The Autism Podcast

The Autism Podcast header image 1
October 12, 2019  

Season 2, Episode 2: Interview with Rachel Aanstad (on the topic of older autistic adults)

October 12, 2019

In Season 2, Episode 2 of The Autism Podcast, Chris and James speak with Rachel Aanstad, an older autistic adult based in the United States who runs the Actually Autistic Podcast. Rachel talks about her personal experiences with diagnosis, the impact autism stigma and the allistic social world has had on her, the complexities in generating reliable research evidence about older autistic adults, social conformity, and the benefits of early diagnosis and self-acceptance. She also talks about what led to her developing her podcast, the podcast's main long-term goals, and ends with providing advice for older adults who are also discovering that they may be autistic.


0 - 1.58: Introduction
1.59 - 5.28: Rachel's own experience with the self-realisation that she may autistic
5.29 - 9.36: Autism stigma impacting on conversations about self-exploration
9.37 - 22.16: The mortality gap with older autistic adults, some of the risk factors associated with this (e.g. discrimination, poverty, social exclusion, loneliness), the need for more research evidence in particular reliable statistics and some of the challenges associated with researching this
22.17 - 33.26: Differences in outcomes exist, how the sensory world impacts upon wellbeing, the need and preference for aloneness, and Rachel's hyperphantasia
33.27 - 37.59: Social conformity, the pressure to comply, bullying, cultural differences towards the need to comply
38.00 - 42.18: The benefits of early diagnosis, self-diagnosis and self-acceptance for older autistic adults
42.19 - 50.47: What led to her podcast, what the podcast is about and the hope for long-term impact
50.48 - 54.37: Advice for older autistic people who are currently on the journey of self-exploration