Gender Diversity & Autism

The Link Between Gender Diversity and Autism

As a nonbinary and autistic counselor, I've always enjoyed looking for the intersection between identities to see how to better serve the communities I'm a part of! Throughout my counseling program, I learned that there is a higher percentage of transgender and nonbinary individuals within the autistic community than within the general population. In fact, research shows that gender-diverse people are three to six times more likely to be autistic- and that was only those who had been diagnosed!

Regardless of diagnosis, gender-diverse individuals reported higher levels of autistic traits than their cisgender counterparts.

What does that mean to me as a counselor? Well, I keep this in mind when working with both autistic clients and gender-diverse clients to ensure that all aspects of their experience are being honored. Also, knowing that the autism diagnostic criteria are based on its presentation in males, I work to educate my clients on the different presentations of autism in women and gender-diverse people.

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