Understanding why autism is usually diagnosed in early life

In most cases, autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is something that is diagnosed in early life.

According to the National Autistic Society, around one in every 100 individuals are on the autism spectrum.

Whilst most people do usually get a diagnosis during childhood, there are cases in which autism can become apparent in later life.

So, why does diagnosis usually happen early on?

To understand why autism is usually diagnosed in childhood, you need to get a handle on the difficulties that individuals with autism face.

As a developmental disorder, individuals with autism will lag in communication and social skills.

Individuals may also experience extreme anxiety and display repetitive behaviours.

If a child is developing slower than other children their age, teachers or parents may refer the child to a GP. This can help to get a diagnosis as soon as any difficulties become apparent.

What role does gender play in diagnosis?

There is a clear difference in the number of males and females that are diagnosed with autism, with The National Autistic Society suggesting that the current ratio stands at 3:1.

So, for every three males diagnosed with autism, only one female is diagnosed.

In children, this gender diagnosis gap widens to 5:1.

But why is this the case?

It might not be as simple as saying that men are more likely to have autism than women, as other factors contribute to this diagnosis.

Some research has found that women with autism display different symptoms, which can make it harder to get a diagnosis.

Whilst other theories suggest that women are better at hiding their difficulties.

At the moment, research is varied so there is no concrete answer to this difference in prevalence.

Each individual with autism will have different needs, so taking a person-centred approach is essential to effectively support them.

Do you need care support for yourself or a loved one? Don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out how we can help you.

Posted in Autism.