Social work professor speaks out on behalf of her FtM autistic daughter

UPDATE 5/24/16: The National Review (NRO) has published an article discussing Dr. Levinstein’s post here on 4thWaveNow. It was pointed out in the comments thread on the NRO piece that Dr. Levinstein’s bio on the U Michigan-Flint site includes a statement that she is the “proud mother of a trans son.” I asked her for a response, and she submitted the following for this update.

That bio was written two years ago, prior to all my daughter’s surgeries and the ensuing and now chronic health problems resulting from testosterone, at a time when I was trying my best to be supportive of my child’s choices.

I am indeed proud of my daughter, who has been a victim in this process.

Dr. Levinstein also stated that she is happy to discuss her situation further with the press.


Dr. Kathleen “Kelly” Levinstein, PhD, LCSW, LMSW is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, Flint.  Among many other accomplishments, Dr. Levinstein was a Heilbein Scholar at the NYU School of Social Work, where she also taught, and has directed and provided clinical services for people with disabilities for many years, primarily in New York and New Jersey. A clinical and research social worker for 40 years, Dr. Levinstein describes herself as “the only out autistic PhD level social worker” in the world. Her research and advocacy work includes human and civil rights violations against the autistic community.

In this post and accompanying short interview, Dr. Levinstein tells us about the ordeal currently being experienced by her daughter who has undergone transgender medical transition. Dr. Levinstein also shares her thoughts about the current increase in young women with autism being diagnosed as transgender.

A version of Dr. Levinstein’s account will be published in an anthology entitled Female Erasure: What You Need To Know About Gender Politics’ War on Women, the Female Sex and Human Rights, Tidal Time Publishing, Fall 2016. Ruth Barrett, editor, forward by Germaine Greer. www.femaleerasure.com.

For previous 4thWaveNow posts on the subject of autism and transgenderism, see here:

“Insistent, consistent, persistent”: Autism spectrum disorder seen as no barrier to child transition–or sterilization

Guest post: For teen girls with autistic traits — a plea for watchful waiting

New study out of Finland: Girls with gender dysphoria have many other mental health issues


by Kathleen “Kelly” Levinstein, PhD, LCSW, LMSW

My daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, as am I, is now 19 years old. She had felt (and told others) that she was a lesbian most of her life. When she was 16, she began watching a TV show called “Degrassi,” which featured an FtoM character. After a few weeks, she announced that she was not actually a butch lesbian, as she had previously said, but was in fact trans. She started attending a local PFLAG meeting, where she met many trans people, including a number of FtoM trans teenagers who were raving about a certain “gender therapist.” Although the APA recommends a minimum of one year of “gender counseling” before surgery, this gender therapist (whom I consented to, before really understanding what I was doing) gave my daughter the go-ahead to have a bilateral mastectomy after only two sessions. This gender specialist never reviewed any of the Special Ed records or spoke to my daughter’s previous therapist, who had known her for a decade. And, crucially, she never asked my daughter, “Might you be a lesbian?”

The gender therapist (whom I believe has an unholy financial alliance with the surgeon) gave my daughter (then 18 and one day) the go-ahead for the $30,000 surgery (covered for all university employees and their families where I work). My daughter is now on testosterone (which she clearly is unable to evaluate the risks and consequences of).

To give you some sense of my daughter’s level of understanding of what it means to transition, she told me recently that she believes that the testosterone “will grow her a penis.” I had to break the news to her that, although this is the mythology in the PFLAG meetings (where a number of the other young trans people are also autistic), this is not the case.

She has been taken advantage of. Healthy organs were amputated. This is insurance fraud, poor clinical practice, a violation of APA standards, unethical and unjust. It is a crime not just against women, but particularly against disabled women. So many of these young women who are “transitioning” are also autistic.

My daughter has a representative payee on her SSDI [disability] check, as it was felt that she was unable to handle her own money. This was of little concern to the gender therapist. I believe that once the therapist realized the “treatment” would be covered by the University of Michigan insurance, it was full speed ahead.


You mention that your daughter previously considered herself a lesbian, and this changed when she started watching the TV program “Degrassi.” Was that the only thing that influenced her to claim a trans identity? Was there anything else?

Other than Degrassi, the PFLAG meetings–which are now the cult of trans–sealed her fate. There were no young lesbians there. In fact, there are very few young lesbians left–they are all transitioning. If she had been able to have a lesbian relationship prior to transitioning I believe that things would have transpired differently. I attempted to get her in a support group for young lesbians when she was 12, but was informed that because of liability insurance reasons,  she was not welcome until age 18. By that time it was too late.

She had a legal name change in Dec of 2014, a bilateral mastectomy in April 2015, and started testosterone in Sept 2015.  My daughter has severe Crohn’s Disease, and currently, she is having grave reactions to the testosterone. She has been hospitalized three times now for complications.

Many professionals, as well as some autistic people themselves, have written about the fact that young people on the ASD spectrum are often “gender nonconforming” and have a less stable sense of identity. Can you speak to this regarding your daughter?

I DO believe that there is an overlap with the autistic and transgender populations.  Some studies show a higher level of testosterone in autistic human beings. For males a high enough level of testosterone converts to estrogen. This may explain the large number of autistic people of both sexes claiming that they are transgender.

In recent years, activists have agitated for disabled people to be treated as having the same “agency” to make medical decisions as non-disabled people. In fact, when anyone brings up concerns about young people with autism being questioned about their transgender identity, they are accused of “ableism.” Do you have any thoughts about this?

Yes, I agree–anyone asking for critical thinking about these issues with autistics is accused of ableism and transphobia. This is often an effective silencing tactic. I have found no allies in the autism community. Instead, there is a vilification of anyone daring to ask questions about these issues, including the evidence of MtoF physical, sexual and psychological violence against women. Women who publicly question receive death threats, threats to rape us and our children, burn us to death with gasoline, decapitate us, and so on. This all coming from people who claim they are our “sisters.”

