As Karen Tartik pointed out in her April 5 blog post to APTA’s website, current CDC data shows that approximately 1 in 44 children in the United States have received an autism diagnosis. Additional research shows that autism is commonly undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed, in females, those from racial and ethnic minority populations, and those who have already reached adulthood.
If you work with adults, you work with autistic adults, whether or not you or those patients know it yet.
I am an Autistic physical therapist who works with adults with chronic pain, Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, neurologic conditions, and pelvic health conditions. I am also the parent of an Autistic child. As such, I have had the privilege of being able to combine insights from my lived experience with my clinical knowledge to recognize the critical need for physical therapists, and the health care community at large, to improve our ability to provide neurodiversity-affirming care to autistic adults.