When most people think about a person with autism, they typically picture a young man. While there are more male Autism cases than female , it is a long-standing misconception. This misunderstanding is also a big problem in the medical field and makes it harder for females to be diagnosed and treated correctly.
The misconception that only males can be diagnosed with Autism actively harms females who may be displaying symptoms of ASD. The ratio of males to females who have autism is 4:1. While this means men are more likely to have autism, it does not mean women cannot have it. Some doctors describe a person who has autism as someone who shows extreme male behavior. This leaves women as the silent or invisible population when it comes to autism and overlooks their hurdles. Since autism is characterized as a malsculine disorder, women are often overlooked and mis-diagnosed.
If women cannot be diagnosed correctly, they cannot receive the correct treatments. Statistics also show that women are more likely to be diagnosed later on than men. Treatments for autism are most effective when they are started at a young age. These treatments include Applied Behavior Analysis and various medications. These treatments are made for men with Autism and are not geared towards helping women. Women and men have different symptoms and often need different treatments.
It is important to recognize that anyone, regardless of their gender, can have autism. \ Females should not be excluded from getting the proper diagnosis and treatments they need. Most importantly, medical professionals should be educated on and realize autism is a gender-blind disorder that should be treated properly.
Shefcyk, Allison. Count Us in: Addressing Gender Disparities in Autism Research. 2015, journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1362361314566585.
Karola Dillenburger Professor in the School of Education. “Why Early Diagnosis of Autism in Children Is a Good Thing.” The Conversation, 29 Apr. 2021, theconversation.com/why-early-diagnosis-of-autism-in-children-is-a-good-thing-33290#:~:text=Early%20diagnosis%20is%20important%20because,intervention%20is%20much%20more%20comprehensive.