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Caroline Garrett, MSW | January 12, 2021 | 12:30pm-1:30pm

Cost: $25*

Fee waived for current UNC SSW faculty, students, and staff

Where: Live-stream only

Continuing Education Credit: 1 Hour

Program Flyer


This seminar provides participants with an overview of autism in girls and women, including an introduction to the neurodiversity paradigm and identity-first language.  This presentation introduces autism from a feminist, strengths-based neurodiversity perspective and explores historical points of view on autism and gender. 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. Together, participants will discuss successes and challenges in their fields and collaborate on methods to improve gender-competent care for neurodivergent individuals who are cis-female, transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming. 


Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Identify and describe at least 3 experiences common to neurodivergent females as well as variations and non-stereotypical presentations of neurodiversity across all genders.
  • Name and explain at least 3 ways that autism assessment, diagnosis, and services can improve for girls, women, and LGBTQ+ people across the lifespan. 


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. Autism, 24(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.


*Please contact Akshata Malur at for available scholarships and discounts