The Experiences of Autistic Transgender and Gender-Diverse Young People

Prof Doc Thesis

Milne, C. 2021. The Experiences of Autistic Transgender and Gender-Diverse Young People. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsMilne, C.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

There is a dearth of research in the UK eliciting the voices of autistic gender-diverse young people exploring their lived experiences, including their educational experiences. This research explored the experiences of autistic young people in the UK who are gender-diverse (participants were transgender, non-binary or gender questioning), related to gender identity and autism, particularly looking at their experiences of education. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six autistic gender-diverse young people (aged 16 to 26 years old), which were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). This qualitative approach examines how individuals make sense of their life experiences. Five superordinate themes emerged from the analysis: My identity – understanding me, acceptance & rejection; Emotional & mental health challenges; Emotional, social, & physical transition; School (& College) stressors; and Supportive solutions at school. Findings are discussed in relation to psychological research and theory, several areas for future research are identified. Findings are relevant to professionals, so that the needs of these young people are better understood, particularly those that work in education including school staff and Educational Psychologists (EPs). EPs are well positioned to offer children and young people (CYP) support at an individual and systemic level, including sharing their knowledge with school staff to help ensure gender-diverse autistic young people’s needs are better met.

KeywordsTrans; transgender; gender dysphoria; gender diverse; Autistic Spectrum Disorder; Autistic; ASD; neurodiversity
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online01 Oct 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted27 Jul 2021
Deposited04 Oct 2021
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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