This is a great piece – I’m glad I just found it. Enjoy…
For many women who recognize themselves within the folds of female Autism later in life, the process of seeking understanding and validation in the form of a diagnosis from a professional, often leads to yet another round of gas-lighting.
If a woman expresses the capacity to recognize and understand that she may be Autistic, she’s then told by professionals, that she’s too self-aware to be on the Autism Spectrum and is summarily dismissed.
If a woman expresses feeling that she may have been let down by others or betrayed by a society that only values certain ways of being, she is told by professionals, that she has a persecution complex and is summarily dismissed.
If a woman expresses the capacity to feel love, empathy or even hints at the potential for having a sense of humor, she’s told by professionals, that she can’t be on the Autism Spectrum as Autistic people (according to some) lack the ability to feel any of these things.
If a woman’s married, in a relationship or has children, she’s told by professionals, that she can’t be on the Autism Spectrum as she obviously has both the capacity to maintain a relationship and care for others. Autistic women (supposedly) cannot do this.
If a woman is single, reclusive and/or unemployed, she’s told by professionals, that she’s suffering from depression and that all of her other issues will go away once she begins medication and starts getting out more.
And worst of all, if a woman is educated, articulate and well-informed about Female Autism and why she feels she belongs within it, she’s often told by professionals that she’s making things up about herself in order to gain attention and is instead diagnosed as having either a Personality Disorder or Bi-Polar Disorder.
The tendency of those within the psychological profession to constantly deny the validity of an Autistic woman’s understandings of herself by instead reinterpreting and reinventing her words as evidence that she is too self-aware to be on the Autism spectrum, is in itself, the ultimate form of Gas lighting.