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19 Nov, 2018 12:49

17 children from one UK school, majority with autism, in ‘process of changing their gender’

17 children from one UK school, majority with autism, in ‘process of changing their gender’

A whistleblowing teacher has claimed that numerous vulnerable children at one British school are being tricked into believing they are the wrong gender, the Mail on Sunday reports.

The anonymous teacher reported that she was asked not to tell colleagues or parents if a student stated that they were transgender.

According to the paper, older students at the school who already identify as transgender are influencing younger pupils. The majority of cases identified by the whistleblower involve girls who identify as boys or as ‘non-binary.’ The anonymous teacher also noted that transgender YouTube stars were also responsible for influencing pupils.

Speaking to the paper, the teacher said: “I was discussing the topic of menstruation during a class recently and was called out by one of the pupils who now identifies as a boy for failing to say that boys can have periods too.

“Of course they can’t and it sounds like a joke, but a lot of teachers are terrified of making a slip-up.”

The news comes as links between autism and gender identity are coming under increased scrutiny.

A London clinic for transgender children reported that a third of their patients had ‘moderate or severe autistic traits.’ Specialists at the Tavistock Center’s Gender Identity Development Service treated 1,069 under-18s between 2011 and 2017. Some 372 of the teenage subjects were deemed to exhibit some autistic traits, according to an internal review conducted in June this year.

The center came in for criticism for not doing more to publicize the issue.

Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Sally Powis recognized that, while the issue is under-researched, scientific papers show a disproportionate level of those on the autism spectrum having gender dysphoria.

READ MORE: Gender X: Netherlands issues its first gender-neutral passport after govt loses court battle

During an interview with Network Autism, Dr Powis warned that it was very difficult to distinguish between ‘genuine’ gender dysphoria in those with autism and a ‘phase’ or obsession that the subject might be experiencing.

Adding that “people on the spectrum as children might be less clued-in to social norms,” and that she suspected this discrepancy could be a result of autistic people being “more honest about their sexuality than the rest of us.

"They are not trying to be one thing or the other that we all think we have to do to be accepted.”

The expert recommended that autistic people with gender identity issues should be treated on a case-by-case basis.

READ MORE: 2 women caned for ‘attempting lesbian sex’ in Malaysia

A spokesperson for the Tavistock Center said that the link between the condition and gender dysphoria was not new. “All young people attending our service undertake a comprehensive assessment over a period of time.

“There is general consensus that a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is not a reason in itself to exclude individuals from treatment for gender dysphoria,” they added.

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