How does autism present differently in girls and boys?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a diagnosis that is stereotypically thought to mostly apply to boys and men.

However, ASD also affects many girls and women too. Oftentimes it is overlooked due to how it presents itself differently.

What is autism?

Firstly, ASD is not an illness or a disease. It is something which you are born with and is a form of neurodivergence (meaning your brain perceives the world in a different way than those deemed as neurotypical).

Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that not every person diagnosed with it acts, thinks, and behaves in the same way.

Often, it is diagnosed in childhood, which can help to get a better understanding of the individual’s behaviour and tailor support to them.

At Synergy Complex Care, we understand the importance of personalised support to maximise independence.

Traits in girls vs boys

ASD is more commonly diagnosed in males rather than females (which could be due to the way it manifests differently in females).

Research varies in the ratio of diagnosis’ between boys and girls, but it is thought to be around 4:1 respectively.

One explanation for this difference is thought to be that girls and women tend to mask their symptoms, or because they pick up on how their peers act and mirror their behaviour.

Furthermore, the stereotypical indicators of having repetitive behaviours and highly focused interests presents differently in girls which can make diagnosis more challenging. The National Autistic Society is a useful site which explains Autism and autistic behaviours in both males and females of all ages, with a section about girls and women which goes into greater detail.

Supporting somebody with ASD

The nature of ASD can mean that people diagnosed with it may struggle with certain areas of their everyday life.

This can include finding it difficult to understand other people’s emotions and feelings, taking longer to understand information, and becoming easily overwhelmed in new and unfamiliar situations to name a few.

Here at Synergy Complex Care, we understand these needs and can give people a greater understanding of ASD and how to support individuals with it, allowing them to live, learn, and work as independently as possible.

If you are looking for some support for somebody diagnosed with autism, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Posted in Autism.