Given that your daughter was recently hospitalized for health issues related to her use of testosterone, have you found any medical professionals who are willing to speak up about this?

I have found no health professionals willing to go on the record against this. Everyone is afraid of professional suicide and threats of violence. I am standing alone.

My daughter’s latest hospitalization has been described by doctors as due to “absorption issues.” She now has a full beard but still has her period. The testosterone is wreaking true havoc on her system.

Autistic women (again, I am one) frequently have a difficult time, sensory-wise with their periods. But rather than attempting to help us with this difficulty, our problems get labeled  “gender dysphoria” and the answer has become to remove our periods from us.

We will find out in 20 years the effects of testosterone on our young women. I am confident that it will not be a pretty picture.

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96 thoughts on “Social work professor speaks out on behalf of her FtM autistic daughter

  1. Pingback: Social work professor speaks out on behalf of her FtM autistic daughter | kittybarber

  2. This is heartbreaking, and I very much hope it receives greater attention.

    I am also troubled by the lack of lesbians in PFLAG and other LGBT support groups. I don’t know where all the lesbians have gone but we really need to get some kind of representation out there. I don’t have a group local (at least I didn’t last I checked) or I would very much consider showing up just to be a lesbian in the room.

    Though it would take some armor-donning knowing that you’ll be face to face with people who are going to be all about the transition. Maria Catt wrote recently about that.

    More than anything I hope these gender therapists start getting sued or something. Anything to draw out the obvious fact that with instant surgery and hormones is not a healthy way to treat anyone.

    Liked by 10 people

    • The woman who runs the TERFS Up blog was talking about setting up either lesbian or feminist groups. I think lesbian. One way to not be the only lesbian in the room is to fill up the room with lesbians!😁 lesbians sure seem to need their own space to just being normal. Until this horse show blows over.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Unfortunately, this trend of silencing any opposition you meet via demonization is at least somewhat a result of the tactics we’ve used for the last 20 years to gain acceptance of gay men & women (co-opted from the Christian Right). Now it’s being used against us. Not sure how to turn the tide.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s always heartbreaking to hear stories like this. I’ve been shocked to discover, since hitting peak trans, that there are so few young lesbians and gays these days. What exactly happened to turn so many of them into self-identified transsexuals instead? It’s also baffling to me how the very word transsexual, which I always knew and used, has been replaced with “transgender,” particularly since gender at least used to be recognized as a social construct instead of some innate identity.

    How are these so-called professionals getting away with green-lighting irreversible surgeries and drugs so quickly, and when these patients are so young? My conversion to Judaism took more time than that when I was eighteen, and the only reason my reconversion (through a more observant denomination) was a somewhat shorter process was because my rabbi recognized my “time already served” over the last five years of living a Jewish life and having accepted in good faith that my original conversion was kosher. (To make a long story short, it was all about some of my witnesses having signed in absentia, NOT because I felt the Reform Movement to be invalid.)

    To the point of the article, I’m an Aspie, and have met a lot of people in the neurodiversity community online who obediently swill down the Trans, Inc. Kool-Aid. It’s really distressing to see how critical thinking has gone out the window, and that many people in a vulnerable community are falling prey to this tidal wave. To give just one example, one of the women I know (not Autistic herself, but the mother of Autistic sons) has said one of the reason she supports men in women’s bathrooms is because she might need to be able to accompany her “opposite gender [sic]” children into the women’s room when they’re past the usual age boys start going to the bathroom alone. She’s also expressed worry about their fathers’ potential reactions if either of her sons comes out as trans someday. Since when did that become such a common possibility to ponder, instead of rightly seen as a beyond-tiny minority no one thought about?

    Liked by 6 people

    • Carrie-Anne, I wonder whether some people like you and Dr. Levinstein might begin to publicize the fact that not all people “on the spectrum” are comfortable with this trend? I know there have been other readers who have commented here who feel the same as you do. Do you feel any of the autism advocacy organizations might be open to alternative viewpoints? Even if they aren’t, it seems like it’s time to make them aware. A case could be made that **adults** with high-functioning autism should have the right to choose medical transition but, as always, the big concern is how this is being normalized with kids and teens. I have seen many Tumblr blogs whose authors (mostly teenagers) self-identify as both autistic and trans.

      Liked by 11 people

  4. I have a feeling that if autistic people were being disproportionately referred for some other treatment that sterilized them it would provoke widespread outrage. The relationship of trans activism and the media makes it nearly impossible to discuss transition as sterilization.

    Liked by 13 people

  5. A really gut-wrenching read.
    As a not-fully-gender-conforming woman who is being assessed again for autism (probably HFA), I can firmly say that this stuff scares and saddens me.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Thank you for sharing your truly heartbreaking story. I am so sorry that you have not found any health professional who would dare to come out against this as you have. These are crimes against humanity that need to be stopped.

    Liked by 10 people

    • “These are crimes against humanity that need to be stopped.”

      Indeed, these are crimes against humanity.

      Dr. Levinstein’s story knocked the breath out of me. I’m so sad for her daughter, and, frankly, enraged. I just can’t help but ask: What do the transgenderist enablers think when they read this? Why don’t they stop, look at the bigger picture, witness who is getting hurt and by whom, and re-evaluate their cause?

      All those supposed “intersectional” feminists who save their wrath for the women and parents who want to defend children against medical and psychological abuse-for-profit; all those “intersectional” activists whose supposed focus is on those who are especially vulnerable to misused power and abuse because they suffer multiple oppressions?

