly attractive to those adults seeking to coerce children into believing they might have been 'born in the wrong body'.

AvaCallanach Fri 17-Sep-21 10:18:47

Can I just correct you @Franca123 when you say that the documentary ignored those with severe autism.

Autism isn't like a line from mild to severe like that. My son is very able academically and one of the most severely autistic people I know, and I work with autistic people. This means that he has huge difficulties with communication despite having an enormous vocabulary and immense knowledge. He has very little understanding of how NT communication works and sees language as a means of spreading knowledge rather than socially driven. It's hard to understand but trust me, just because he was educated in mainstream and has A levels doesn't mean he isn't supremely autistic right through to his core. Often people say "severe autism" to mean "autism with learning disabilities" but that really isn't how it works.

I have theories about why and how autistic people are susceptible to gender stuff and it's obvious why some then struggle to engage in debate once an opinion has been formed. Flexibility of thought is a known area of lag in autism.

PinkyU Fri 17-Sep-21 10:24:12

@Tibtom you raise a good point but it’s important to understand the social understanding of functioning levels in autism.

Generally people view severe as, well what you’ve written above, with the emphasis on nonverbal. Meaning that mild is used to describe anyone who is verbal, whilst taking no account of ability in social communication, reciprocity, ability to transition etc etc.

The reason that many autistic individuals rally against functioning labels is because it disadvantages (mainly girls) individuals with language but other significant impairment.

Of course this has been extended further than (I and many believe) it should be to now encompass those as you’ve described above and those who self diagnose which muddies the waters and makes it further difficult for those verbal but significantly impaired autistic individuals to be understood and provided appropriate care.

It’s an incredibly complex situation.

romdowa Fri 17-Sep-21 10:27:31

There is a belief in the autistic community that is its common with autism to be a different gender to your biological sex . So it appears the lgbtq narrative that is being pushed , is almost merging with the autism one. Tbh both communities are equally as toxic and the other. I'm on the spectrum and I just see it as a lot of vunerable people looking for a label to fit in.

JulesRimetStillGleaming Fri 17-Sep-21 10:32:48

PinkyU

If you don’t understand autism I’d encourage you (general) to do lots of reading before posting about it. There’s a lot of information out there.

Some of the posts on here are really quite ignorant, autism as a personality trait(?).



As an autistic person I'm totally fine with people posting about it like this. There are lots of autistic Mumsnetters who can give opinions. The trouble with reading about it is finding trusted sources. As we all know, the internet is awash with a lot of rubbish.

The self diagnosed brigade are promoting the idea that autism is a quirky personality trait and something you identify into rather than a condition and certainly not a disability. They have coined new terms like autigender to apparently describe how their gender is fundamentally influenced by being autistic and vice versa. If anyone goes and reads anything written from that viewpoint, they'd come away with a very different view of what autism is.

Tibtom Fri 17-Sep-21 10:41:44

Pinky I think people generally view severity by level of support needed to survive day to day. This is quantifiable on a scale: Toby needs £x to enable him to exist safely and Fred needs £y. Both Toby and Fred could probably do with more. Toby in his supportive closed community might be happier than Fred who is struggling to cope with daily social pressures surrounding his high level techie job and day to day life. But from a public perspective Toby is more severe as he requires more of their taxes. And from a carer perspective they need language to explain why Toby needs that resource.

QueenPeary Fri 17-Sep-21 10:50:58

Some of the posts on here are really quite ignorant, autism as a personality trait(?).

But that is what's happening. I see a parallel between...

I'm a female who likes woodwork/climbing trees/etc, having short hair and wearing trousers, so I'm therefore trans

and

I'm shy, hate smalltalk and have some passionate interests, therefore I'm autistic

These are both cases of personality traits being used to self-identify into cult-like groups where the original measures for those conditions were very different.

Both of these sets of traits apply to me and I can see how very easily I could self-identify as either / both.

As it happens, I hate bandwagons, I'm not a joiner-inner, I don't have any desire to label myself and I also think there is strong evidence that neither of these labels really does apply to me. But I could right now announce to everyone I know and on Twitter that I am of these groups and I would get a vast amount of praise, support, welcoming, validation and be made to feel like I "belong" in a special group - and then I could start using that position to tell people off and assume moral authority.

OF COURSE this situation attracts lots of people for other reasons - like low self-esteem, history of abuse, lack of supportive family, loneliness etc.

AvaCallanach Fri 17-Sep-21 10:54:58

"People" view severity by how much someone can talk and if they have general learning disabilities.

"People" don't understand the hidden difficulties and battle for support needs that those of us with "high functioning" (ha!) Family members have.

"People" don't have a good understanding of autism in general - and why should they?

Franca123 Fri 17-Sep-21 11:00:42

I'm sorry if it seemed like I was making light of things by describing it as a personality trait. What I was trying to do was explain how some recent articles and documentaries have made it come across. Perhaps the media should be more careful in how they represent autism to avoid giving this impression. Unless of course it is true, that for some it is little more than a personality trait. To defend myself, I have attempted to educate myself but the information out there is contradictory and confusing. Getting a straight answer to 'what is autism' is bizarrely difficult.

secular39 Fri 17-Sep-21 11:03:51

Can I just add and say that Judy because an autistic person is non verbal- doesn't mean they are not functioning

JulesRimetStillGleaming Fri 17-Sep-21 11:04:11

The modus operandi is to equate diagnosis with privilege and play on the fact that some groups of people genuinely find it harder to be diagnosed, hence requiring a diagnosis to identify as autistic is inherently unfair and prejudiced. If you don't take someone at their word and accept their autistic identity then you are in effect racist and ableist and a supremacist. Then they link it all to Nazism because Hans Asperger (according to them) was a Nazi who promoted the idea of killing autistic people.

Anyone dissenting from this narrative in any way is then piled on.

Fluffypastelslippers Fri 17-Sep-21 11:08:48

These 'self diagnosed' idiots policing people's actual diagnosis - the Asperger thing I mean.

Asperger is still a current, valid and given diagnosis in the UK. The majority are diagnosed using DSM V which ha removed Aspergers but with ICD 10 It can still be diagnosed today - this changed very soon with the introduction of ICD 11 very soon.

The idea that people should not use the terminology that they were given as a diagnosis no matter how long/recent that has been is absolutely disgraceful and it's all coming from a place of bandwagon jumpers who don't even have a diagnosis.

AlfonsoTheMango Fri 17-Sep-21 11:13:28

Tibtom

I have certainly seen a strong narrative that disparages 'neurotypicals' and creates 'them and us'. Those espousing this also tend to overlook all those who are not neurotypical for reasons other than autism - learning disability, adhd, tourettes, fasd, dyslexia, dcd, very high iq, brain injury, genetic syndromes, dyscalculia, BPD....

BPD is a mental health issue and not a neurological condition.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in