Last week, I ran into one of the organizers of a survey of adults over 50 who are on the autism spectrum. Their participation level, as of last week, was twice what they originally expected. AND the participants are about 50/50 between men and women.
This is significant! Women on the spectrum have been woefully under-represented, as well as misrepresented to such an extent, that we have literally been blocked out of recognition and access to supports we desperately needed for so many years. The same holds true for men who are atypical and don’t display the stereotypical traits assigned by researchers working 70+ years ago, but for women especially, this is a big friggin’ deal, because it exposes us to heightened risk of domestic abuse, assault (sexual and otherwise) and a host of other social predations which we are culturally trained to just . let . happen … without saying a word about it. So, we are just a few steps closer to being able to talk about women on the spectrum — and other atypical autists — at a more advanced level than ever before.
If you are an adult over 50 years of age who’s on the autism spectrum, and you haven’t yet joined in, please follow this link and contribute – it’s a long survey, but it’s worth it. It’s so important!
We still have a long way to go, but this is at least a start.
The survey asks you about your past – how things were when you were growing up, how you did in school, how you did with friends, if you believe that Aspergers / autism affected your experiences. It asks about how you have been doing in life, where you have needs, where you have had those needs met — or not. It’s very comprehensive, and it took me more than a few hours to complete. Apparently a lot of people took the considerable time to contribute, which is so, so important.
One of the things the organizer said, is that many responses came from the U.K.
And that’s great. Because the U.K., for all the difficulties it has with providing timely diagnoses and supports, is decades ahead of the U.S. in terms of just understanding the autism spectrum. Some days, I wish I lived there, instead of here… but no matter where you go, it seems supports and resources for Aspies / autistic folks leave a lot to be desired. And frankly, the bullying that seems to be part and parcel of British life is more than I care to take on.
So, I’ll stay here. And visit when I can. If I ever can…
Anyway, the survey is still ongoing – I believe till the end of the year, so please spread the word and let people know, so they can take part. You can be officially diagnosed, or self-diagnosed. You just need to be over 50 years of age.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing this important message!
If you’re an autistic adult over 50 years of age, and you would like to help move the world of autism research forward, please follow this link and contribute – it’s a long survey, but it’s worth it. It’s so important!