The purpose of this site is to give you the latest information and insight into the world of autism as it might present in those who identify as female.
My name is Kristen and I was diagnosed as autistic in my 30s. Though I had seen many skilled doctors, mental health professionals, and other healthcare providers throughout my life, none of them had ever suspected autism. I was labelled shy, gifted, intense, sensitive, reserved, but never autistic.
How come? What is it about me that makes my autism invisible? And why did it take so long for someone to finally see autism in the ways I express myself and inhabit the world? These are the types of questions I explore here.
I invite you to subscribe and be part of the conversation.
As it turns out, I’m not alone in my experience of being completely shocked by the words, “Maybe you’re autistic.” According to my psychologist, the most common profile of someone who makes an appointment for an autism assessment these days is a middle-aged woman whose life may be falling apart. Perhaps she’s felt like she’s never fit in for as long as she can remember and she just wants answers.
I am writing this to you and for you because the predominant view of autism is incomplete, and this incomplete view causes a lot of pain and confusion.
Many females and also some males, gender fluid, and afab (assigned female at birth) individuals present with the female autism phenotype.
Seasoned therapists, psychologists, doctors, and even those who specialize in autism assessment and diagnosis often miss this particular presentation of autism (or set of autistic presentations).
It’s a problem we have to work hard to fix, together.
Undiagnosed autistic females are often misdiagnosed with borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or similar. While these conditions can co-exist, this is rare. Autistic females often experience co-occurring anxiety and/or depression. Many have long-standing PTSD.
Since suicide and severe depression are exceedingly common in this population, it is up to all of us to be as informed as possible about autism in females.
And I really want to help.
I want to help increase understanding and awareness about:
- the more subtle ways autism can manifest,
- harmful myths and stereotypes about autism and autistic people, and
- the latest autism research.
And I want to help empower autistic individuals to live comfortable and fulfilling lives.
Please join me.
And if you have a question or concern, please feel free to contact me.