Many Women with ASD Go Undiagnosed

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have always been much more prevalent in males, with recent studies stating that five times as many boys are diagnosed with autism, in comparison to girls. Although there is a significant difference between genders in the number of individuals diagnosed, it is a common misconception that only boys can have the disorder. As a result, many women go undiagnosed with autism for years, and some even continue to do so.

Although there is no such thing as a “male” or “female” version of autism, a female profile is often characterized by certain traits. Signs of autism in women may include her being overly compassionate or gentle, having shutdowns when she is upset, or being highly uncomfortable in social situations. The difficult part in diagnosis is that men can also exhibit these traits, and women can exhibit more masculine traits, such as loud outbursts.

One of the biggest reasons why women may go undiagnosed is that they are better at masking their symptoms or signs of the disorder, such as trying to fit into social situations even if it causes them extreme discomfort. However, doctors warn that this can relate to an Autistic Crash, where autistic individuals reach a point where they cannot cope with their struggles and find it difficult to keep pretending to be someone they are not. This can lead to worsened health issues, such as the individual suffering from depression, severe anxiety, or an eating disorder. Therefore, it is even more critical that a more efficient diagnosis process is developed in order to help distinguish if a female may be on the autism spectrum.

Autism is just as difficult for women as it can be for men. Furthermore, if the woman is never diagnosed, she may never receive the care and therapy that could help her live an easier, more fulfilling life. It is common for women to go through life without understanding what may cause their anxieties or depression, and the idea of them having an autism disorder may be the furthest thing from their minds. This may also be due to the perception of autism being a masculine disorder. As a result, it is essential that something is done to help women obtain a diagnosis to avoid years of suffering and depression. Many groups are working towards a female profile for autism, which can be used as a diagnostic tool. Hopefully, this can be used to help women in the future receive the support they need to ease their anxiety and live happier lives.

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