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Autism Spectrum Disorders and Transgenderism

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by lymanclark, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. lymanclark

    lymanclark Guest

    Hey, y'all! (!) I don't know if this is a repeat thread, but I've seen this pop up a few times in other places, and I'm curious. What do y'all make of the potential link between autism and transgenderism? D'you think they both have something to do with prenatal T levels? Do you think that autism can prevent people from realizing that they're transgender at an early age?

    I myself am a mildly autistic (Aspie) FTM with distinctly male finger ratios (indicating higher levels of prenatal T). I suspect that part of the reason that it took me so long to figure out my identity is that I:

    a) Am very slow at understanding emotions, even my own, and thus didn't figure out that I was dissatisfied with my gender until recently
    b) Was terrified of 'not fitting in', and thus did my best to act like a stereotypical straight cisgender girl so that people wouldn't think I was even weirder than I already felt.

    What about y'all? Any thoughts?
     
  2. duende84

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    Interesting bit this is. I feel I want to agree with you on this. All these years I also suspect I have a low level of autism/Aspergers because I perceive the world a bit differently than most people out there.

    But through all these years I slowly had to learn a few "survival skills" to prevent me from being eaten alive by them regulars.
     
  3. drwinchester

    drwinchester Guest

    I've heard there may be a link and there was an interesting article I read some time ago that stated that transgender men experience Asperger's syndrome at high rates. I'd have to hunt to find it but was interesting to think about.

    My mother, growing up, insisted I had Asperger's syndrome. Often felt like she used it as an excuse to not take me seriously. "Oh, you just have Asperger's. That's why you feel this way. Shut up."

    I had a brother who had Asperger's and a mother who "self identified" as having it. Both mother and I have been told by multiple therapists that neither of us have Aspergers. She does have bipolar disorder, however. And no, I don't think that means the therapists were shitty. See, when you grow up sheltered, you're not going to be exactly the most social mother fucker out there.
     
  4. Fallingdown7

    Fallingdown7 Guest

    I have heard that FAAB people with autism do have higher rates of testosterone and a more masculine way of thinking, regardless if they are cis female or trans male. So, I can believe it. I'm a cis female with autism, and I have questioned my gender from time to time.
     
  5. TheStormInside

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    I've not been diagnosed but I have quite a few Aspergers/HFA symptoms. I used to visit a very small autism forum that had about 10 or so regular members. Two of whom eventually came out as trans (one trans guy and one trans woman), and one of whom was asexual. And then there's me, who is realizing somewhat late I'm gay, though for a long time I thought I was asexual as well. I do think there may be some connection, in that brain development and processing is different in those with autism, and so it isn't too surprising if there's some overlap with other "oddities" such as transgenderism or homosexuality. I definitely think having lower insight into your own emotions (something I've also struggled with) can make determining that you are trans or gay far more difficult. I can also relate to your strong desire to be "normal," I think part of me is still fighting against my sexuality because for so long I clung to any shred of male attraction I ever had to "prove" my so called normalcy.

    I'm not sure about the testosterone link... I know the "male brain" theory of autism was quite popular for awhile but it seems to be losing footing as of late. Is there any evidence that high testosterone is linked to FtM trans people?
     
  6. Evil Kitten

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    I was diagnosed with ASD by the Doc who also referred me for the Gender Clinic. Since realising I was trans I've slowly been letting more of my feminine side out after largely trying to conform to what I perceived as how a guy should be.
     
  7. drwinchester

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  8. ctrl alt delete

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    I'm an aspie also. I've done a bit of research into aspergers syndrome and as it is primarily a developmental disorder and not a hormonal disorder I think one should look for reasons for higher levels of trans people on the autism spectrum there.

    Aspie children socialise very differently at young ages. While other children are usually socialising and forming bonds together aspie children are usually happy in their own worlds and prefer to interact with adults. I've heard that gender identities are formed in early childhood so my theory is that aspie children are more likely to have a different experience of gender at a young age setting the course for identifying differently than cisgender peeps.
     
  9. lymanclark

    lymanclark Guest

    Aw man, I'm sorry 'bout that. I had an inkling that I have Asperger's, but I didn't figure it out for years - and it was confirmed by five psychiatrists. I don't feel bad about having it, but there are times I just wish I was NORMAL, for God's sake. Idk why people want it - and once again, I'm sorry 'bout your mom
     
  10. Ryu

    Ryu
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    I was diagnosed with aspergers when I was 9 I think. I completley agree with LymanClark here. I did some research into Aspergers a while back and one of the main flaws to it is the lack of social skills, which may be one reason why you may of wanted to fit in, as I at least dont fit the normal charcteristics of a person of my age. Another thing is a lack of the ability to empathise with people, which may make it hard for one to control emotion, or understand ones own emotions, like said by LymanClark.
     
