Kay Kerr

Wife & Mother

Bachelor's Degree in Journalism

Freelance Writer

Author

There is more to autism

than the narrow representations we are often shown

Kay Kerr

When Autistic Women share their Diagnosis Stories, Clinical Psychologists discover that the various circumstances that can lead women to an autism diagnosis bring important insights into autism as it presents in females. AWE– Autistic Women Everywhere invites the non-autistic community, parents, and professionals alike, into the lives of adult females on the autism spectrum. Autism Stories by late-diagnosed autistic women reveal their lived experience of autism.

I’m Kay Kerr, a writer and Young Adult author living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. I love spending time in nature with my husband and our daughter, especially the beach and rainforest. I am now in my 30s, and was diagnosed when I was 27 years old. At the time, I was working a stressful and unsuited job, and hurtling towards what I now know was autistic burnout. I rarely slept and my ability to function was diminishing. On a trip to New York, I had an intense sensory reaction to the city. The lights, sounds, smells, and sheer volume of people completely overwhelmed me and I didn’t sleep for days. When I got home from that trip I started looking into ‘sensory overload’ and ‘sensory burnout’. Once I came across accounts of autistic girls and women, I started to connect the dots of the sensory issues I had, along with the social and processing challenges I'd always

faced but never understood enough to give a name. I sought a formal diagnosis, quit my job and started working at building a life better suited to my needs, strengths and challenges. I had written a first draft of my book ‘Please Don’t Hug Me’ before I was diagnosed, but once I knew that about myself I realised that was what I was writing about with my protagonist Erin, so I went back and rewrote the manuscript. It was a healing and emotionally intense period, and I used writing as a way to process my own feelings about all of the years I lived not knowing this intrinsic thing about myself. My self esteem and sense of self is so much stronger now, knowing why it is I find some things difficult that others seem to find easy. To me, it’s been the difference of understanding between feeling like I was failing at being neurotypical and now feeling like I’m succeeding as an autistic woman.

Kay Kerr

Image by Mier Chen

Autistic Women Exploring our Diagnosis Stories

A Free Autism Initiative & Resource For Women Diagnosed with Autism Late in Life.

Autism Stories by Formally Diagnosed Autistic Women