Exploring the Experiences of Autistic Transgender and Non-Binary Adults in Seeking Gender Identity Healthcare [plain language summary]

This blog gives you a summary of the work created by Harley Bruce, Katie Munday (me), and Steven Kapp.

The aim of our study was to get a deep understanding of autistic transgender and/or non-binary adults’ experiences in accessing, or trying to access, gender identity healthcare. There are very few research articles which focus on this area, which is silly seeing as there is a large overlap between being Autistic and being gender diverse.

We spoke to 17 gender diverse Autistic adults about their experiences. We did this through semi-structured interviews (where we had some questions organised before hand and asked other questions based on people’s answers).

Through these interviews we found that Autistic adults experienced professionals who lacked knowledge, accessibility issues and monetary barriers. These all impacted on the participants’ experiences when trying to access gender identity healthcare.

Participants said they experienced:

  • Unmet sensory needs
  • Disruption to routine
  • Accessibility issues
  • Lack of local services
  • Unclear processes
  • Long waiting lists
  • Confusing insurance cover (in the US)
  • Limited communication methods and support
  • Lack of professional knowledge on autism, gender diversity, and gender diverse healthcare needs
  • Misdiagnosis of mental health differences (confusing autism for a mental health condition and stopping care because of this)

Participants had lots of ideas on how to make gender identity healthcare easier for Autistic adults, including training for professionals on autism and gender diversity, choices for communication (phone, email, face to face) and clearer paperwork and insurance cover. These ideas could change patient experiences positively and could improve access to care for all adults, whether they are Autistic or not.

Links to articles and blogs:

Fully published version

Published version (free to access)

Pre-print version (free to access)

Presentation slides

Intro blog

If you need help accessing these please email me on autistic_ltd@outlook.co.uk

[ID: The above text is spread across 8 slides. The background are a light teal colour. At the bottom of each page white text reads: Bruce, Munday & Kapp, 2023. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/aut.2023.0003 ]

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