Trans and Autistic

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 May 2020

Member Reviews

Advanced copy received through netgalley in exchange for review: first, I’d like to say that I am so happy that content like this exists and more research is being done that actually includes voices of trans and autistic folks. I really wish they had kept each interview untouched, instead of paraphrasing each one. The voice of each participant was lost to summarizing, and potentially drawing some assumptions for the reader to have to decide what the participant was actually saying. I’m sure that each voice was so unique, and we didn’t get to see it! This book is very research-oriented and I assume is a part of an academic project. I’d love to see the authors transform the data into a more of a showcase of each participants’ unique voice on the topic of transgender and autistic intersection.
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This book was very informative about autism and trans life experience. I especially liked how each persons narrative was split into sections. Enabling an easy understanding. I felt like the final thoughts at the end of each chapter was redundant though especially because the book had a conclusion.
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"nothing about us without us" 

I have very mixed feelings about this book. Firstly it doesn't read like a non fiction book, it reads more like a dissertation or discussion. It's very accessibly written and I would have no hesitation recommending it to young people I work with for whom it may be relevant. 
I was very aware that I had little to no knowledge of the experiences of individuals who identify as trans and autistic so I'm grateful for the stories this book told.
I found the 'final thoughts' sections to be very repetitive and a but unnecessary. 

This was a good read, beginning to fill a gap in our knowledge of the experiences of trans and autistic people. I'm grateful to have been able to read it. 
 

*I received a advance reader copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review*
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I initially wanted to read this as I wanted to learn more about autism and being trans, but I quickly tired of the writing style, and I had to give up. The way it is written feels really impersonal and dry, and you don't get the feeling that you're reading about real people. Something that would make it A LOT more interesting to read, was if each person wrote for themselves, or at least dictated to someone who wrote it as "I did this, and I felt that...".
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Trans and Autistic is a collection of testimony by trans people who are also autistic. I found this collection to be insightful due to both the large spectrum of representation and the intelligence of the questions that were asked.

The discussion was deep, it questioned how autistic people approach the idea of gender binaries, and gender roles in the first place and I found that to be the most interesting part of the interviews.

I'm so glad to finally see a collection like this come to life, I would love to read more about this.
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This is a fairly short but interesting collection on interview-based research on people who are both trans and autistic, two groups that are incredibly underrepresented in any sort of sense. 
While some research profits from random samples to show an average population sample, this kind of research profits greatly from having purposefully chosen a diverse range of interviewees of different ethnicities, gender and sexual identities. This is in so much relevant as people who are not straight, white, and  assigned male at birth are quite underrepresented within these groups as well. And don't get me started on the general gender bias in autism diagnostics and research! 
I found it quite interesting to see such a diverse mix of people's opinions on relevant autism and transgender specific problems such as health care and family relations. The book showed people using person-first or identity-first language or only just the Asperger's label, different kinds of pronouns, having very different opinions on the intersection of their identities etc which just shows again the "if you've met one autistic person you've met one autistic person" saying. 
Still, the authors manage to illustrate parallels and differences in their summary quite well which just highlights the relevance of their research. 
My criticism is that the conclusion of each interview, while being a norm in this type of writing, is very repetitive to read as it basically just summarizes everything a second time and it can be skipped over. 
Two very positive things I want to highlight apart from the general awesomeness of the book are  the glossary and the small introduction to each interviewee. 
I hope I will manage to get my hands on a finished copy of this book when it hits the shelves to add to my collection of books that are just really up my academic research interest alley. 
Finally, it is only to say that I fulfil at least 50 percent of the topic as well, being autistic and at the very least gender nonconforming, so I am both knowledgable and slightly biased on the topic.
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As a parent of two autistic children I really needed this book. 

Hearing from people with real experience is so valuable.  And it re-iterates that early diagnosis and supports are needed to help our little humans grow into happy adults.
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Superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL			
			
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  			
			
The publisher did not have a synopsis of the book nor was there one on Goodreads.  Here is the preface...(be prepared....)

NIHIL DE NOBIS, SINE NOBIS

1. We wrote this book because we’ve noticed that while there is an increasing amount of research on the subject of gender identity and autism, there is distressingly little from the perspective of transgender and autistic people themselves. We argue, as transgender and autistic academics, for an approach that takes into account our viewpoints in the creation of this research.

2.  and we assert that, as the title of this section suggests, nothing should be created about us, without us. 

3. We wrote this book for other transgender and autistic people, and the researchers and clinicians with whom we interact. We hope that other autistic and/ or transgender people will see themselves and their experiences mirrored here. We also hope that non-autistic researchers and clinical practitioners will read these stories, learn about this population’s diversity and capability, and consider this when they interact with and study us. After all, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” 

4. Contrary to this, much of the clinical and research training on this subject focus on their supposed heterogeneity and, where transitional healthcare is desired, the need for extended assessment and gatekeeping procedures.   In fact, there is a long history of research that exploits us as marginalized populations, with the goal of producing knowledge that benefits the researcher, while far too often being at best irrelevant or at worst actively harmful to members 13 of the populations themselves. 

5,6.  Conventional research on this subject focuses on the supposed need for special assessment protocols and longer waiting periods to access transitional care for autistics, at odds with the stated goals of many of our participants. 

7.  Our participants, far from seeing or receiving this as helpful, respond by choosing not to disclose their autism, avoiding healthcare, and circumventing this gatekeeping in a myriad of ways. Indeed, individuals have been outright denied hormones due to autism, sometimes with tragic results. One such example is Kayden Clarke, who was killed by police during a mental health crisis after his doctor told him she wouldn’t “prescribe testosterone until his Asperger’s was cured.” 

8. By contrast, many autistics, and most of our participants view both their autism and transgender identity as an intrinsic and naturally occurring part of themselves that, even if it were possible, they would not change. Within this context, it is abusive to subject us to longer waiting periods to access transitional care; rather than reducing harm, such policies only encourage us to hide parts of ourselves and/ or find alternative means to access what we need. Our book challenges this conventional perspective and explores issues that matter to individual transgender and autistic people. We shine a light, in particular, on their experiences with self-discovery, healthcare, and family and community support. Unfortunately, and largely due to stigma and discrimination, these experiences are often negative or at least fraught.  The majority, for instance, experienced (or self-censored for fear of experiencing) denial of transitional healthcare due to autism. On the flip side, many experienced various barriers around obtaining autistic services, most notably a diagnosis, often because they were told they ..... (and so on).

This is a textbook, not a book to read because you are interested in the subject. I could not get past the 8th point, in fact, I could not even finish reading the 8th point. I will return to this book and try and read more but it made me feel stupid --- why open a book with a quote in Latin and not explain what it meant. I felt like I was being talked down to ... no thanks!  

As a librarian, if I do not learn something new or get engaged in the subject I do not finish the book as there are too many good ones out there to read and review.
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