Autism is much more common in the LGBTQIA+ community: Here's our research on the link and how we're working to make life easier for those with ASD
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder that can affect communication and behaviour. Unlike people who have had typical neurological development (neurotypical), people with ASD can be referred to as neurodiverse; they have developed neurological differences that can affect the way they think.
In recent years research has shown there is an overrepresentation of gender-dysphoria within those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is estimated that for people with ASD, the prevalence of also being LGBT+ is 2-3x higher. People with ASD also reported a significantly higher number of gender-dysphoric traits.
Being neurodiverse can also affect how soon people come out as being LGBT+. Often people report a delay in recognising their gender identity as they face general struggles identifying with their own feelings and desires.
There may also be less education and fewer experiences for neurodiverse individuals which lead to developing an understanding of their gender identity. For example students with diagnosed ASD often had inadequate education about sexual orientation and have social barriers to exploring their gender and or sexual identity.
Many people with ASD also have a limited network of social connections which can reduce their exposure to diversity, leaving them with few LGBTQ+ role models.
Those with ASD may therefore take longer to explore what feels right and natural for them in terms of gender roles and expressions.
It’s really important to know this is okay and it’s great to take time in exploring your options until you find what feels comfortable for you.
Gender dysphoria in those with ASD has also been associated with an increase in sensory issues. We have designed our binders with this in mind. For this reason, our binders are made to be around half of the thickness of other binders on the market. We also have ensured they are enjoyable to wear.
Need a bit more softness? Washing with a fabric conditioner even just once will allow the fabric to become softer to touch.
We have a breathable fabric across the back of the binder to allow heat to escape easily lower and allow our customers to feel comfortable.
Identifying as LGBT and also having ASD can cause additional difficulties for some people. Both identities are minorities which means It can already be difficult to feel like you identify with others.
Research has shown having multiple 'minority identities' increases social challenges and makes it harder to fit in with groups. This can make people feel really isolated and ‘different’.
To combat against this social exclusion we have a Facebook group which we hope will be used to reach out to the other likeminded people who use our products. We also have a number of resources and links on our site which may help our neurodiverse customers understand their gender dysphoria a little better.