Activity: External talk or presentation › Oral presentation
In October 2019, two months after my fortieth birthday, I received an official diagnosis that I am autistic. I joined all those other late-diagnosed women who were – prior to diagnosis - amongst the thousands of women in the UK who had been previously been undiagnosed and overlooked. I spent my years to this point being mislabelled, misunderstood, or misinterpreted. I dealt with feelings I did not understand, sensory experiences I could not bear to process, and feeling a need to cope with ‘normal’ aspects of everyday life. But all those years, I never knew why I experienced these troubles. In the discourse surrounding autism, this is referred to as the cost of camouflaging. In this paper, I present a critical discussion of predominant discourses on autism and gender, as I reflect on my auto/biographical troubles from my newly-acquired identity and perspective as an autistic forty-year old woman.