Author Topic: Autism and gender  (Read 955 times)


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Autism and gender
« on: 09 Aug 2013 10:02AM »
I believe some Ouchers have been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum and others suspect they might be so I thought this article might be of interest.

I recall that some years ago it was mooted that autism was often not spotted in females because it presented differently to males. This research seems to confirm that.

I only know one person who has been diagnosed with autism and he is high functioning. Now he is adult most folk wouldn't know except perhaps for the occasional slightly obsessive behaviour if something gets his particular attention.

Dic Penderyn

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Re: Autism and gender
« Reply #1 on: 09 Aug 2013 10:13AM »
My cousins daughter who has Down's Syndrome has also been diagnosed as Autistic something that the medical profession refused to believe possible for some time my cousin was told repeatedly that her daughter could not be Autistic as people with Downs did not have Autism. So it seems she had two things going against a diagnosis gender and Down's.
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Re: Autism and gender
« Reply #2 on: 09 Aug 2013 10:56AM »
There is currently a two year study, spread over several European countries, into Asperger's Syndrome (a form of autism) in women.  The study is designed to define the signs of Asperger's in females.  I couldn't take part as they only had the UK researchers in the South of England and I'm in Scotland, you had to be close enough to attend group meetings. 

It'll be very interesting to see the outcomes of this study.  Autism tends to only be diagnosed in girls if it is at the severe end of the spectrum.  If you've got Asperger's Syndrome, it's very difficult to get a diagnosis if you're a girl or woman.  The studies that have defined the characteristics that are used to diagnose Asperger's were only done on boys, so the rate of diagnosis in girls (and women) is very low.

I read a Guardian article about the problems in diagnosing autism in girls and women.  It featured a couple whose son had Asperger's.  He was diagnosed before his third birthday and was given help and support to mitigate the effects of the condition.  However, when his parents started to see signs of Asperger's in his sister, they were told she didn't have it because her symptoms were slightly different or even told that "girls don't get autism".  The sister had to go through school with no help or support, until she was finally diagnosed at the age of twelve.  The delay in recognising the condition will affect her for the rest of her life, as the interventions are most successful in small children.

Hopefully the next generation of girls with autism will have the help and support they need from the start, because the symptoms of autism in females will be better understood and more widely known by health professionals.
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Re: Autism and gender
« Reply #3 on: 09 Aug 2013 11:51AM »
Very good and very interesting. Thank-you for posting it.
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