  11. lymanclark

    lymanclark Guest

    YES to the wanting to be a normal boy part. Except for me, it was "normal girl"

    ---------- Post added 3rd Nov 2014 at 03:13 PM ----------

    Yup. I was diagnosed a few months ago (I'm barely 18) and my parents aren't surprised. I've always had a bit of trouble with emotions; I don't want people to get hurt, but I'm not exactly an empathetic person. Most of the time I'm just confused by emotional stuff: "But why do you feel bad that your crush doesn't like you back?"

    I thought I was asexual for the longest time. Then I woke up one day and noticed GIRLS and was like "whoops my bad"
     
    #11 lymanclark, Nov 3, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2014
  12. DoriaN

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    I'm told I have: Anxiety, Depression, OCD, Cyclothymic disorder, GID, and today received pills for adhd.

    I mean, I feel normal.

    I /am/ normal right?
    Of course you are.

    Wait, maybe I'm not, I mean, what is normal anyways?
    Everyone being equally weird.

    Yeah, I'm definitely okay.
    What she said.





    Anyways, I've wondered about various links, the whole aspergers thing too, I hate change and sometimes freak out over things and I have like, random perfection/obsessive issues. I'll need some things to be absolutely perfect or I struggle.

    But overall I've functioned well enough up till now so I can't be doing too bad.
     
  13. lymanclark

    lymanclark Guest

    Yeah, I never felt NORMAL, but I function pretty well. Sure, my friends have dubbed me "Dr. Sheldon Cooper" :dry: - and sure, I'm sometimes clueless about jokes/say the wrong thing/don't get why my friends are upset/scream at people for crunching their chips…. but hey, I've lived pretty well so far (!)

    Dude, pills. I'm terrified of SSRIs, I won't lie. Just NOPE :help:.

    ---------- Post added 3rd Nov 2014 at 06:14 PM ----------

    Yeah, FTMs apparently have distinct 2D:4D ratios. My own hands almost exactly fit the FTM averages…. :thumbsup:
     
  14. confuzzled82

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    Hmm... Am I the exception to the rule? I was diagnosed ADD at 5, and diagnosed with AS at 27. I don't exactly identify as a guy...
     
  15. DoriaN

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    Yeah me too! >_<




    Wait what are SSRIs?
     
  16. confuzzled82

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    Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors. It's a major type of antidepressant.

    And, not exactly related to SSRIs, I absolutely hated being on Ritalin (Methylphenidate). I was on that until I graduated high school, and it always made me feel like a zombie.
     
  17. NingyoBroken

    NingyoBroken Guest

    I don't know, but I'm transgender and not autistic.
     
  18. anonym

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    I have posted about this before because I'm sure they are linked, but that's just my opinion. I suspect I have Asperger's Syndrome and I'm waiting to be tested. Nobody ever suspected this though until I brought it up myself. I don't know how to explain this right but I think I had just learned to hide it really well by acting 'normal' and trying to fit in and I do agree that it is probably because of my autism that it took me so long to work out who I am. My understanding of myself and my emotions is probably way behind a non-autistic person of my age.
     
  19. lymanclark

    lymanclark Guest

    Yup. I was diagnosed late. My parents were like "shit, Lyman, this explains so much about you".

    Almost no one suspected a thing. They just thought that I was an oddball. :grin:

    ---------- Post added 4th Nov 2014 at 08:04 AM ----------

    Eh well of course there are many people like you :grin: I was just referring to the higher rate of autism in trans* people, 'specially FTMs.

    ---------- Post added 4th Nov 2014 at 08:08 AM ----------

    Yeah, SSRIs are prescribed for OCD a lot, and some of the main side effects are breast enlargement and weight gain. NO THANK YOU :help::help::help::help: I DO NOT want a larger chest - and as for the latter effect? I'm skinny-fat, and pretty much okay with the little bit of pudge on my stomach, but I sure as hell don't want anything on my hips :tears:

    I'm sorry, I'm sure you can tell that I feel very strongly about these meds :dry:
     
  20. anonym

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    I've read that a lot of genderqueer people are also on the spectrum and that asexuality is very common among those with ASD.