Many women and girls may go through life undiagnosed with autism. It’s only recently that autism is being better understood and diagnosed in women and girls, but there is still a long way to go.
There are a number of reasons why women and girls go undiagnosed with autism. Firstly, the symptoms of autism may be different in women and girls, and so may not be recognized. Secondly, women and girls may often be good at masking their symptoms, or compensating for them, in order to fit in with society’s expectations. And finally, there is a lack of awareness and understanding of autism in women and girls, which means they may often not be diagnosed.
The differences in the symptoms of autism in women and girls may mean that they are not recognized as being on the autism spectrum. For example, girls with autism are more likely than boys to have social anxiety and depression and may be more prone to self-harm. Women with autism may be more likely to have obsessional interests, and to be more aware of social norms and expectations.
There is a lack of awareness and understanding of autism in women and girls. This means that many go through life undiagnosed. Autism is often seen as a male condition, and so women and girls may not even consider the possibility that they could be autistic. Even when they do seek a diagnosis, they may be met with skepticism and disbelief.
It’s important that we raise awareness of autism in women and girls and recognize that the condition can present itself differently in females. Only then will more women and girls receive the diagnosis and support they need.
There is no one “type” of autism. The symptoms and severity of autism vary widely from person to person. However, research has shown that there are some commonalities in the way autism presents in females.
Studies have shown that girls with autism are more likely to have above-average IQs, and they are more likely to be verbal than boys with autism. They are also more likely to have social skills deficits and anxiety.
However, girls with autism often “mask” their symptoms by pretending to be neurotypical. This can make diagnosis more difficult.
Signs that a girl may be on the autism spectrum include:
• Struggling with back-and-forth conversations
• Not making eye contact
• Repeating words or phrases
• Having intense interests in certain topics
• Inflexible thinking
• Poor social skills
• Avoiding physical contact
If you think your daughter may be on the autism spectrum, it’s important to talk to her doctor. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for autism, but early intervention is important. With the right support, girls with autism can lead happy, healthy, and successful lives.