Expert says many more girls have autism than was thought, and failure to diagnose them can lead to misery
So, basically, what this article is saying is they discovered the way that boys present with autism, went “well that covers 100% of the population surely!” and then didn’t bother figuring out how autism presents in girls.
Girls slip through the diagnostic net, said Attwood, because they are so good at camouflaging or masking their symptoms. “Boys tend to externalise their problems, while girls learn that, if they’re good, their differences will not be noticed,” he said. “Boys go into attack mode when frustrated, while girls suffer in silence and become passive-aggressive. Girls learn to appease and apologise. They learn to observe people from a distance and imitate them. It is only if you look closely and ask the right questions, you see the terror in their eyes and see that their reactions are a learnt script.”
Tony Attwood, founder of the first diagnostic and treatment clinic for children and adults with Asperger’s, and author of The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, agreed with Gould’s estimation of a 2.5:1 ratio of boys to girls. “The bottom line is that we understand far too little about girls with ASDs because we diagnose autism based on a male conceptualisation of the condition. We need a complete paradigm shift,” he said.
WE FIGURED OUT HOW TO DIAGNOSE BOYS AND BECAUSE WE FIGURED THAT WOULD WORK FOR EVERYONE BECAUSE BOYS AND GIRLS ARE SO EXACTLY THE SAME (child psychology would DISAGREE WITH YOU IDIOTS) NOW WE’RE REAL SURPRISED THAT WE FUCKED UP.
This. This is a feminist issue. This is an issue like holy shit there are doctors out there who will deny a female patient who is referred to them because ‘lul girls don’t get austism’. They didn’t think to do any more research because, whatever right? We figured out how to solve the male side of the problem.
This is so wrong on so many levels.
relatedly, tony attwood is kind of a dick
And it’s not just an issue of “how it presents” in boys vs girls.
Think about it:
A boy is quiet, unsociable, and fixated on a topic that interests him but might be considered unusual. He walks on his toes. He refuses to eat anything but Kix cereal and saltines. He can’t keep a grip on the monkeybars on the playground. Parents will notice. He isn’t “behaving right”, boys are supposed to be outgoing, right? Loud and rambunctious? Interested in everything around them? Eat any food put in front of them? Athletic and strong?
Now think of a girl in the same situation. She walks on her toes- how cute she must be imitating mommy’s high heels, or the ballerina in her favorite movie she watches all day every day without end. She’s quiet. “Wow, so fortunate your little girl is so well behaved, not a brat like my daughter!” She refuses to eat anything but Kix cereal and saltines? She’s just being fussy. Girls are always fussy, didn’t you know? She can’t do math? It’s okay. Girls are bad at math. Right? She can’t keep a grip on the monkeybars but obviously it’s just because girls aren’t good at sports.
My point being, parents not noticing a girl’s Autism is deeply rooted in sexism. And it’s bullshit. Even today my mom acts like there’s “no way” I could be autistic even though my brother (diagnosed at 9yrs when I was 5) and I presented THE EXACT SAME SYMPTOMS!!! FOR OUR ENTIRE CHILDHOOD!!! AND WE STILL DO!!!! My brother got every bit of aid available at the time, IEPs in school, special arrangements at home for his sensory difficulties. You know what I got? I got told to stop being a picky little bitch. To suck it up. Because I’m a girl.
Reblogging again for the important commentary.
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Doctors are ‘failing to spot Asperger’s in girls’
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