      Because here’s a girl who’s been taken advantage of and assaulted at the intersection of her sex, her lesbianism, and her autism. Her mother has had to stand practically alone and unsupported, as all the people who should have had her daughter’s back — the disability and LGBT advocates, the therapists and doctors — lack ethics and conscience. Yes, they have to be stopped.

      Liked by 13 people

  7. I have found that with our Aspie Transgender son they seem to green light everything faster instead of looking if and how the Aspie may have created the call toward it. It saddens me that it isn’t even considered.

    Liked by 9 people

  8. Thank you so much for speaking out about your very awful story.

    Your comment that “I have found no health professionals willing to go on the record against this.” is truly distressing. What you have done here is very much appreciated, especially by us helpless parents of young adults (who are still teens with teen brains), both those on and off the Autism Spectrum, who stand dumbfounded by what is going on, unable to open the eyes of our trans-hypnotized child.

    Thank you for being brave.

    Liked by 8 people

  9. Kelly, this is so horrible! My heart aches for your daughter.

    I am shocked at the Insta-mastectomy they were willing to give her. WTF? When did surgeons become so skevey? I wonder if the gender therapist even wrote up any notes on her. The therapist should definitely be reported to her professional body. I’m also astonished they would approve her for testosterone when she has Crohn’s disease. Why risk it? For the young person involved. But also for their program getting a reputation for being reckless.

    “Degrassi”? They’re pushing this crap? That used to be a perfectly good kids show with all kinds of issues, like teen pregnancy. And gender critical dad mentioned that there’s a trans character on Coronation Street. Which is like the longest running soap opera in British history. And on twice a flippin day in Canada. So it’s not just Tumblr anymore… 😦

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hayley Cropper was killed off on Coronation Street about two years ago. She was on the soap for about fifteen years I think, and as GCDad said, she was a dignified character, who played the role of a woman married to a somewhat eccentric n socially awkward, but thoroughly decent, middle aged man called Roy Cropper. She was a very popular character as is Roy, but played a sort of caring surrogate aunty role to everyone – she wasn’t like a trendy young trans activist character and didn’t spearhead trans campaigns, which is why I can understand GCD thinking she was a sympathetic character.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a heart breaking story.

    I am the mum of an autistic 12 year old daughter, who previously identified as Ftm. After talking go her about how I felt their was no evidence for this and her doing more research, she has read that many autistic people identify as agender and has now decided that this is her identity. It seems extremely important to her that she has SOME gender identity that represents the feeling of difference she experiences.

    What I’d like to do is be able to discuss feminism more with her so she can position what’s going on within tumblr etc in a wider context. Does anyone have any idea on books/blogs/websites that might be accessible to her? She is very bright, but only 12!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have right now from the library, this is in Canada, a graphic novel that isn’t very long about a Canadian suffragist called Nelly McClung. There must be things like that in other countries to. Surely there is a graphic novel version of Susan B Anthony or Mrs. Pankhurst. I don’t know if that’s the kind of think she’d like.

      There should absolutely be a book to introduce kids to basic feminist concepts. Using historical stories. I’m chewing on my lip thinking there must be something like that, who would know? If you find something good let us know. I will tweet the crap out of it.

      For a little bit older kid there’s a book that came out a couple years ago by Gail Collins who writes editorials in the New York Times. It’s called When Everything Changed. And it’s like a nice little intro to feminism starting in the 60s. Including how bad things were then.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The book “Women’s History for Beginners” is quite readable and gives a good introduction and background to feminist thought.

      Like

  11. This is surely medical negligence. I am so sorry for you both. Couldnt a lawyer be found for a lawsuit? Its clear that there are now an insane number of young people claiming to be transgender: where have they all come from? High-profile lawsuit would gain attention. Sending someone for major surgery after two appointments…

    And these ones who are clearly men, who say, this is my female penis, my female testosterone, my female fist in your fcae if you deny this…I am wondering something about the young women who support this. I feel they are not the professional-type, but the Gender/Peace/feminist/Diversity studies…useless degree types. Is it this: have they so emasculated the men in their lives, but cant step up themselves, so they are submitting to male leadership in the form of angry violent men in women’s clothes? They seem so cowed by these men or so subservient…I feel they are the kind of women who cant lead themselves.

    Its incredible how very fast a cult can spread and how rapidly those with the loudest voices can terrorize. They have two magic words: TERF and transphobic. Its like a curse: people recoil in fear: “dont put the curse on me!” and it really is a curse, for you can be shunned as if diseased and lose everything.

    This requires a lawyer who is both fearless and sane. And who is willing to fight them at their own game: someone who understands media strategy. You have to play dirty, not be afraid to curse back, to use a few simple terms.

    Someone spoke of ‘young disabled people are being sent to clinics for sterilization, and it should cause outrage’. Thats a good one. Thats the kind of thing that can stop the TERF-screamers dead in their tracks. “So, you want the disabled sterilized. Thats your agenda. Wow”.Point out that men have always used short sharp words like kike, spic, Jew, gook, slope…terf to demonize and silence.

    Because being gentle, sane and reasonable isnt working. I have a niece and nephew and I dont want someone talking them into this horror. Drugs and mutilation…I can hardly take this in.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. People, very understandably, don’t want to put their children into the public eye of the media. Otherwise, a documentary on the subject to present the opposite view to docs like those about Jazz Jennings, would be good.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is harder to put an unsuccessful story of transition, desistance, and regret out there than it is to put out a happy narrative like Jazz’s. Who wants their kid’s failures documented for public consumption? But these regrets need airing.

