Combination of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gender Nonconformity Presents Unique Challenges

 The authors describe the unique complexities presented by these two diagnoses and offer suggested techniques for helping these individuals explore their gender identities in an article in LGBT Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the LGBT Health website until January 2, 2015.

New York, NY-based psychotherapist Laura A. Jacobs, LCSW, and coauthors from New York University and private practice explain why characteristics of ASD, such as the limited ability to express feelings, difficulty with social interaction and impaired theory of mind, as well as the intolerance of ambiguity, may present special difficulties for gender identity formation in persons with GD. However, in the article “Gender Dysphoria and Co-Occurring Autism Spectrum Disorders: Review, Case Examples, and Treatment Considerations,” the authors suggest that high-functioning individuals with ASDs and GD can be good candidates for gender transition and can benefit from it.

“While much has been written recently on the co-occurrence of GD and ASDs, few case histories or papers discussing treatment have been published to date, gaps that this article addresses,” says Editor-in-Chief William Byne, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. “The article also underscores that while the presence of an autism spectrum disorder poses particular issues that must be addressed, it does not preclude gender transition.”

About the Journal
Spanning a broad array of disciplines LGBT Health, published quarterly online with Open Access options and in print, brings together the LGBT research, health care, and advocacy communities to address current challenges and improve the health, well-being, and clinical outcomes of LGBT persons. The Journal publishes original research, review articles, clinical reports, case studies, legal and policy perspectives, and much more. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the LGBT Health website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including AIDS Patient Care and STDs, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, Journal of Women’s Health, and Population Health Management. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s more than 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.