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“When my Autism Broke”: A Qualitative Study Spotlighting Autistic Voices on Menopause.

Moseley, R. L., Druce, T. and Turner-Cobb, J. M., 2020. “When my Autism Broke”: A Qualitative Study Spotlighting Autistic Voices on Menopause. Autism: the international journal of research and practice, 24 (6), 1423-1437.

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DOI: 10.1177/1362361319901184

Abstract

Autistic women often struggle with the onset of menstruation, a key transition point in the female reproductive lifespan. Presently, there is no research investigating how autistic people navigate the menopausal transition, and whether it poses additional challenges in addition to those already faced by neurotypical women. As a preliminary participatory study in this area, we conducted an online focus group with seven autistic individuals, aged 49-63 years (median=64.5 years) and assigned female at birth, to explore the state of knowledge about the menopause in autism, difficulties the menopause might bring, support that might be needed, and what questions require scientific investigation. Thematic analysis of the discussion generated three themes: 1)Lack of knowledge and understanding; 2)Cracking the mask and adaptive functioning; and 3)Finding support. Themes suggested a lack of professional knowledge, understanding and communication about menopause for autistic people, and an absence of support. Menopause was discussed as heightening pre-existing and generating new cognitive, social, emotional and sensory difficulties. This study illustrates the need for greater focus of attention towards how autistic people cope with the major life transition of menopause.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1362-3613
Uncontrolled Keywords:Autistic women; autistic people; menopause; perimenopause; climacteric syndrome; sensory sensitivity; knowledge, support; reproductive lifespan;
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:33326
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:30 Jan 2020 15:55
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 16:02

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