Girls have autism too

April is Autism Awareness month.  I’d like to see more awareness that girls get autism too.  Thanks to DS Walker for the inspiration.  Some think that girls with autism are under diagnosed.  This seems likely to me, I wonder if we will see more females with autism in the coming years.  I know a few, but the boys do outnumber them.

I know that most of the therapists we have worked with, especially the ABA therapists have mostly worked with boys.   In many ways I think that works to R.’s advantage.

As she gets older R. becomes more girly, I don’t think I’m overly encouraging this.  She is naturally gravitating towards pink and purple.  When she does initiate with people she acts like a girl, she’ll smile shyly and approach quietly.  We’ve been lucky so far in preschool there have been one or two other girls in her class.  I wonder if there will come a time when she is the only girl in her class.   How will that impact her?

There are many bloggers writing about their daughters with autism.  I’ll try to mention a few of them that I read.

Autism Army Mom
DS Walker
Puzzle Piece Princess
Professor Mother
The Simile of Autism and Snowflakes

Welcome to my planet
Countering Kim Wombles
Life with Aspergers

 

Here are a couple of sites specifically for women with autism

Autism Women’s network
Girls with Autism

Since most of the reports and studies seem to only have male participants, I did a little searching for ones that featured females.

Sex differences in the evaluation and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders among children.
CONCLUSIONS: Girls, especially those without cognitive impairment, may be formally identified at a later age than boys. This may delay referral for early intervention. Community education efforts should alert clinicians and parents to the potential of ASDs in boys and girls.

Autism Symptoms and Internalizing Psychopathology in Girls and Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Reading comprehension, word decoding and spelling among girls with ASD or AD/HD: performance and predictors.

Here are some details from a presentation given by Lori Ernsperger and Danielle Wendel, authors of: Girls Under the Umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Practical Solutions for Addressing Everyday Challenges.

Here is an interesting theory about how females are more likely to suffer from right brain caetextia than males.  They feel that this is an unrecognized type of Aspergers Syndrome.

5 Responses

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  1. Thank you for writing this post. I love all of the additional links you added. The more information we get out there about our girls the better. I hope others with girls on the spectrum will join us in making this April Autism Awareness for Girls Too!

  2. Thanks for linking to me! I worry alot that Audrey will be constantly surrounded by boys…she was the only girl for 2 full years in her preschool classes. Our girls will definitely have to learn to stick together!

  3. Even though my son is the ASD one in our family I think this is a really important issue. Treating boys and girls as if they are the same because they have the same dx is problematic.The more female narratives from the spectrum that get out into the ASD community the better.

  4. So true- and I have a hunch that even becoming overly “girly” is an expression of a feminine autism… Elizabeth goes to extremes- and in trying to fit in, outdoes the girliness.
    Interesting thoughts- and thanks for the links!

  5. We can’t forget the girls, good for you!

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