A while back, I read the stunning autobiographical account of a young woman’s gender “transition” regret.
Few things are stunning these days, but it was alarming to learn of the autism link in the drastic increase of transgenderism, an assembly line of profitable surgeries and hormones.
In addition to that disturbing testimony, I’ve been hearing stories of teens suddenly announcing they’re really the other gender. When asked where the idea came from, they acknowledge it was a teacher, a doctor, a caretaker. As the mother of a young adult son with autism (high functioning), I had no idea what autism could possibly have with wanting to “become” (or think one has become) the opposite gender.
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In my research, I discovered just what the vulnerabilities of people with autism are that place them at great risk of being considered for “gender reassignment surgery.” Their “otherness,”—feeling that they don’t quite fit in, not understanding social cues and not quite connecting with people, feeling less empathy—all make them different.
As with many teenagers, those with autism often seek affirmation, identity, and attention, and changing one’s entire “identity” is now a popular way to bring it on. It’s actually considered “cool” now to announce you’re a different gender than the one God gave you and to tell people your new name (and pronouns!).
New research by Dr. Steven Stagg out of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), published in European Psychiatry, found that, “14% of the transgender and non-binary group had a diagnosis of autism, while a further 28% of this group reached the cut-off point for an autism diagnosis, suggesting a high number of potentially undiagnosed individuals. These figures were primarily driven by high-scoring” females, supporting evidence of a large population of undiagnosed women with an autism spectrum disorder.
Autism in the general community is estimated to be no more than 4 percent, so 14 percent is significant. “The authors also found higher levels of systematizing (a tendency to analyze, control and use rule-based systems) and lower levels of empathy among the transgender and non-binary group, characteristics often found in individuals with an autism spectrum disorder.”
In many places, living as the opposite gender, even to the extreme of bodily mutilation, is not only accepted but encouraged and even applauded. A friend of mine, a middle school teacher, shared that a 7th-grade girl announced she now goes by a male name, pronouns he/his, wears boy clothes and hair, and will be undergoing multiple surgeries over the summer. A school counselor suggested that maybe her anxiety, dislike of her appearance, and not feeling she fit in with her classmates indicated she “was really meant to be in another body.”
If the heartbreaking path this girl is on is typical, there was little or no investigation into her childhood history…any trauma, abuse, divorce, abandonment, autism, depression. It can be as simple as the suggestion that maybe the current craze of “switching” gender is an answer to all her problems that puts her on the fast track in under an hour.
In this particular case, an added sad factor was a parent who jumped on board at the mere suggestion of a solve-all gender transition and seemed to enjoy the attention it brought to her. The mother frequently brought it up in conversations with teachers, other parents, and students. “Isn’t it great that Ryan is proud of who he really is?” “Remember, he goes by Ryan now!” and “Ryan’s really looking forward to having some of the other boys over this weekend.” The school was forced, under state law, to allow “Ryan” in the boy’s bathroom and gym locker room.
Another friend’s niece attends a day program for people with autism. She has come home several times suddenly announcing she might really be a boy, a topic apparently thrown out at her program run by “progressives.” Of course, parental consent is not always required, something the trans movement and some Democrats have pushed, including in the recent election. In those cases, parents are left helpless against a powerful onslaught of praise and pressure on their child.
Depending on the state, parents aren’t allowed in the room with their child at a doctor or therapist’s office, so they don’t know what is discussed. While raving about the new identity that will make the person feel “whole” and “as they were meant to be,” the serious risks of sex-reassignment surgery are downplayed by some counselors or doctors. Heart conditions, increased cancer risk, loss of bone density, and, of course, loss of fertility are among them. Naturally, there remain a whole gamut of long-term consequences that have yet to be studied.
The encouragement to “transition” can come from a transgendered person or even someone who profits from the process. Following the first suggestion, there comes encouragement, and that brings on a lot of attention from well-meaning people who speak of the teen’s “courage” to “be who you truly are.” The compliments and applause are just the approval these often-lonely kids are craving.
Other adults and students who’ve been fed years of non-binary brainwashing go along. And sometimes the many who are concerned and opposed are too intimidated by the tide to speak out. The powerful gender movement insists that a kid who says he’s meant to be in the other gender’s body who is not supported is at risk of suicide. To the contrary, powerful new research suggests just the opposite. As National Review reported, there’s now “strong evidence that making it easier for minors to undergo cross-sex medical interventions likely leads to higher rates of suicide among young people.”
Ironically, that research followed new guidance from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, lowering their group’s recommended starting ages for hormone treatments and surgeries by two years—to age 14, citing “scientific evidence” that it helps mental health. Encouraging a 14-year-old to start cross-sex hormones and surgically ruin their fertility for life is shockingly irresponsible.
That scientific “evidence” is garbage, according to Jay Greene, a senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, who did his own research. He found existing research on the topic of transgender treatments and the mental health of teenagers is “so deficient as to be worthless.” His findings are evidence that making it easier for minors to undergo cross-sex medical interventions actually leads to higher rates of suicide among young people.
