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Females with autism show greater difficulty with day-to-day tasks than male counterparts


Well-Known Member
From the article linked below:

"The historical lack of specific discovery around how autism presents in females may contribute to misdiagnoses or delay, and prevent implementation of necessary interventions. Such delays can have a major impact on outcomes, as recent research has demonstrated the critical importance of early diagnosis and intervention in ASD.

"Our focus in caring for children with autism is equipping ALL of them with strategies and skills to allow them to function and succeed in day-to-day living," Dr. Kenworthy continues. "This study highlights that some common assumptions about the severity of challenges faced by girls with ASD may be wrong, and we may need to spend more time building the adaptive and executive function skills of these females if we want to help them thrive.""

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170714164906.htm
Good article wight, interesting to know that some research has been done. Hopefully more in the future.
Do you think it's possible that there are socio-cultural factors influencing this finding?

Such as the unfortunate tendency for it to be seen as more acceptable for a woman/girl to be dependent on others than a man/boy....leading to a lack of teaching/opportunities being offered to females with autism? (Like parents just do stuff for them rather than seeing a problem and helping their child to learn how to do stuff independently?)

Or how (if I understand correctly) for females to be diagnosed with autism in the first place, their symptoms generally have to be more severe than those of a male? (Executive dysfunction by itself tends to have an impact on social skills and rigid/repetitive behavior, too.) The study may have controlled for variables like ADHD, symptom severity, intelligence and age, but they're looking only at a population that's already been diagnosed with autism -- not at everyone who could be diagnosed with autism, which might include more females with less executive dysfunction that would balance out the numbers.

I'm not saying I don't believe there are real gender-based differences in presentation (I completely believe they exist), I think I just tend to be critical about claims of gender differences in behavior and ability (across the board) because of the complexity of the biology involved in gender differentiation and also because historically many claims about neurology and behavior/ability differing based on gender have been....lots of things that aren't good.
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Heart attacks come to mind when I see claims of gender differences. I suspect there are a lot more undiagnosed female Aspies than estimated due to male researcher biases. There is probably less of a gender inequality between males and female Aspies than conjectured. For all we know, there might be as many female Aspies as males.

Thanks for a thought provoking and interesting article to share with us, Wight.
Good article but I wish they would say "people with autism" instead of just focusing on the children. I hate the assumption that people outgrow autism.

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