Though Autism effects men and women both, international studies show that the number of women diagnosed with Autism is as many as 5 times less than that of men. Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder that hampers social behavior. People with ASD find significant difficulty in communication and interaction socially. Their interests are also limited in nature with keen interest in some particular subject/ subjects. They also display repetitive behavior and unusual responses to anger, affection or distress. These are simply a few of the symptoms that people with Autism show. On the flip-side, these people are more intelligent on an average and have the abilities to excel in subjects like mathematics, science, art or music.
Now there are questions raised on the fact whether Autism has anything to do with gender and the research in the direction is already on. Many theories have been presented in the matter which harp upon the fact that were ignored. Here is a run down some reasons for less diagnosis of Autism in Women –
MALE ORIENTED RESEARCH – Based on the fact that case of Autism have been high in boys, the study or research on it mainly revolved round male characteristics. There is almost no data on autism research dedicated to female gender.
OVERSIGHT OR NEGLIGENCE – Usually, males are the ones who receive more attention in childhood as compared to females, because of their disruptive nature. This on the other hand might cause oversight or negligence to the girl child with Autism symptoms.
LESS SEVERE SYMPTOMS COMPARED TO MALES – there are studies about girls having less severe symptoms compared to boys, because in general that are known to be introvert as compared to the boys and its socially acceptable as well.
SOCIAL INTERESTS IN GIRLS ARE AS USUAL – When compared with boys who develop keen or critical interests in unusual subjects like train time table for example while in girls is more or less about dolls, celebrities and more. So, girls with autistic symptoms cannot be easily pointed out.
FEMALES TEND TO MASK THE SYMPTOMS – The girls are usually more adjusting in nature and autistic girls might even repress their behavior even more, which would avoid making them the center of attraction.
Gender autism studies taken up in the recent past suggest that women exhibit different symptoms than males with autism.
Here is a run down these symptoms
- Shy or Passive Behavior
- Prefer Direct Interaction with others
- Better imagination and linguistic ability
- Interests around people and animals
- More social imitation skills
- Experience high anxiety and depression levels
- Experience heavy stress in teenage and make few friends
Many of the symptoms are not really helpful and hence it results in under diagnosis in Women, Particularly. There have also been instances where women have been diagnosed with Autism post their 40’s due to the aforementioned factors. But, the coming times seem to shed more light on the topic so that the diagnosis could be done as early as possible so as the treatment.
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