Thinking Differently: Understanding the Experiences of Autistic and ADHD Women

We're thrilled to unveil our latest campaign report as part of our ongoing Thinking Differently campaign. The NFWI Public Affairs team has compiled insights into the experiences of neurodivergent women, amplifying their voices and shedding light on their often-overlooked stories.

Our report found:

  • An overwhelming 90% of survey respondents expressed a lack of awareness of autistic women and girls within healthcare settings.
  • 75% felt there is insufficient support available for autistic individuals and their families.
  • Almost half (47%) of respondents said obtaining a diagnosis was either somewhat or very difficult.
  • 53% of respondents were waiting more than a year to access treatment (ADHD).

Women shared their own stories of battling to get diagnosis and acceptance:

“I have a mixed AuDHD diagnosis. When I spoke to my GP I was told I just wanted extra time in my exams. At the time I was in my 30’s having already obtained my degree and working full time in a stable career. I was disgusted and disheartened.”

“I am now medicated. It has totally changed my life. I understand how people can just do things. I wish I had been diagnosed years ago.”

“Masking is EXHAUSTING both physically, mentally and emotionally. In our house now we have a saying “Be you. The world will adjust.” and we live by that and encourage others to.”

You can download the report here.

WI Members can take action:

  • It’s vital that we make sure decisionmakers listen and act on the experiences women shared with us. Use our template letter to email or write to your MP about the report, and ask them to attend our Parliamentary drop-in report launch event. You can download the letter here.
  • Take part in our Thinking Differently craft project: Create a Rainbow Infinity Neurodiversity Symbol keyring or brooch to send to your MP/ MSs alongside our template MP letter. You can find the craft instructions here.
  • Share our report on your social media pages. You can share our posts (@WomensInstitute) or get in touch with the NFWI Public Affairs team for some infographics you can use.

Let's continue to champion inclusivity and empower individuals to embrace their unique identities. Together, we can make a difference!