Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Maryam Khan

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Woodford

Advisor Role

Committee Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Ciann Wilson

Advisor Role

Committee Member


This study uncovered the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth on the autism spectrum in Ontario secondary institutions and examined how their interactions with peers shape identity, mental health, well-being, and social belonging. This qualitative research involved interviewing six autistic LGBTQ+ youth across Ontario over Zoom. The study was guided by constructivism, critical theory, neurodiversity, and intersectionality. Results suggest that participants faced discrimination through microaggressions, peer victimization, and stereotyping, which led to feeling less safe in their school environments. Participants also had positive, affirming experiences relating to other peers standing up for them and recognizing their identities, as well as through supporting other peers that experienced similar challenges. This research has broad implications for social work practice, as it can allow social workers and youth to have a better understanding of and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth on the autism spectrum in secondary schools.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons