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This seminar provides participants with an overview of autism in girls and women, including an introduction to the neurodiversity paradigm and identity-first language. An in-depth look into the Female Autism Phenotype theory explains why girls and women with autism often go unrecognized and the consequences of under-diagnosis.


Caroline M. Garrett, MSW is a graduate of the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work and earned bachelor’s degrees in Social Work and Psychology from Meredith College. Caroline also completed the year-long Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (LEND) Traineeship in 2020. Caroline is an autistic self-advocate and weaves personal experiences into their research, advocacy work, and direct practice with people who have disabilities. Caroline has worked with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities across the lifespan for five years and operates from lenses of neurodiversity, intersectionality, social justice, and anti-oppression. They are specifically interested in the intersection of autism, mental health, and gender and plan to pursue clinical licensure to focus on holistic, person-centered mental healthcare with neurodivergent individuals.



  • Beck, J. S., Lundwall, R. A., Gabrielsen, T., Cox, J. C., & South, M. (2020). Looking good but feeling bad: “Camouflaging” behaviors and mental health in women with autistic traits. Autism, 24(4), 809–821.
  • Strang, J. F., van der Miesen, A. I., Caplan, R., Hughes, C., daVanport, S., & Lai, M.-C. (2020). Both sex- and gender-related factors should be considered in autism research and clinical practice. Autism24(3), 539–543.
  • Taylor, J. L., & DaWalt, L. S. (2020). Working toward a better understanding of the life experiences of women on the autism spectrum. Autism, 24(5), 1027–1030.


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