TraCS awards pilot grant for gendered experiences in autism research

Orla Putnam and Clare Harrop

Orla Putnam, a UNC doctoral student in Clare Harrop's lab, and Clare Harrop, PhD, a research assistant professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, and a faculty fellow at UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) have received an NC TraCS award for a project titled, Gendered Experiences in Autism Research: Analysis with Stakeholders.

When asked what inspired the project, Putnam shared, "Our team was interested in understanding what research topics are important to autism stakeholders, particularly those who are underrepresented in autism research."

Autistic women and nonbinary people are diagnosed later and have unique experiences and needs, but have been historically overlooked in research. With this in mind, Putnam and her colleagues surveyed a group of stakeholders (parents of boys and girls; autistic women, men, and nonbinary people) about their priorities for autism research. Next, they conducted follow-up interviews with women, nonbinary people, and parents of female autistic individuals to gain more understanding on their priorities for autism research as well as their perspectives on how their gender impacts their lived experiences with autism.

The NC TraCS $2K Stakeholder Engagement grant will allow Putnam to work with an autistic woman in the community to analyze this interview data and make recommendations for future work.

Originally posted at

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