Informed consent was obtained from all participants prior to engagement in the study. Demographic data were obtained with a brief written questionnaire. Participants consisted of 32 adults age 23–64 years (mean = 45). Their self-described genders were: 19 female, 8 male, 4 non-binary, and 1 unspecified2. All had a clinical diagnosis of any autism spectrum condition by a suitably qualified clinician or multi-disciplinary team. Where possible (n = 14), diagnosis was verified by having sight of the participant’s diagnosis letter. Where the diagnosis letter could not be obtained, details of the diagnosing clinician, clinic and date were taken.

The remaining background questions, which were not answered by three participants, are reported here in order to fully characterize the sample. All but one participant (who lived with their parents) lived independently in the community. Half of the remainder (n = 14) lived alone. Of those who lived with others: 4 with a partner, 3 with their children, 6 with partner and children, and one with a flatmate. 18 individuals received care or support due to their disability. Nine of those who responded worked full time, 7 worked part time, 4 were students, and 9 were unemployed or retired. Participants reported the following mental health diagnoses: 24 had anxiety, 20 had depression, 12 had been diagnosed with PTSD (5 had recovered), 2 had a past diagnosis of psychosis, but one considered this to be a mis-diagnosis before their autism was recognized. Eight reported that they were taking neuroleptic medications or had in the past. They also reported the following neurological conditions: 8 ADHD, 7 dyspraxia, 8 migraine (not asked on form) and one had a diagnosis of catatonia. Additionally, 4 reported a fatigue-related condition such as chronic fatigue syndrome.

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