Sex differences in pre-diagnosis concerns for children later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder


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An investigation into the reasons behind why girls without intellectual disability are diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) less often and later than boys.  A survey of carers of 92 boys and 60 girls living in Australia who were diagnosed with ASD after they started school was taken.  The survey asked caregivers what the children were like before they started school and compared the results for the boys and the girls.  Girls were found to use different strategies to cope with social situations (mimicking/imitation was more commonly seen in girls, isolating/withdrawal much less common in girls).  Interestingly the girls were more likely to exhibit externalized behavior than the boys.  This study is helpful in increasing understanding of why it may be more difficult to diagnose ASD in girls than boys.

planning for the affected children.

Published by: Sage

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Rachel M Hiller, Robyn L Young, Nathan Weber

Autism Vol 20, Issue 1, pp. 75 – 84 10.1177/1362361314568899