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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 31,970
Location: Long Island, New York

23 Feb 2023, 11:08 am

How to disclose an Autism disorder in adulthood

A social media post celebrating autism inclusivity quickly turned ugly and has sparked a debate about the impossible double standards women with autism still face.

Despite an estimated one in 70 Australians living with autism, this week has been a reminder that when it comes to discussing it, the neurotypical community still has a long way to go, and much to learn.

In case you missed it, comedian and presenter Em Rusciano shared that she was excited to learn Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium has a sensory room to support the needs of neurodivergent visitors.

Disappointingly, the post was met with outrage and saw Rusciano - who was diagnosed with autism in November 2022 - being accused of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ of being neurodiverse.

Rusciano responded by saying “it’s only neuro-typical people who seem to have a problem with it. I’m apparently too “high functioning”, while others quickly came to her defence.

In an Instagram post, autistic actor, author and activist Chloe Hayden wrote, “Autistic women exist. Successful autistic women exist… We exist in all places, we always have existed in all places.” She added, “My diagnosis is not yours for debate.”

On Twitter, writer and disability advocate Elly Desmarchelier echoed a similar sentiment, saying, “I’ve spoken on my ADHD diagnosis, but not my ASD [autism spectrum disorder] diagnosis - for this EXACT reason. I knew I’d be judged for not being autistic enough.”

From the dangers of challenging a person’s diagnosis, the rising rates of adults with autism and emerging research, Dr Belinda Ratcliffe, a clinical psychologist and CEO of The Emotions Clinic, and Dr Samuel Arnold, a psychologist at lecturer at the University of NSW explain where we’re at and where we still need to go as a society.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman