Girls are frequently being diagnosed with autism at much later age than boys with Autism and a new research study suggests that this may be due to the fact that girls with ASD present with different symptoms than boys.
Research studies have found that girls often tend to display greater difficulty in the area of reading and reacting to social language and cues while boys on the other hand presented with more noticeable characteristics such as the associated repetitive behaviours like hand-flapping and highly-restricted interests associated with the disorder.
“The findings come from an analysis of data on children with autism participating in the Interactive Autism Network, an online registry with information on nearly 50,000 people with the developmental disorder and their families that’s housed at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.”
“This and other studies suggest that girls with ASD, as well as perhaps older women with this disorder, differ from males in key symptoms and behaviours, particularly around social interactions,” said Paul Lipkin, director of the Interactive Autism Network who led the study, which was set to be presented this week at the Paediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Diego.
“We must determine if the less recognizable symptoms in girls are leading not only to delayed diagnosis, but also under-identification of the condition,” Lipkin said.”
The current study has found that on average girl are diagnosed with what was previously known as Asperger’s syndrome (often more associated with difficulty with social language) a half-year later than boys. Significant differences between in the age of girls and boys receiving a diagnosis are also seen among those with pervasive developmental disorder.
“The most recent federal figures indicate that boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism. However, the new study suggests this disparity may be evolving. When Lipkin and his colleagues compared information collected between 2006 and 2009 to 2010 and 2013, they found that the proportion of girls diagnosed with autism increased, potentially due to greater public awareness, they said.”