Happy Pride Month! At SARRC, we strive to support the LGBTQ+ community by beginning with our community first. This includes spreading education and awareness about the LGBTQ+ and autism intersection, a highly overlooked and underserved community.
Recent research shows that individuals with autism may be more likely to have an LGBTQ+ identity than their neurotypical counterparts (Dewinter et al., 2017). This statistic informs us that along with navigating autism in everyday life, our clients may also be navigating an LGBTQ+ identity. Although our client’s LGBTQ+ identity may seem irrelevant to some when it comes to autism treatment, the lived experience of having an intersected identity is simultaneous, continuous, and socially significant. In the pursuit of assisting our clients in navigating socially significant traits within their own lives, SARRC strives to reach the utmost understanding of this identity in order to provide the highest quality services possible.
In honor of Pride month, here are some ways you can support individuals with autism and an LGBTQ+ identity:
- Validate an individual’s identity: People with autism and an LGBTQ+ identity have reportedly experienced loved ones around them invalidating their identity, stating that their autism makes them unprepared to determine their LGBTQ+ identity (Miller et al., 2020). Validating a person's judgment and sense of self is a simple action that will greatly affirm someone's identity!
- Honor an individual’s identity: If an individual with this identity discloses preferred pronouns to be referred to by, honor them. Extending this acceptance of their identity will make them feel supported and heard.
- Respect an individual’s identity: Show respect and provide quality services regardless of someone’s identity. If you are unsure or have questions, strive to ask in a considerate, tactful, and thoughtful way!
For resources to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community, click here.
- Dewinter, J., De Graaf, H., Begeer, S. (2017). Sexual orientation, gender identity, and romantic relationships in adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(9), 2927–2934.
- Miller, R., Nachman, B., & Wynn, R. (2020). “I Feel Like They Are All Interconnected”: Understanding The Identity Management Narratives Of Autistic LGBTQ College Students." College Student Affairs Journal, 38(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1353/csj.2020.0000