Almost 80% of women with Autism are misdiagnosed and this presents a whole lot of questions around the state of mental health and intellectual disabilities in young and adult females.
It is a well-known fact that an early and accurate diagnosis of an intellectual disability helps exponentially. It helps the individual be aware of their behavioural patterns and start any behavioural therapy or medical intervention that is required.
This gets sabotaged for a lot of women with Autism. Autism simply does not get diagnosed for them. The biggest reason is symptoms for Autism are different in males and females. Another reason is the tendency of women to hide or camouflage their symptoms, making them appear like they are a part of the neurotypical population.
Another factor that biases a lot of intervention and diagnosis is the fact that Autism is more prevalent in males than in females, as has been proven by a lot of research. Because of these prevailing statistics, females with Autism are not spotted or diagnosed as well as they should be.
So what should you look out for if you are thinking of Autism and females?
Behaviour around camouflaging needs to be taken into account – females with Autism may be able to hold conversations, maintain eye contact and be good at gestures. A lack of this behaviour is considered towards a diagnosis of Autism but that is because Autism is looked at from a male-diagnosis lens.
The behaviour found in females with Autism fits into the general stereotypical behaviour of females and thus does not come to notice for many people. It has been found that females with Autism tend to display low self-esteem and depression, the diagnosis of which masks their Autism diagnosis.
Not only do these symptoms need more digging, medical professionals need to stop looking at Autism from a male lens. The presentation of Autism in females might be less obvious but a missed diagnosis adds to frustration, self-esteem issues and a general sense of well-being. If they do not get a diagnosis at the right age, females end up thinking there is something wrong with them but not knowing what.
We need to fix this. Let’s all be more mindful of symptoms of Autism that show up differenty in females.
Also check our article on ‘Early Signs for Autism in children between ages 5 and 11’.
If you have questions about Autism, Down Syndrome, ADHD, or other intellectual disabilities, or have concerns about developmental delays in a child, the Nayi Disha team is here to help. For any questions or queries, please contact our FREE Helpline at 844-844-8996. You can call or what’s app us. Our counselors speak different languages including English, Hindi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, and Bengali.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this article is for information purposes only.