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2020090820200914 (R4)Autism is a lifelong condition, often seen as particularly ‘male’. Yet a growing number of women are being diagnosed as autistic in their 30s, 40s, 50s - and beyond. Writer and performer Helen Keen is one of them, and she’s found this diagnosis has helped her make sense of many aspects of her life, from growing up with selective mutism, to struggling to fit in as a young adult. In this programme Helen asks why she, like a number of women, had to wait till she was well into adulthood before finding her place on the autistic spectrum. She discovers that for many years psychologists believed that autism was rarely seen in women. Now it is accepted that girls and women often display autistic traits in different ways, for example, they may learn to ‘camouflage’ and behave in a neurotypical way - but at what cost?

Helen talks to women like her who have had late diagnoses and finds out if knowing they are on the autistic spectrum has given them insight into how they can navigate the pressures on them from contemporary society. She also explores how we can value and celebrate neurodiversity.

Helen Keen had a diagnosis of autism as an adult: she explores how it appears in women.