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Autism occurs across all demographics. Many studies show there is a greater prevalence of autism in white males, but this research is skewed. Autism is often misdiagnosed or missed all together in communities of color, as a result of the way racism and bias show up in access to healthcare, diagnostic measures, and autism resources. Native American and Hispanic/Latino individuals are diagnosed at less than half the rate of white people. African-American children on the autism spectrum are 5.1 times more likely to be misdiagnosed with behavior disorders. 

BIPOC individuals tend to be diagnosed as Autistic at later ages, which furthers the gap in access to early intervention services that benefit them across the lifespan. "The most commonly reported finding related to service access and use, indicated that racial and ethnic minorities have less access to and lower use of relevant health care and treatment services, as compared with their white, higher-resourced counterparts”.


Additionally, while white Autistic individuals are disproportionately higher-resourced, they are also disproportionately funded by state programs. One study by Rutgers showed state spending in New Jersey on white children with Autism was 20% higher than spending on Black and Hispanic children with Autism. Another study in California showed that average per-person spending was close to $2000 lower for Black and Hispanic children.

The racial wealth gap further contributes to opportunity inequities for independent living and employment. A study from the Drexel Autism Institute showed racial disparities in the percentage of individuals on the spectrum who had, at some point in time, lived independently. For white Autistic individuals, it was 27%, and for Black or Hispanic Autistic individuals with, it was almost 0%.  In terms of employment, white individuals and individuals of higher socioeconomic status, were twice as likely to be employed. 



Research shows that "gender identity and sexuality are more varied among Autistic people". Allistic researchers and clinicians say there isn't definitive information available to determine why there is a greater relationship between these identies amongst Autistic people, but they fail to consider or conceptualize the ways in which an Autistic person would interpret and internalize the social contruction of gender. Someone's autistic identity can not be separated from their gender identity, and it would deeply inform the way they see themselves and the way they would express that identity. This is best explained by Bernard Grant Âû, Ph.D., in their article Demystifying Autistic Gender

Loved ones and professionals may also question whether a person with autism can fully understand topics such as sexuality and gender identity or that identifying as LGBTQIA+ will further "other" them. However, being Autistic doesn’t mean they are unable to explore, question, and determine their own identity. 


In reality, stifling one’s full identity can be harmful. Autistic people who mask more show more signs of anxiety and depression and "depression occurs at higher rates for LGBTQIA+ individuals". This has a compounding effect on those who identify as Autistic and gender variant. These symptoms are significantly decreased when the individual feels safe, accepted, and validated. 

Access to gender-expansive sexual health education programs is important for Autistic teens and adults, as are inclusive and affirming spaces and language, including pronouns.

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