      Liked by 4 people

  13. Things like this I hate even reading about. My brother is high-functioning autistic, and I am tired of people with no critical thinking skills and who have never met him accusing me of “denying his agency” when I say he should not be solely responsible for making major life decisions for himself. It’s not ableist to be practical and to recognize that there are limits to what some people are capable of understanding. These same people- would they be there to help when he’s spent all his money on things he doesn’t need, ruined his health with poor behavioral habits, or taken unnecessary risks for the sake of the same sort of magical thinking so prevalent in the trans community? Of course not, their ideology depends on turning a blind eye on the people they mislead.

    At some point, progressivism goes so far that it turns into cruelty.

    Liked by 7 people

      • Yes! Furthermore, a previous autistic commenter and I (also autistic) both agree with what the autistic mom/social worker and empathize with her child, even though we are very saddened at that young person’s choices. Perhaps we’re in the minority, but egg doesn’t speak for our community–not our collective community, at least

        Furthermore, 18 isn’t some magical age. Sure, you can make education or career choices without parental oversight, or get a piercing or tattoo, but experience at 18 years and 1 day of age (can legally do most legal things without parental input (US)) isn’t noticeably different from 17 years and 364 days of age (cannot legally do all legal things without parental input US)). Heck, you’ll get more involved guidance on choosing a career or education than it seems you will for transition; and less biased guidance when considering a tattoo, assuming you visit a reputable shop.

        Liked by 6 people

  14. Oh my god, this is horrible. Women with autism, and other differences that can make assimilating to male-defined femininity challenging, are uniquely vulnerable to the quick fix of transition. I know many women with autism who were able to consent themselves to these treatments and still ended up realizing that transition was not the path for them.

    I was diagnosed attention deficit as an adult once I was being read as male, although I had all the symptoms and was seeing mental health professionals since I was 14. I have struggled socially, academically, and professionally bc of these symptoms; that was absolutely a factor in my transition. Probably should have named that in my post here, too, oops. When I was at my top surgery consult, I saw a bowl of prosthetic testicles on his desk. I asked to touch them, because I have a sensory thing about that kind of texture (I knew from bra store “chicken cutlets”), and because I have poor impulse control. I remember being grateful but confused by how gladly he handed them over, like he wasn’t surprised by the question at all, and the way he watched me messing around with them quietly for a while. I didn’t realize until 3 years later that he was behaving like a salesman, and he had read my question as interest in a more expensive multi-operation surgical goal.

    As an adult, I live fully independently, but those symptoms and the problems I have had because of them still sometimes make it easier for others to take advantage of me. I worked a scam job for 3 months losing money every shift, I lost a $1200 deposit despite being a perfect tenant because I rented from a slumlord and didn’t have the attention span for small claims court at the time, etc. Even people whose best option is full autonomy can often benefit from a second opinion… someone who truly needs support in making major decisions like this is entitled to that support. Professionals who deny developmentally disabled adults those accommodations and then profit from the potentially dangerous decisions they make alone are being seriously screwed up.

    I work with developmentally disabled adults living in group homes and in my experience, the teams that work to support adults actively want to give them the highest level of freedom they feel is safe. Supporting their autonomy is second only to protecting them from abuse, and we value the perspectives of any parents, parent figures, or former guardians still in their lives, since they tend to have knowledge that we don’t about the histories of the individuals we support. From this story, it does not sound like her mother is trying to exert an inappropriate amount of control over her. It sounds like her mother would like her daughter to have more diligent clinicians who don’t approve treatments that she has legitimate reasons to believe her daughter does not fully understand.

    If her daughter has a rep payee (going from my experiences) that means that a team of several professionals who genuinely care for her and are trying to facilitate her freedom as much as possible without endangering her have decided she cannot safely collect her own disability money. Her team and her likely decided together that it is not a good option for her to have control of her money. This does not sound like a situation where any remotely decent therapist would spend 2 sessions before approving surgery. Just the anecdote about her not realizing t wouldn’t make her “grow a penis”- she was not able to give informed consent to it if her clinician didn’t even verify that she fully understood what HRT could do vs what it cannot do, or didn’t make sure she understood the difference between clitoral growth and having a penis appear where it never has been. That’s a huge distinction.

    The medical crises she’s having on t are not unheard of, none of the medical concerns re: introducing exogenous testosterone to female bodies have been investigated adequately, much less potential complications with specific conditions. This is dystopian hell news and my heart goes out to them both.

    Liked by 10 people

  15. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your heart-breaking story. My heart is crying because my 19 year old daughter wants to take a similar path. I am so sad by this recent trend of erasing females and keeping praying that the pendulum will start to swing back. And I am so angry because this erasure or female bodies is profitable financially to so many people and organizations and yet it destroys our daughters’ very beings. Sharing your story puts another perspective out there and helps to start other conversations. You are an awesome, caring parent and a knowledgeable professional. Hugs to you and prayers for your daughter.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Dr Kathleen, thank you for this extremely important account. I edit a world leading disability journal. I would like to publish a piece by you. This would receive global attention. If you are interested, would you contact me?

    Liked by 11 people

    • Yes- I think this would be important but Ruth is publishing the piece in her anthology in June ..

      Like

      • The thing is, though, you might do a different piece in the disabilities journal, and it would reach a different audience–crucially, some in the autism community who might otherwise not have thought about the transgender issue and how it’s impacting young women?

        Liked by 5 people

  17. Considering how autism is portrayed in the media, and how many women there are on this that say they have high functioning asperger’s/austism, and/or the fact that autism is considered a disorder, does it ever occur to anyone that perhaps the diagnosis of autism is in and of itself a way to pathologize women who step out of line, similar to the diagnoses in previous generations of ‘hysteria?’