A co-worker’s friend has a daughter born Janice who now goes by Jason. After several years of being bullied by a small group at school for her autism-like symptoms, followed by her starting to do drugs and cutting herself, her mother was almost relieved when a psychologist suggested maybe Janice would really feel “who she/he was meant to be” if she switched to male-hood. Therapy, school intervention, and medication all had no effect, and the psychologist reported inaccurately that everyone who transgenders finds relief and is so much better emotionally and socially. The parents were urged to “affirm” her identity.
While they talked it over, their daughter attempted suicide. They were then told that suicide was a serious risk as long as the girl’s unmet needs of really being a boy went unsupported. That prompted them to start her on a 14-month course of hormones, a double mastectomy, and (nauseatingly) creating an artificial penis. “Jason” is now three years along this path. Tragically, she’s still doing drugs and cutting her wrists, and she still occasionally talks of suicide. The result is a traumatized family, profoundly regretful father, confused and depressed siblings, and debt arising from expensive surgeries.
Fifteen years ago, so-called gender clinics were rare, and many of us would have had no idea what they were. Now, there are over 300 in the U.S. alone. Puberty blockers alone average about $1200 a month.
As reported in The Daily Caller, “The number of pediatric gender clinics has risen dramatically during the last two decades just as the number of trans-identifying youth has increased by more than 4,000% over the same time period,” Joseph Burgo, a California-based clinical psychologist and advisor to Genspect, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It’s natural to assume that the medical profession has increased supply in response to demand for its services. Like most professionals, physicians and surgeons also seek to maximize their income and, as Dr. Shayne Taylor informed her Vanderbilt University Medical Center audience, gender medicine is highly profitable.”
“It’s a lot of money. These surgeries make a lot of money,” Dr. Taylor said. “So a female to male chest reconstruction could bring in $40,000. A patient just on routine hormone treatment who I’m only seeing a few times a year can bring in several thousand dollars without requiring a lot of visits and labs. It actually makes money for the hospital.”
The “gender industry” is now estimated to be a $5 billion industry by the end of the decade. Matt Walsh, with Daily Wire, recently uncovered a doctor discussing how “female-to-male bottom surgeries” can produce $100,000. While many insurance companies now cover at least some gender “reassignment” surgeries, research by Grand View Research has found “government support is also driving the market” through Medicare coverage.
They also found that “patients are likewise receiving consultations via telehealth—a phenomenon “anticipated to have a beneficial impact on the growth of the market in the upcoming years. At least 47 pediatric gender clinics across the U.S. have expanded their patient criteria to include children they describe in ways such as “gender creative,” “gender diverse,” or “gender nonconforming,” according to another investigation by The Daily Wire. Some of these programs see children as young as two or three years old.
Recently, some media outlets, generally the Christian, Catholic, or conservative ones, have begun to report on the increase of “detransitioners,” those who underwent gender transition and after great regret, returned to their biological self. PJ Media reported on young adults who found no relief after elaborate and harmful “transitioning,” who are speaking out about being pushed along the transgender conveyer belt with little true investigation into any mental health issues; childhood trauma; sexual abuse; divorce leaving a lonely, depressed, and confused child; autism, and so forth.
Doctors have pushed this movement despite the research that sex-reassignment surgery carries significant risks and with no evidence that transgender surgery improves mental health outcomes. For example, Allie, a 22-year-old who stopped taking testosterone after one-and-a-half years, said she initially started the transition to male when she gave up trying to figure out why she could not identify with or befriend women and after a childhood and adolescence spent mostly around boys and being more interested in traditionally male activities.
She endured sexual abuse as a teenager and her parents’ divorce when she was in high school. Allie also had multiple suicide attempts and many incidents of self-harm, she said. When she decided to transition, at age 18, she went to a private clinic and received cross-sex hormones within a few months of her first and only 30-minute consultation. “There was no explorative therapy,” she said, adding that she was never given a formal diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
For the first year, she said she was “over the freaking moon” because she felt like it was the answer. But things started to unravel while she attended university. She attempted suicide at age 20. Only when a social worker at the school identified her symptoms, ongoing since childhood, as autism, did she then decided to cease her transition.
Limpida, age 24, said he felt pushed into transitioning after seeking help at a Planned Parenthood clinic. (Note: many PP clinics now profit from distributing hormone pills, often without parents’ knowledge.) He identified as trans at 15 and spent years attempting to be a woman socially, but it made him feel more miserable.
When he went to the clinic at age 21 for estrogen, he felt like the staff was dismissive of his mental health concerns—including that he was suicidal, had substance abuse, and was severely depressed. He was told he was the “perfect candidate” for transitioning. Feeling worse a year later, he decided to detransition. Only later was he diagnosed with autism.
The ARU study concludes with this common-sense advice: “Our study suggests it is important that gender identity clinics screen patients for autism spectrum disorders and adapt their consultation process and therapy accordingly.”
Kids with autism should not be viewed as prey for the lucrative and immoral gender industry to fast-track them along. And parents need to be vigilant about conversations they’re not part of, as well as media input, in potentially creating a life-altering nightmare.