About Autism

Autism and Gender

Although there are some shared traits in both boys and autistic girls, girls often present differently. This can result in girls being misdiagnosed, misunderstood, or missed completely. Because autistic girls are less identifiable and often diagnosed later than boys, they may not receive appropriate and timely support.4

Autistic girls may be better at masking their difficulties in order to fit in with their peers, and, in general, they present with a more stable profile of adequate social skills.5

Girls tend to have more cognitive resources to mask their autism, including better language and imitation skills, and a stronger ability to blend in socially than their male counterparts.

Autistic girls are often less noticeably different or disruptive than boys with autism.6

These dynamics help explain why girls tend to fly under the radar and why so many misconceptions currently exist around autistic girls.5

Many autistic girls are undiagnosed in the classroom.

Do you have any girls who could benefit from extra support?

Top 5 Recommended Books

  • What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew - Inc. Autism Women’s Network. Edited by Emily Paige Ballou, Kristina Thomas & Sharon daVanport
  • Girls Under the Umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorders - Lori Ernsperger & Danielle Wendel
  • Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Understanding Life Experiences From Early Childhood to Old Age - Sarah Hendrickx
  • Aspergirls - Rudy Simone
  • Aspergers and Girls - Catherine Faherty, Jennifer McIlwee Myers, Lisa Iland, Ruth Snyder, Temple Grandin, Teresa Bolick, & Tony Attwood

4. Attwood 2007; Cheslack-Postova& Jordan-Young 2012; Kopp 2010; Kopp&Gillberg 1992; Kothari et al. 2013; Kreiser& White 2013; Mandy et al. 2012b; Willey 2012 5. Dworzynski et al. 2012 6. Attwood 2007
5. This explanation of autism and gender is not exclusive to autistic girls. It may apply to other autistic individuals of other genders, and may also not be relevant to all autistic girls.