Autism is diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls – approximately 4 times more. A comprehensive review published in 2017 suggested several factors might be contributing to a diagnostic bias, including that the condition is harder to spot in girls. Girls and women are often better at camouflaging or masking autism features, they may have fewer restricted interests (or more socially acceptable types of interests) and display fewer repetitive behaviours. For those girls that do receive a diagnosis, it tends to be at a much older age than for boys. Not having a diagnosis can be problematic in some cases and result in a lack of support in the early years of life and in school. Read more about the Autism sex ratio here.
Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto recently conducted interviews with girls and women on the autism spectrum to learn their stories. Click here to watch a short YouTube clip that provides an overview of the benefits of earlier diagnosis and why women on the spectrum often get missed or misdiagnosed.
Join Rebecca Witwicky and Katelyn Lowe on March 14th for a workshop entitled Invisible: Why Do So Few Girls and Women Get an Autism Diagnosis? The presentation will discuss some of the reasons why more boys than girls receive an autism diagnosis, common co-occurring diagnoses and misdiagnoses that teens and adult women receive, strengths and struggles for autistic women across the lifespan, and finally screening and diagnostic tools specifically designed for females. If you or your daughter have been diagnosed with autism or are wondering about an autism diagnosis this session will provide helpful information and resources.