Research suggests the disorder often looks different in females, many of whom are being misdiagnosed and missing out on the support they need.
It’s different for girls. We learn to blend in until we cannot blend in any more. The pressure becomes too much and we fall apart. Passing for neurotypical is something that many Aspie women learn – causing anxiety, low self esteem, and more.
Having to “pass” as a neurotypical person says “you are not good enough as you are.” It takes up a lot of energy when our energy is already limited. Things will not change until the world knows we exist.
One in 68 children in the U.S. is affected by autism—but new research suggests that current diagnostic methods overlook girls, meaning even more kids may be on the spectrum.
Girls with autism may be harder to diagnose for several reasons, including criteria developed specifically around males and overlapping diagnoses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or anorexia.
In 2014 psychologist Thomas Frazier of the Cleveland Clinic and his colleagues assessed 2,418 autistic children, 304 of them girls. They, too, found that girls with the diagnosis were more likely to have low IQs and extreme behavior problems. The girls also had fewer (or perhaps less obvious) signs of “restricted interests”—intense fixations on a particular subject such as dinosaurs or Disney films. These interests are often a key diagnostic factor on the less severe end of the spectrum, but the examples used in diagnosis often involve stereotypically “male” interests, such as train timetables and numbers. In other words, Frazier had found further evidence that girls are being missed. And a 2013 study showed that, like Frances, girls typically receive their autism diagnoses later than boys do.
Girls may have a greater ability to hide their symptoms. “If you were just judging on the basis of external behavior, you might not really notice that there’s anything different about this person,” says University of Cambridge developmental psychopathologist Simon Baron-Cohen. “It relies much more on getting under the surface and listening to the experiences they’re having rather than how they present themselves to the world.”
Lots more GREAT information in the full article here.
Related post on AnonymouslyAutistic.net Anonymously Autistic – One of Many Invisible Women on The Spectrum about my own personal experience as an Autistic woman here.