    Like

    • I can’t speak for anyone else, but everyone I know in the neurodiversity community views autism and Asperger’s as merely a different way of brain wiring, a natural variation instead of a disorder. Given that I was born in 1979, I didn’t have Asperger’s confirmed till age 29, though my mother and I had suspected it for years, long before ASDs became a mainstay of news stories. Though I can pass for “normal” now, there was definitely something going on back in the Eighties and early Nineties, and I know I don’t always have the thought processes and behaviors of a neurotypical. The only difference is that now, I know how to keep things under control in public.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fun conspiracy but they’re still telling us we’re not autistic because we’ve had to jury rig “people skills” for our own survival as women treated like women. If we don’t, they never leave us alone. Because sexism.

        They’re telling us we’re mad, depressed narcissists or whatever. ASD is for broken robot boys, not girls falling apart because we’re consciously aware we’re taking in (eg.) textures instead of some social context thing we have no actual context for understanding.

        Besides, if they want to shut me down when I tell them gender isn’t a conscious mind but culturally idealised female subordination, they tell me I’m saying that because “I’m agender and simply don’t feeeeel my gender identity like others do. And that my autism means I’m projecting that on to everyone else.”
        It’s a lot like being too questioning to ever feeeeel “god’s grace” so shut up, we’re brainwashing over here.

        Liked by 6 people

      • Hhmmmm…. I am NOT autistic, but I have NO “gender identity.” I am just a normal human, who knows my biological sex, and goes through the day doing normal human things. Isn’t this true of most people? Who has time to naval gaze when there are chores to do, errands to run, work to slog through, meals to cook, and kids to run after?

        Liked by 2 people

    • As the parent of two children on the autism spectrum, with some fairly glaring autistic tendencies myself, I would suggest that the opposite is true. The number of girls diagnosed with higher-functioning spectrum disorders is far lower than you would expect given the number of boys diagnosed with the same. I believe this comes from two statistical errors: first, the “standard” diagnostic criteria are all based on observed behaviors of boys; the slightly different developmental path for girls is ignored. For example, when I was worried about my daughter, there was a reluctance to diagnose her because even though she stood out like a sore thumb among other preschool females, she wasn’t that far off from preschool males (who tend to learn to talk and socialize at a slower pace). Second, there is a tendency to assume that girls are “manipulative” or “devious” when they exhibit out of bounds behaviors, rather than simply exhibiting symptoms of their disability. My daughter exhibited very similar meltdown and socially awkward behaviors as her older brother in elementary school, but conversations with the principal were about her being “nasty” and “manipulative” rather than the “overloaded” type of language I heard from the same person when her brother misbehaved. My daughter did not get the level of supports that her brother did, partly because the attitude of the professionals at the IEP meetings were much more judgmental toward her and her struggles.

      Liked by 2 people

      • This is evident with ADHD diagnoses amongst girls, as well. I was told my youngest was lazy and then that all kids have an adjustment to junior high. When I insisted on digging deeper and ADHD was diagnosed, suddenly the school counselor was VERY supportive and had all kinds of recommendations for books and resources.

        But she initially wouldn’t take my own concerns and observations seriously. My experience with the public schools regarding mental illness, learning disabilities and differences, and the way they handle kids declaring they’re trans makes me want to burn them all to the ground.

        Liked by 4 people

  18. Did she have permission from her daughter to speak, in detail about her medical conditions and surgeries? If so, please include that information because it raises concerns about violating HIPAA… If I missed it somewhere, my bad.

    Like

    • HIPAA is a federal privacy law that applies to health care providers, not family members or other private parties. Doctors and other professionals involved in a patient’s care are not allowed to share health information about that patient. The law does not prevent family members from speaking.

      Liked by 9 people

    • This is HILARIOUS, since I had our school NEWSPAPER print all my daughter’s HIPPA-proitected information without even contacting ME. And, because it’s 2016, that went live ONLINE for the entire world to see. I am still considering suing their asses. Why did they do that? Oh, yeah — because she says she’s trans and they’ve never spoken to me about THAT, either. And I have been in contact with the school since she started high school and never did even average school work. They know me. They know I am involved and care about my kid.

      Strangers worrying about parents protecting their kids never ceases to amaze me when it is OBVIOUS that the parents are doing everything for their kids.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I have been the one at the bedside for now 5 hospitalizations- the last one 2 weeks long, caused by the havoc on the system of testosterone with severe crohns disease. My child- with significant sensory needs- has become a pin cushion- with constant IV’s and blood taken every 4 hours. The last IV site has developed a blood clot and now there is no mobility in the arm. This story needed to be told- no matter how angry it may make some people . I know any questioning of transition makes some people angry and making the important link between the Autistic and transgender communities and unholy financial alliances will also make some people angry. It is an important story to be told and I stand by it. There is also the issue of using disabled people for research that I did not address that I have become aware of. I am my child’s greatest ally- attacks aside. I also am brave enough not to use a pseudonym as do the people who attack me.

    Liked by 11 people

    • Bless you for sharing this important story! I agree it needs to be told… and HEARD. There is an orthodoxy of monolithic belief out there and it needs to be shattered by reality. Your daughter’s story is as important as anyone else’s.

      Liked by 5 people

    • It’s a terrible story, and I feel so bad for you and your child. I hope some semblance of health can return, physical and otherwise.

      And Kelly, I do hope that somehow a lawsuit is brewing. Numerous medical professionals let your kid down. This is not even minimal due diligence. I’d sue the crap out of them. They deserve to be sanctioned. And you and your kid deserve compensation.

      Stories of people who’ve had bad physical results with transition-related surgeries and hormones so rarely get told in any way that the public hears. This is part of what enrages me when I hear academics and clinicians talking about this beautiful “revolution” involving the freedom to remake your body to match whatever gender image is in your head. These people act like it is a great advance in human development. And jeez, if it came in a bottle and there were no safety issues, maybe it WOULD be.

      But that’s not the case. And the constant minimization of risk is just maddening. There is going to be a lot of collateral damage among natal women (boys, too, but honestly, T is worse than estrogen) on the way to this “Brave New World.”

