Autistic individuals face many challenges in life, which can be exacerbated if they belong to another community such as the LGBTQIA+ community. This month’s Resource Spotlight identifies resources to support individuals who are both autistic and a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network (AWN) is a group working to provide community, support, and resources to autistic women, girls, and trans people of all genders. Their Before You Go: Enabling Access to Healthcare for Autistic Trans People in Healthcare webinar features four panelists from AWN and the National LGBTQ Task Force:
- Kayley Whelan, an independent communications consultant whose worked with organizations committed to social justice
- Finn Gardiner, a disability rights activist
- Noor Pervez, a community organizer who has worked at the intersection of race, religion, and disability
- Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan, a senior policy manager for AIDS United
The panelists discuss Before You Go: Know Your Rights and What to Expect at the Doctor and in the Hospital, a guide for trans autistic people, as well as informing listeners about autistic trans access to healthcare, health disparities, and advocacy strategies to challenge ableism and anti-trans discrimination in healthcare settings.
The free guidebook answers important questions such as:
- How do I choose a doctor for the first time?
- Should I choose a doctor or therapist who is better with autistic people or trans stuff?
- What is low-cost or sliding-scale care?
- How do I ask for accommodations for my disability?
- How do I know what accommodations I need?
In addition, the guidebook provides information to help autistic trans individuals understand what to expect when going to the doctors or hospitals, understand their rights and responsibilities, and strategize for safety planning, effective communications, accommodations, and more.
The Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) is an organization that helps people with Asperger’s or similar neurodiverse abilities build meaningful, connected lives. AANE also provides free resources for the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies, including their online support groups, facilitated by AANE staff, consultants, or autistic volunteers. This support groups are free, but you must register in advance.
The challenges that come with autism may be intensified if they are accompanied by the challenges of belonging to another community, but these resources can help people are both autistic and LGBTQIA+ to band together, overcome challenges, and advocate for themselves and others.