More than Autism awareness, let’s aim to understand

As society’s understanding of Autism continues to evolve beyond the stereotype of the gifted young male lacking in empathy, more and more women, girls and gender diverse people are discovering that they are, themselves, Autistic. For Autism Awareness Month 2024, we thought we’d share some of the most useful videos, books, and podcasts on late-diagnosis Autism.

If you are wanting to know how to better support someone with Autism, have recently been diagnosed, or are thinking that maybe, possibly, you might be Autistic yourself (thanks TikTok), give these a look.

Late Bloomer by Clem Bastow


A fabulously honest and self-aware memoir of an Autistic person who grew up not knowing they were Autistic. A non-linear retelling of their life to-date, Clem peppers the personal stories with lessons in the history of Autism (with references!) and explanations of psychological terms, theories and behaviours. They dispel a lot of the myths about what it means to be Autistic and reflects on what may have been gained or lost if they had received their diagnosis earlier.

Image from Hardie Grant Publishing

Douglas by Hannah Gadsby


As the follow-up to their now infamous comedy special, Nanette, Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas takes you even deeper into her life and mind, focusing particularly on their Autism diagnosis and what it meant to them. Their reflections on how their diagnosis helped them to feel more like themselves are beautifully expressed, and their retelling of past experiences through an Autistic lens are equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious. They do a great bit about vaccines and Autism too, which needed to be said.

Image from

Chloe Hayden


In addition to embodying the Autistic fan favourite, Quinni, in the revamp of Heartbreak High, Chloe Hayden is a disability advocate, podcaster, author, vlogger, social media personality, motivational speaker and probably a whole lot of other things because this woman does everything. As an Autistic actor, her portrayal of Quinni helped to bring Autistic young women into the mainstream. As an advocate, she is incredibly down to earth and honest about the positive and negative sides of being Autistic. She’s also incredibly practical in her advice to both Autistic and neurotypical people. Chloe is the Autistic role model for young women we love and need.

Photo by Benjamin Hardwick

Yellow Ladybugs


Yellow Ladybugs are an Australian charity with a global reach, run by and for autistic girls, women, and gender-diverse folks, and their families. Their Yellow Ladybugs podcast is a collection of stories and discussion from Autistic people about their experiences, and experts in neurodivergence. They cover some pretty heavy topics, but are all about affirming and supporting Autistic people to thrive in the world as their true selves. Their episodes directed at the families and friends of Autistic people are great to share, and each episode is accompanied by relevant resources. Yellow Ladybugs as an organisation is a fantastic Autism resource.

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Growing in to Autism by Sandra Thom-Jones


A spin on the concept of ‘growing out’ of behaviours and ways of being, Sandra Thom-Jones recounts how her later-in-life Autism diagnosis helped her to ‘grow in’ to her true self. If you are wondering why so many women are only now receiving a diagnosis in their 30s, 40s and beyond, Sandra’s story is a must-read. Like many women, her diagnosis came about after the diagnosis of her children. Her experiences discovering and then advocating for who she is and what she needs has benefited not only herself, but her family, friends and colleagues too. An hosted and moving celebration of neurodiversity as a net good.   

Image from Hardie Grant Publishing

Bonus: Please Like Me


If you find you’re in need of more Hannah Gadsby, check out the series Please Like Me, created by and starring comedian Josh Thomas. Gadsby gives a brutally good performance of a depressed woman who is very likely Autistic. No doubt drawing from their own experiences (I mean, they name the characters after themselves) the whole show is filled with people you don’t usually see on television. Neurodiverse people, mentally ill people, gay people, straight people, twenty somethings and the middle-aged – every depiction is treated with respect and dignity. As a result, yes, you do in fact like them all.   

Image from ABC iView

Rachael is part of the communications team at VWT, and has to pinch herself sometimes that she gets to extend her feminism into her work. She is always looking for new ways to connect people, make them laugh and help them think. If you need her, she’ll likely be playing with her kids, at the movies, or stopping to pat a dog.

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