Autism affects both men and women, however, statistics claim that more men are diagnosed with ASD than women with a reported ratio ranging from 2:1 to 16:1. But is this really the case?
Women and girls diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome are not referred for diagnosis, thus, their possible exclusion from the statistics. This could be due to the fact that many women and girls are better in covering up the symptoms of autism, The National Autistic Society learned.
In addition, women and girls may show different signs and symptoms of autism compared with men and boys making it hard to diagnose ASD. Most men are also diagnosed at an early stage compared with women, who claimed that their reported symptoms were dismissed due to stereotypes on gender and race.
Autism Women's Network Morenike Giwa Onaiwu revealed that many of the characteristics she possessed were that of autism. Instead, they were dismissed and attributed to her gender or race and as a result, she was deprived of the support she needed, according to Quartz.
Women, despite their autism, were found to be more able in following social actions. They are also aware that there is a need for them to interact socially.
It was also found that women with autism do not engage in chit-chats to start-up a conversation. They also have more active sense of imagination and are more likely to engage in fantasy plays.
There are studies, however, that used the clinical tests results and metrics to investigate the occurrence of the said discrepancy and the result revealed only a few significant differences between the two gender, Spectrum reported. Due to the differences in the symptoms among men and women, it is being advocated by some experts that the diagnostic questions be altered to identify some misdiagnosed women and girls.
It is note-worthy that autism is a spectrum disorder. The symptoms that one may manifest may not be present in the other that is why a careful, early diagnosis is needed to minimize its effects and enhance the lives of the individuals affected by it.
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