      I’m so sorry that your daughter’s been one of the casualties.

      And then there’s the nagging thought that part of the reason these kids can be experimented on without public outcry is that the public in actuality sees them ALL as defective, whether they are disabled (as with your daughter) or simply visibly noncompliant. Maybe they’re just not important enough to fight for. Maybe no one gives a shit about sterilizing them because there’s some underlying idea that the world would be better if they didn’t reproduce, yes? It’s just eugenics in a new “progressive” wrapper.

      Thank you for having the guts to speak out, Kelly. So important.

      Liked by 7 people

      • I really hope that a major news outlet like 60 min, Frontline, etc picks up the story about the negative aspects of transition, including fatalities and no gatekeeping. We should ask them to do this story. I will try to make time to write to them.

        Liked by 5 people

    • I am angered and sickened to hear about the egregious medical malpractice of which your daughter has become a victim. I am so sorry. Your daughter’s story is an important one that needs to be heard. So many support you, but the bulk of the public has no idea what is going on. Thank you for speaking out!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yes, she needs to get off testosterone, IMMEDIATELY. What kind of life is this? 5 hospitalizations? She can not be a man anyway. This obsession will take her life if she lets it. Is there ANY competent mental health intervention in the UK or are they all riding the pro-trans train?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I believe they are in the US–is that what you meant to write? As far as the US, it has become evident that the pressure is on to allow medical transition to pretty much anyone who says they need it. “Informed consent” is the key phrase, and as long as a person signs a form, they get what they want. Especially over the age of 18, although there is a strong effort to allow treatment on demand for minors at younger and younger ages–as has been written about here in multiple posts.

        Liked by 2 people

  20. I’m really sorry this happened to you and your daughter. Those surgeons are hacks and that is all there is. I wonder if the shrink and surgeons would have pushed for the surgery so fast if your insurance didn’t pay for it. You are really brave for telling your story.

    It is really disturbing that they never thought about the fact that your daughter has autism and therefore may be a little more prone to fantastic thinking than people without autism. Even the fact that she considered herself a lesbian for most of her life and then decided she was an FtM because of one TV show and a few PFLAG meeting should by itself merit further scrutiny.

    Pretty much all organizations that have previously been for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. Really, if you want to support your homosexual or bisexual child, those places are some of the last places you want to send them nowadays.

    Liked by 4 people

    • This shows why gatekeepers (real ones, but rubber stampers) are critical. And no, they would not have suggested instant transition if there was no money there. They don’t care about her. They care about $$$! These people need to be sued until the stress and expense drives them away. They are immoral.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s all just a cash grad and a last-ditch effort to trick homosexuals into “curing” ourselves. I did read a blog from a man who transitioned in the 90s who said that there were lots of gatekeepers, but the current trans movement seems to be trying to get rid of them. Or else they’ll kill themselves. Who cares that the young people getting this unethical medical experiment would have been well-adjusted adults, many of them lesbian or gay, without it? I think the only way this is going to end is when a lot of these young people and parents (the ones without Munchhausen’s by Proxy) wake up and sue the medical establishment.

        You can wax on about how unaccepted trans is, but the left accepts it very much, hence all the harassment against the governor of North Carolina. Plus, it’s a media circus. You always see parents talking about how little Jane is now James because she doesn’t like sparkly princess dresses. You NEVER see a big news story about the brave parents who love and accept their sex-role non-conforming lesbian daughter or gay son.

        Liked by 4 people

  21. I’m so sorry for what you and your daughter are going through! The interview was so gut wrenching just to read, I can’t possibly comprehend living through it.

    It’s shocking that no medical professionals are willing to go on record against what has been done to your daughter. That silence is scary. When no one feels comfortable enough to voice a contradictory opinion, so many bad things occur. History is filled with examples. Lobotomies and eugenics immediately come to mind, but there are many, many others. Medically transitioning vulnerable people like your daughter is just the newest disaster. I hope that by relaying your’s and your daughter’s experiences that it will help the public wake up to the nightmare you and many other parents are going through.

    I wish you the strength to get through this extremely challenging time in your life. And I hope that your daughter can eventually heal from this ordeal. You are both in my thoughts.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. this is incredibly infantilizing- which autistic people get enough of already,(i am aware the author herself is autistic frankly that just makes this more saddening) we are perfectly capable of defining our own identities and determining how best to express them. Shame on the transphobes picking up ableism as yet another tool to bludgeon trans people with. (thankfully the majority of the autistic community seems to have no truck with this nonsense.)

    Like

    • Shame on you for advocating a young woman being medically abused and her health jeopardized. How many women need to die or end up hospitalized for the sake of “proving” your evidence-less ideology? Were you planning on visiting her in the hospital or paying for the medical bills from all this? Guessing no- so stop pretending like you care what happens to her. She’s just a tool for the sake of your ego and ideology. Seriously, people who accept this sort of abuse and pretend it’s moral are the worst sort of human scum. You’re disgusting.

      Like

      • “She’s just a tool for the sake of your ego and ideology” this from somebody who refused to call him the correct pronouns and repeatedly misgenders someone to fit with their “ideology”? yeah i think you may have lost that point

        (i must admit i am a complete layman in terms of trasitional surgery and hormone replacement which is why id didnt comment on it, but come on do you think im not sorry that they’ve had such an adverse reaction (oh btw i dont notice anybody else -including you-offering to pay for the medical bills so thats a second point you’ve lost))

        “You’re disgusting.”
        given that your a misgendering transphone imma take this with a pinch of salt.

