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Intersectionality and identity in the Autistic community

Updated: Apr 24

The Autistic community is united in the shared experience of neurodivergence. Outside of that, it is incredibly diverse and varied in identities and life experiences. Autism affects every population in the world--this means that there is a wonderful variety in the makeup of the Autistic community. Everyone can bring something unique and exciting to the table! Yet, these overlapping identities mean that some Autistic people can face more challenges.

Intersectionality means looking at the whole picture of a person's identity, rather than one small part of it. Who we are and what we need are defined by a complicated mixture of disability, sex and gender, race, religion, orientation, and more. When we embrace intersectionality and honor its impact on our lives, we gain a stronger connection to ourselves and our communities.

Accessibility and support

Neurodivergence in adults comes in many varieties. Many Autistic people also have disabilities like ADHD, dyslexia, schizophrenia, or OCD. Physical disabilities like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome are also common. Individuals with more than one disability have varying access needs compared to others. This can make it hard to engage in everyday aspects of life like school, work, and grocery shopping.

Barriers to diagnosis

Intersecting identities can make it harder to get an autism diagnosis in the first place. Women are often turned away for not meeting stereotypes of autism. People of color are often misdiagnosed with learning disabilities or behavioral disorders. Without a professional diagnosis, it can be impossible to access autism support services. The autism life coaches at Autism Personal Coach understand everyone’s autism journey is different. Our team is trained to work with a wide variety of people, formally diagnosed or not.

Culture and community

Being part of a minority religion can also impact a person's Autistic experience. For instance, it might be challenging to find sensory-safe foods that are vegetarian, kosher, or halal. They may also need different resources when it comes to navigating holidays.

Autistic people are more likely than their peers to identify as trans, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming. They are also more likely to be on the aromantic or asexual spectrums. Discrimination for these differences can make it harder to find a job, navigate medical care, and advocate for acceptance.

Why it matters

So why is intersectionality important? Including individuals from such varied backgrounds strengthens our entire community. Having many seats at the table means a variety of ideas based on many different life experiences. The world needs all kinds of minds, and the Autistic community is better for having many different kinds of people within it.

At Autism Personal Coach, we are proud to provide intersectionality-informed support. Our skilled Coaches help Autistic people embrace every part of their unique identities. We also work to help them find a community that accepts and celebrates all parts of who they are. If you're seeking the peace and self-acceptance that comes with understanding your own Autistic identity, send us a message. Our life Coaches represent diverse backgrounds and experiences, so we're ready to find the best fit for you!

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