Autistic with Cancer: Six Tips for Navigating the Medical System

Photo © wp paarz | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: Person with white-appearing skin, wearing a disposable exam gown, from shoulders to hips, hands folded, waiting in a medical exam room.] Anne Borden twitter.com/againstcures I’m currently going through breast cancer treatment, and have encountered barriers to accessing accommodations while autistic. Based on my experience, I wrote this article to help autistics and other neurodivergent (ND) folks navigate the medical system. In this article I cover both sensory and communication issues, with strategies that have worked for me and other ND cancer patients I’ve talked to. I’ve also included some scripts. I hope it can be helpful in some way!

 There is very little accurate information available to help health providers understand and support autistic communication and sensory experiences. As a result, autistic patients are left to navigate a system that often misunderstands and mistreats us. It’s difficult. In fact,…