        Like

      • So in your view, risking someone’s life is less important than calling them the pronouns associated with their birth sex. You’re also criticizing the mother who is the only one of us who can make any claims to be involved in the care of this girl. But this is pointless, you’re not actually thinking about this at all.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Listen, Emily, let’s ignore the pattern of females with autism being identified as transgender at a higher than normal incidence as would be expected- if this was a completely healthy, neuro-typical adult, this story would still be tragic. It seems pretty clear to me from the story that this person did not understand the risks involved with testosterone, and was very quickly encouraged to go ahead with medical transition, regardless of any potential underlying issues or other explanations for their feelings.

        Does that not merit some consideration? Especially given their prior health issues and the actual consequences of what happens when the gatekeepers fail? Is it really worth risking your life to alter healthy organs? If this person “has always been male”, then why did they need these surgeries and drugs? If biological sex has nothing to do with identity, then why the need to alter biological sex characteristics? Really, what does this story even have to do with being autistic(other than the pattern that I mentioned), given everything else that went wrong?

        Who are you actually helping when you ignore these issues? Is the person in this story in any way “better” because you called them male rather than female? Is that really going to help the next young person who is taken advantage of by the medical industry, regardless of whether they’re autistic? And come on, neuro-typical people are taken advantage of ALL THE TIME. That’s why spam and phishing attacks are such a big deal. It’s more patronizing to assume that autistic people are somehow above that, and that no one will ever try to take advantage of them, or misdiagnose a condition that may be caused by something else.

        But please, explain just one thing to me: Why do you find “misgendering” more offensive than the very real possibility that the medical industry is taking advantage of people who should not be on HRT or given surgery? I’ve been a victim of medical negligence myself, and I’m not autistic. If you wanna call me a male, go right ahead, I’d far prefer that to doctors lying to me and forcing me to pay for treatments I don’t need.

        Liked by 5 people

  23. I am a young autistic woman who has been dis-identified from womanhood/femaleness for years. This story horrified me to the core. I am likely less impaired or affected by autism than your daughter is, and have never accessed medical transitional care, but unfortunately these things are quite familiar to me. Like Max, I’ve also got ADHD issues, and I also have depression and anxiety on top of all this. I am also bisexual, but have not had a chance yet to have a relationship with another person.

    I’ve been struggling for a long time to make sense of just why so many autistic people, and females in particular, are attracted to transgender identity. I am not entirely convinced by a lot of the conventional explanations, such as autistic-obsessive interest in gender or difficulty with understanding the social pragmatics of gender roles, although I’m sure these contribute in many cases.

    I think part of it is profound alienation and isolation from other human beings that autistic individuals often experience, compounded with the alienation from greater society we experience as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Being trans offers an explanation for the alienation we feel, especially from persons of our own sex, but also from our own bodies, as persons often in our heads or with sensory difficulties with embodiment or having difficulty making sense of how we are seen or ought to be seen by others. It can give us an explanation for why we were bullied, for why adults in our lives abused us or failed to support us, or why we exist in an adversarial situation with other people. Trans identity marks us as deeply different from “normal” in a particular way, and offers us a seductive path to either transform us into conventional individuals (the “stealth”, traditional transsexual path) or to allow us to embrace our difference and tell others they can shove it (the “radical queer” path).

    Something makes me suspect that the persons who were LGB goths, emos, or punks in my day (I am 25) are now agender, demisexual, genderqueer, etc. That is, whereas before young people would express their dissatisfaction with mainstream cultural expectations & a life pattern of consumption, marriage, children, etc. through marking themselves as “other” through a visible subcultural affiliation, now those LGB individuals who would have done this (and sometimes straight kids alienated from hypersexual expectations) are doing this through identifying as transgender. I was a goth at the tail end of the movement, and I used it as a way of making sense of my own tendency to depression and my difference from others. It was also a liberatory move as I felt that so long as I was being bullied and being othered I might as well do whatever and express myself however the hell I wanted, as well it being a sort of a protest vote against expectations placed on me to convert eventually to normality.

    Identifying as transgender can be a similar sort of attempt at making sense of one’s status at the bottom of the hierarchy. There is a sense in which you feel so powerless that the only option you have is to make yourself out of the shit you find in the dumpster of social status; you desperately want to lift yourself out of your situation but all you can do really is commit yourself further to it. Autistic female to trans man is a lateral move that appears to be one that frees you; you might be still shit on but at least it’s through your choice this time… or even if you seem forced into transition by dysphoria, at least it’s still an expression of your true self and your autonomy, and the consequences socially are something you can stoically bear under the narrative of oppression. Being a fucked-up [slur] is not something heroic, or cool, or liberating, or healing, or anything like that… especially because there are few models for typical LGB folks, nonetheless for those who are disabled, neuroatypical, who don’t want to or can’t assimilate into a hetero- model of life, and so forth.

    There is also a massive social support network online for those who are trans-identified, and a distinct path of medical care available; this is not so if you are nebulously or multiply disabled, crazy, etc. where it is not clear what the hell is out there help you, or if there is any help available at all, or how long it will be until help arrives (and especially so if you are female, where you likely will not be taken seriously or be considered worthy of help). If you can not only pathologize your differences from others and/or medical conditions, but also your femaleness and oppression based on that fact, it seems like you can kill two birds with one stone through transition. That is, finally you feel like you are being taken seriously as a person, finally you are getting something solved in your life, finally you are getting accommodations and attention from others, finally.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Yep, K, that was fascinating.

        I completely agree on the goth/subculture thing. For the non-distressed young transitioners, I’m sure that’s exactly what it is. When I was a teen in the 70s I was the “hippie”. All these things have a lot to do with costumes.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Wow, thank you K for your insight. Yours is an extremely valuable point of view and you have articulated your situation so well. Your comment should be required reading of all psychotherapists, pediatricians and “gender” doctors.

