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New study shows youths with gender dysphoria have higher rates of Asperger syndrome

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. —A new study provides clinical data to support growing evidence that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more prevalent in children and adolescents with gender dysphoria than in the general population. Among youths seen at a pediatric gender clinic who were screened for ASD, 23% possibly or likely had Asperger syndrome, according to the study published in LGBT Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free to download on the LGBT Health Web site until Feb. 13.

Based on an increased likelihood of the co-occurrence of gender dysphoria and ASD, Daniel Shumer, MD, MPH, Sari Reisner, ScD, Laura Edwards-Leeper, PhD, and Amy Tishelman, PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital (MA) and Pacific University of Professional Psychology (Hillsboro, OR), coauthors of the article “Evaluation of Asperger Syndrome in Youth Presenting to a Gender Dysphoria Clinic,” recommend routine assessment of ASD in youth who seek treatment for feelings of disconnectedness between their sex at birth and their current gender identity.

“Importantly, ASD does not preclude support of gender transition, but awareness of its existence is necessary for the provision of optimal clinical care to children and adolescents with gender dysphoria,” says LGBT Health Editor-in-Chief William Byne, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.”



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Posted by on Jan 13, 2016. Filed under Around the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “New study shows youths with gender dysphoria have higher rates of Asperger syndrome”

  1. What is missing is cause and effect. If a contributing factor in the formation of ASD is a hormonal imbalance during gestation and a contributing factor in the formation of GID is a hormonal imbalance during gestation then of course the disorders might occur concurrently in certain individuals.

    So during research and studies, rather than ‘people with GID may also have ASD’ make sure to also study that people with ‘ASD may also have GID.’

    As studies are rare, I can only offer anecdotal information. My son with Asperger Syndrome and PDD, did discover that he was Transgender during the teen years. Since going through the transition process in his 20’s, and taking hormones to change from a male to a female, almost all symptoms of ASD have subsided. When she stops taking her hormones, certain ASD symptoms recur.

    Good luck with your research!

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