Gender stereotypes have made us horrible at recognizing autism in women and girls — Quartz

Just reshaping something from my news feed because the following is a statement that I could not possibly agree more with. Please see the full article using the link below. 🙂

I would LOVE to know what my wonderful readers have to say on this topic. Let’s chat in the comments section.

via Gender stereotypes have made us horrible at recognizing autism in women and girls — Quartz

In August, the National Autistic Society called on medical professionals to change the way they diagnose women and girls with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Ever since the term autism was first coined by Hans Asperger in 1944, it has remained predominantly, if anecdotally, associated with men and boys. As a result, women with the condition may be being overlooked, even […]

via Gender stereotypes have made us horrible at recognizing autism in women and girls — Quartz

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28 thoughts on “Gender stereotypes have made us horrible at recognizing autism in women and girls — Quartz”

  1. A really interesting read. Sterotypes of all kinds can be so damaging.It’s hardwired into us to make snap judgements about people, it’s what we do with those judgements that makes the difference.I really would hope professionals would be self aware enough to stand back from these, and look out for autism in girls with more clarity.

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  2. This article is interesting. I will be going into Anthropology soon, where we classify things. I’ve always used and broken down stereotypes. It’s kind of my thing. However, here is shows that could hurt people. It’s a massive confliction of mine. I always mention I use labels loosely. That people can be outside “rules” because that’s how humans are. True, we are not stickly labelled to anything. This article shows the damage that can happen in science if one does not believe this about people.

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  3. Just one question to the scientists: If an autistic woman is such a “rare” individual, why not study girls with autism who are paper diagnosed as children? Instead of assigning gender stereotypes, why not get the real information? I have always been puzzled at this refusal to study us autistic women.

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  4. This article perfectly explains why I’m 35 and undiagnosed. Instead of ASD, I’ve been labeled shifty, dishonest (eye contact, speech patterns), butch, mean, rude, psycho, bipolar, … Every online quiz I’ve taken tells me I’m probably on the spectrum, but I can’t convince people of it because they’d rather believe that I’m just attention-seeking or overly sensitive or something.

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    1. Thank you SO much for sharing your own experience! I hate to say that I have also been called all of these things too. Getting my diagnosis helps because it not just me saying that I am Autistic but some people still accuse me of using it as an excuse.

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      1. To be honest, I’m scared to ask any of my doctors for a referral to get tested because I’ve had so many bad experiences with doctors writing me off as some kind of wacko. I’m working up the courage to track down someone qualified to make the diagnosis and ask my primary care doc for the referral. She’s been great so far, but I’ve only seen her twice.

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          1. OMG WE MIGHT BE TWINS!!! LOL I have to write it out, or it just bounces around in my head, wreaking havoc. Serendipitously, I worked part-time in a special needs preschool a little over ten years ago with several kids on the spectrum. That’s where the light came on for me, and I’ve been working those suspicions around in my head ever since. Now I have an autistic nephew and two cousins, and I’m convinced my husband, father, husband’s father, and myself are all on the spectrum. THANK YOU so much for your blog. It really is a huge comfort to find the validation it has afforded me. ❤

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  5. So after reading the article, I agree that more needs to be done regarding gender and diagnostics. But I wouldn’t leave it at the difference for girls/women. How about we get good diagnostic criteria for adults (female and male) instead of trying to adapt one model (boy children) to fit the complexity of the situation. How about the diagnostic criteria address gender identity while we are at it, given the number of ASD folks with non-typical gender/sexuality.

    I am not trying to put aside the issue of better diagnostics for women, rather the article, for me, highlighted that there are a number of problems that need to be addressed, with diagnostic criteria for women likely at the top of that list.

    Certainly for me, at 46, I would guess NTs view me as a “stereotypical introverted engineer” male. I can see them saying things like “Oh, you know how engineers are” with a wave of the hand, dismissing my odd behavior.

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  6. I really enjoy your blog. Always learning something new and insightful. Thank you for sharing your life with us, it can’t be easy, but good grief! You were picked up by A Mighty Girl??? That’s SO cool, I can’t imagine! Congratulations!

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  7. Thank you for sharing this. I am a woman with ASD, and yet my meltdowns look more stereotypically male (screaming and self harming vs. crying and shutting down). I was very active as a child. I was the tomboy who also loved dressing up. My hyperactive behavior was problematic- cause for shaming, while my older, male ADHD cousin was celebrated for his. While I definitely think there are stereotypes with men and women period, I do not agree with autism or any other disorder as an excuse to live a LGBT lifestyle. It isn’t wrong to struggle with gender identity in a fallen world, but people need counseling, not being lied to. There are moral consequences, very real consequences and that shouldn’t be laughed at or shrugged off. I’m not judging or trying to be cruel, but I am a Christian woman who needs to speak the truth of God’s Word. I wrote a blog post about gender identity, living an LGBT lifestyle and having autism.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks and likewise. Your blog has called my attention to issues and sources I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. I appreciate your ability to agree to disagree. That is adult. Keep posting.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I always enjoy your page. It is good to learn about other perspectives. I’ve learned that I should be kind to everyone, because I know how it feels to have people be cruel and look at you like you are nothing. Everyone should just love and accept one another. The would would be a much better place. ❤

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  8. Glad to see another article addressing this. I had looked at three papers for extra credit on girls with ASD. Sterotypes and gender roles play a huge role in making professionals miss diagnosing Girls with ASDs. Behaviors that could be easily written off as being typical of girls, like intensly studying an interest. I liked how this article brought race into the dicussion too, which i had not previously looked at, but does play a role in certian ASD symptoms like sensory overload. Etc. Thanks for sharing this.

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  9. At 42 I’ve just revived my offical diagnosis of high functioning ASD. As a kid I would never have been diagnosed because 40 years ago they didn’t think girls could be Autistic. But people who don’t know me well still say things like “oh you can’t be autistic because:
    A. I’ve seen you smile, laugh, cry (eg show emotions)
    B. You communicate so well
    C. You can’t get diagnosed as an adult
    D. You’re capable of empathy
    E. You live on your own

    Even my psychiatrist is discovering much to his delight that because I can articulately describe how I see, smell, touch, taste, hear and process information from the world around me that some things he thought he new about the Autistic mind are totally incorrect.

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