    Thanks again, and welcome.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Pingback: Tylenol Promotes Transgenderism – CHRIST THE MORNING STAR

  26. Pingback: Social work professor speaks out on behalf of her FtM autistic daughter – Critiquing Transgender Doctrine & Gender Identity Politics

  27. The only problem I see here is this mother, that as a social worker trying to change ill societal norms (especially as an advocate for “neurodiverse populations”) should understand, is that she refuses to accept that her daughter is now her son. While there are complications, there are complications with many medical procedures.

    What is important is what her son feels and what his needs and wants are. One of those needs is the acceptance of what he feels. His Mom should at least provide that to him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know nothing about their family situation. If you have read any of the comments from the mother, you know that she is the one who has been at her child’s bedside through multiple hospitalizations. I invite you to read more of this blog for a more nuanced view of the situation than at this time you seem capable of comprehending.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Excuse me, but there is no “son.” There is a daughter who doesn’t fit the princess mold being told by people like you (Mike Anderson) that this makes her male. It does not. She needs to be loved and supported as a female and mom is showing her courage in doing that. That is what true acceptance is. Complications? Yeah, who cares if people transing have died during these surgeries, just so long as Mike Anderson’s political agenda is advanced. Maybe Mike could dance the rumba on their graves while concocting these thoughtless, ludicrous, Orwellian responses. Grow up, Mike. There are real people in this world, and they are not obligated to suffer unnecessary surgeries on their healthy bodies, in order for you to advance your cruel cause at their expense. Let us expand the definition of what men and women can be, without telling people that they must trans in order to conform to sex-role stereotypes. Now that would be progress!

      Liked by 3 people

  28. Pingback: Mother Can't Stop Doctor From Mutilating Autistic Daughter Who Wants To Be a Boy - Breitbart

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  30. Pingback: Mother Can’t Stop Doctor From Mutilating Autistic Daughter Who Wants To Be a Transgender Boy - U Do News

  31. I went to a PFLAG meeting, the only game in town and witnessed a young one like your daughter scared out of her wits while her mother blathered on and on. The young FTM NEVER said a word…

    There was one other FTM.who barely spoke and one obnoxious pushy MTF. The rest were Lesbians, THIS is where all the lesbos congregate here, and a few straight folks.

    I loved FINALLY seeing the biggest number of Lesbians so far since I been in this town, but the trans energy made me feel uncomfortable, especially the Lesbians bending over backwards to accomodate them, at Lesbian expense.

    But what disturbed me the most was all the medical talk and getting access to good doctors, and “educating” them, and this young one who I so wanted to reach out to and tell her YOU CAN.LOVE YOUR FEMALE BODY AND BE IN YOUR POWER TOO! YOU DONT HAVE TO DO THIS TO YOURSELF, THERE IS A BETTER WAY!!

    But her Mom was already sold on the whole supporting the transitioning business, and never let her own daughter get a word in, or asked her to speak up….

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Thank you Kathleen “Kelly” Levinstein, PhD, LCSW, LMSW Thank you for your article. You are not the only one out there. I am a J.D. professsional with the same exact issues. Diagnosed aspergers, with child with diagnosis of autism. I know that the “Trans” narrative is a full-out attack on autism spectrum individuals. Those who have been brainwashed into the Trans narrative are it’s major supporters, because they have rigid though patterns and do not understand. Those of us who are extremely HFA with professional degrees, such as Kathleen and myself, we KNOW THE TRUTH. We need to stop this harmful trans movement. It does not help the people that it pretends to support, it hurts them. Innocent children are undergoing harmful medical procedures and are loosing their reproductive capabilities. We know where gender non-conformance issues arise from (AUTISM) those of us HFA individuals understand this. Transitioning is harmful, painful, and does not help a person “fit into” society or make a person “feel normal” it only makes their life more difficult and forces them to a lifetime of hormone supplements and painful medical procedures. Let’s keep fighting this “political correct” trans narrative is NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT. This is not a movement about peace, love, and acceptance for trans individuals, it is a movement about USING AND HARMING autistic individuals for profit of the medical community and it needs to end now. ALL HUMAN BEINGS MUST BE ACCEPTED IN THE NATURAL BODY THEY WERE BORN WITH AND AUTISM NEEDS TO BE CORRECTLY DIAGNOSED AND THESE CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE VISITING “GENDER SPECIALISTS” THEY NEED TO SEEK AUTISM RELATED THERAPIES.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you can to something to resist this. I am the mom to a feminine boy who would like to be a girl. Boys who want to be girls are gay – it says so right in the DSM. They will bring in as many as they can to this cult. My personal complaint besides all the lies is that gay men are completely complicit – they dont even care that there will be no next generation of gay men. (or many fewer at least) They refuse to in any way shape or form claim these boys as their own.
      Good luck to you.

      Like

      • Don’t lose hope, gay men are far less complicit in trans ideology than you might think. Below is a twitter thread that blew up in response to Juno Dawson’s ludicrous claim that gay men are just failed women. Enjoy.

        Liked by 1 person

  33. Pingback: Autistic kids don't need mastectomies

  34. Pingback: How Abortion Led Us Down the Rabbit Hole of Transgender Madness

  35. gay men are completely complicit

    I can only speak from a personal perspective as a British lesbian, but until quite recently many older lesbians and gay men had very little idea about what was happening in the shadows of the trans cult, particularly with regard to the social transitioning of very young children and the chemical and surgical transitioning of teenagers. I still encounter people who don’t know about this, or are very hazy about what is actually going on.

    Here are three excellent and well-referenced pieces by Marcus Gregory, a gay scientist:

    1. A Gay Man Writes About Medicalized Childhood

    2. Staring The Future In The Face: How Many Of Us Will
    Be Left?

    3. How Conversion Therapy Bans Will Trap Transgender Children

    Liked by 1 person

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