Autism Symptoms in Girls Not Taken Seriously

Often, when girls with symptoms that mirror those of ADHD or autism seek medical guidance, they are misinterpreted or downplayed. (Photo Credit: PINK/Flickr)

As we approach equality in the workplace, home, and other areas of society between men and women, it remains apparent that there is a still a disparity between young boys and girls when it comes to identification and treatment of autism and ADHD.  This is according to a recent study from the University of Gothenburg .

Often, when girls who possess symptoms that mirror those of ADHD or autism seek medical guidance, they are misinterpreted or downplayed. These girls fail to receive the treatment and care that they need, which is likely to result in a worsening of their condition.

The thesis from the university focuses on 100 girls who sought treatment between the years of 1999 and 2001.  They experienced difficulties in social and were referred to the paediatric neuropsychiatric clinic at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.  A doctoral student at the hospital noticed that the parents of these girls noticed their condition early on, but doctors failed to identify it correctly.

They had also asked for help at an early stage, but hadn’t been given a proper diagnosis,” states Svenny Kopp, a doctoral student at the university.

After a series of psychological and psychiatric exams, it was determined that more than half of the girls had autism or other autism spectrum disorders.  Additionally, these girls suffered from other psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, and difficulties with reading and writing.  More often than not, these girls were bullied in school and ostracized from group activities.

In conclusion, this study illustrates how the healthcare system does not take girls with symptoms of autism serious enough.  There should be more universal training for medical professionals to help identify these conditions early on and provide the proper treatment.

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