Kathy Lette believes there are a lot of men with undiagnosed autism out there.
The London-based author and feminist, who is in Perth to speak to parents of children with autism, argues that with one in 68 people on the spectrum, autism could be defined as “an extreme form of maleness”.
“Just look at your husbands who are trainspotters or plane spotters, keep their records in alphabetical order and are socially awkward,” she said.
Lette, whose 26-year-old son Julius has Asperger’s syndrome, said while she was not a fan of labels, a diagnosis of autism could point people in the right direction.
“When your child is diagnosed with autism it drags you down into the darkness, and you become their bouncer to protect them from bullying, their medical expert and their psychological counsellor,” she said.
Lette wrote the bestselling book Puberty Blues and more recently Best Laid Plans, in which she shares insights into her life, including becoming a “pimp” to introduce her son to sex.
“There I was, a feminist and law-abiding citizen, procuring the services of a woman of the night,” she said.
“But I thought why should he not have the joy of sexual contact, and when it comes to sex, we all have special needs.”
Autism West is hosting Lette’s only WA appearance tomorrow night.
The cost is $55 for members and $60 for others. Book at trybooking.com/book/event?eid=260947 or phone 9383 6123.