So called ‘Autism Expert’ Caroline Goldsmith has found herself having her professional qualifications questioned after giving what can only be described as an horrifically bizarre talk in Ireland recently.
Much to my disgust, in an effort to side step the questioning of her lack of qualifications, Goldsmith not only jumps on to, but entirely hi-jacks, the lack of awareness over Female Autism bandwagon, by using it as an excuse for her poor clinical practices, such as diagnosing a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome after only a single, one hour session or charging exorbitant fees for a guaranteed diagnosis.
She then worsens this situation by justifying her unethical behavior by using the truth of the plight of Females with Autism within the diagnostic system as an excuse for her actions by sating:
“what concerns me the most is female Aspergers and how it goes undiagnosed and misdiagnosed…. patients….end up at my door after going through a long wait of years, sometimes where they are eventually seen but not given the diagnosis due to their presentation of traits which doesn’t fit some archaic notion of what autism is supposed to look like. Some doctors are even unaware it can present in females and class it as a male-only condition.”
Yes she is undeniably speaking the truth. Women on the Autism Spectrum have been rampantly under and misdiagnosed for decades but this fact alone does not and should not, continue to be used to justify unethical behaviors by those within the psychology community.
Nor should the lack of knowledge regarding Female Autism, continue to be used by charlatans, as some kind of ‘get out of jail free card’ (or mask) to hide behind, whenever their unethical behaviors are caught out.
Goldsmith and those like her are causing Women on the Autism Spectrum more harm than good.
So let me make this clear to anyone out there who may be tempted to apply their own twisted form of logic to justify mistreating, misrepresenting or in any other way, providing Autistic Women with substandard treatment at a higher than average fee.
It is not Okay to charge us more money for a private diagnosis just because the ‘State’ system has failed to recognize our Autism.
Nor is it Okay to give us shabby, unprepared, poorly written and on the whole, virtually useless bits of paper that are supposed to be ‘diagnostic reports’, just because we’re Women with Autism and we are supposed to be grateful just to have found a psychologist who was ‘wise’ enough to recognize and diagnose us.
Your shabby treatment of us harms us because it makes others question our diagnosis.
As if our authenticity as Autistic Women hasn’t already been questioned enough.
So don’t you dare sit there and state that you’re worried about the treatment of Women on the Autism Spectrum as an excuse for your own poor behavior when all the while you’re building your own fortress of wealth and forging yourself a reputation for being an Autism Expert, by exploiting those whom you openly declare that you recognize as being an already vulnerable, mistreated, minority group.
Don’t be fooled by the words of Goldsmith and those like her.
(If this is what they mean by the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then wow, there must be an awful lot of ‘experts’ on there.)
No matter what they say, they are not making the world a better or a fairer place for Women on the Autism Spectrum by over charging us for a diagnosis or by not paying us the due diagnostic attention we deserve.
If anything Goldsmith, and the many others out there who are like her, are causing Women on the Spectrum more harm than good.
I do still firmly believe that women and girls on the spectrum need to be recognized and diagnosed earlier instead of being aimlessly shuffled around from pillar to post.
However, the way forward is not to be found by associating ourselves with those seeking to build infamy based on their ability to recognize us as a category of easy targets upon which to build a name for themselves.
The way forward is to create sound, accurate and quantifiable research regarding Female Autism from the inside out.
And by this I mean research that is conducted by Women with Autism that fulfills all of the necessary academic criteria, whilst also providing a sound, realistic and workable basis for a legitimately recognized understanding of Female Autism to be formed, which would then enable all of those working within the field of psychology in its entirety, to be able to recognize and accurately diagnose Females with Autism at an earlier age.
Hopefully then, we will stop the charlatans by cutting off their main source of revenue, which is, unfortunately still, our vulnerability in the face of a diagnostic system that continues to deny us, our very state of existence.