107 [S9 E2] Autism deep-dive: examining the literature and ourselves, and reflections on burnout
Topics in this episode: autism research, burnout, family, intergenerational autism, relationships

Dr Alexandra Johnston is an academic and social anthropologist from Melbourne, Australia. Now 49, she was diagnosed in March 2023. She lives with her wife, Cherie, who she describes as the first person she ever truly unmasked with.

 She has several degrees, including a Masters and PhD in Psychology, and her special interests include writing, writing and… writing! So much so, that she self-diagnosed by conducting a literature review of autism, and writing a 45,000 word report on her findings.

I found Alexandra really interesting to talk to. I hope that you enjoy this episode as much as I did.

 We talk about: 

➡ her deep dive into the literature as she discovered her autism

➡ uncovering neurodivergence across generations of her family

➡ the very different reactions of her parents to her diagnosis

➡ having the support of her wife since her DX, and how their relationship has strengthened

➡ clusters of traits and co-occurring conditions

➡ our experiences of burnout and its impact

 

Squarepeg is a podcast in which neurodivergent women, and trans and nonbinary people, explore navigating a neurotypical world and share their insights, challenges and successes.

I hope that these conversations will be inspiring and thought provoking, open you up to new ways of thinking about being neurodivergent, and help you feel more connected to a worldwide community of people with similar experiences.

I’m Amy Richards, and after being diagnosed autistic at the age of 37 I’m now on a mission to learn more about different perspectives and issues around being a neurodivergent adult in a world that feels like it doesn’t quite fit.

EPISODE LINKS

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-johnston-30598436/?originalSubdomain=au

Reframing Autism: https://reframingautism.org.au/

The ALIVE National Centre for Mental Health Research Translation: www.alivenetwork.com.au

Autism centre of Excellence: https://www.griffith.edu.au/arts-education-law/autism-centre-excellence

Paper on Autistic Burnout – “Having All of Your Internal Resources Exhausted Beyond Measure and Being Left with No Clean-Up Crew”: Defining Autistic Burnout https://dx.doi.org/10.1089/aut.2019.0079

Self-determination theory for autistic people: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1250391

If you’d like to connect or get in touch with Squarepeg, you can find me on:

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Or on my website: https://squarepeg.community/

 

THANK YOU TO MY PATRONS!

A HUGE thank you to my amazing patrons, who support my work on the podcast:

Abi Hunter, Adam Klager, Alice Kemp, Amy Adler, Amy-Beth Mellor, Amy Sullivan, Anika Lacerte, Annette, Becky Beasley, Ben Davies, Carly Melling, Caroline, Cat Preston, Catrin Green, Charlotte Keen, Cindy Bailey, Clare Holmes, Corinne Cariad, Dana Bradley, Danielle Warby, Deborah Cullinan, Dennis McNulty, Elizabeth Williams, Erica Kenworthy, Ewan McNeill, Fiona Connor, Frederike, Galina, Gwyneth, H Arena, Hannah Breslin, Heather Peake, Hegatronix, Jackie Allen, JF, Jayne Hutchinson, Jeff Goldman, Jen Bartlett, Jo, Julie, Katarzyna Tomaszewska, Kate and Kathryn, Kate Faust, Katharine Richards, Katherine Lynch, Lara, Laura, Laurencia Saenz Benavides, Leo Ricketts, Lilli Simmons, Linda Brown, Lisa Joy Powley, Liz, LQ, Lyb, Mandy Allen, Marjory Webber, Martine, Melissa Shaw, Meredith L. Freyre, Monica Toohey, NC, Pete Burke, Rebecca, Rebecca Biegel, Sadie Slater, Sarah Jeffery, Sarah Ivinson, Sarah Swanton, Shauna Schramke, Suzanna Chen, Suzanne, Talia’s Nature, Tammie Fabien, Tamsen Staniford, Tegan Bailey, Tessa Valyou, Tree Hall, Vic Wiener, Vicki Temple, Victoria Routledge, Wendy Walker, Zephyrine Craster and Zoe Lee.

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