Neurodiversity and Autism Acceptance Month

At CPL, we honor April as Autism Acceptance Month, in which we celebrate the neurodiverse among us.

Many of us may think of autism as something children are diagnosed with, but more and more adults are being diagnosed later in life for various reasons. A missed diagnosis as a child can make growing up more challenging, so when neurodiverse people are finally diagnosed, they may feel relieved but also overwhelmed with new possibilities to understand themselves.

“Anyone can be affected by autism, it just affects people differently,” says Dr. Meagan Adley in this article from the Cleveland Clinic. As the article explains, adult women in particular may struggle to receive an autism diagnosis. More so than men, they tend to engage in “social camouflaging,” which means they make a conscious or unconscious effort to blend in when entering into social settings.

The article also dives into the societal and cultural norms expected of cisgendered girls and boys that can cause parents to write off neuroatypical behavior. Details like this can be helpful in understanding why many adults are not diagnosed until later in life.

If you are an adult new to the autistic community, you may be thinking, "What now?" The titles below (in addition to the ones on this list) can provide insight that you may find helpful. These books are also great reads for anyone looking to gain a greater understanding of autism and neurodiversity in adults. 

The Power of Different by Gail Saltz, M.D.

We're Not Broken by Eric Garcia 

Camouflage by Sarah Bargiela

The Autism and Neurodiversity Self-advocacy Handbook by Barb Cook

Un-typical by Pete Wharmby

The Autism-friendly Cookbook by Lydia Wilkins

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network also has a good list of recommended books and other resources for the autism community at large.