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Women and girls: Interview with Caroline Hearst

Caroline Hearst is a trainer and consultant with Autism Matters and has also qualified as an art psychotherapist. Caroline has also shared articles previously on Network Autism; "Autism in the therapy room" and "Autism - ordinary or extraordinary?".

Caroline kindly agreed to be interviewed for Network Autism when she attended the NAS Women and Girls Conference in London. We asked Caroline a series of questions including some posed by Network Autism members. You can view the full interview or clips of the individual questions below.

Full interview: 

Women and girls on the autism spectrum: An interview with Caroline Hearst from National Autistic Society on Vimeo.

Individual question clips:

1. You are here today to discuss post-diagnostic support for women on the autism spectrum, what are the key issues facing women post diagnosis?

2. Do the needs of women differ from those of men in post diagnosis?

3. What do you think can be done to make post diagnostic support more effective?

4. Are you happy to tell us a little about your experience post diagnosis and what you learnt from this?

Questions from Network Autism members:

1. Growing numbers of females are being diagnosed with ASD. No doubt this growth is in line with growing awareness of how presentation differs between the genders, but how far do you agree with the theory that the male : female ratio (of those where it impacts quality of life regardless of "severity") could in fact be equal?

2. To what extent do you agree that, inadvertently or otherwise, there is a higher expectation for women than men to continue "Pretending To Be Normal" even after diagnosis and/or disclosure?

Author: Caroline Hearst

Date added: 06 January 2015