Why are there fewer women diagnosed with autism?

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Autism in children and adults can be diagnosed in both men and women. On the other hand, it is more often diagnosed in men, whereas women are often affected. According to various studies, the ratio is moreover largely unbalanced, there are 4 men diagnosed for a woman.

Women are slightly less affected due to protective factors, but this does not prevent them from being protected from autism for all that. Symptoms that are slightly hidden in women often lead to later diagnosis. So how do you recognize this disorder in an adult?

We have prepared some explanations to help you learn more about it!


Less diagnosed women


Most of the time women with autism will have some ability to hide and this will make the diagnosis much more difficult. Symptoms will be present as in a boy, but girls will tend to imitate those around them in order to overcome their difficulties in being heard and understood.

It is also true that in autistic populations with intellectual disabilities, there are 5 boys for every girl. This imbalance demonstrates an obvious fact: girls are experts at camouflage.

However, since they spend the day hiding their troubles and evening exhaustion will often lead to ending the day in a state of anger.

As they grow older, these autistic women will develop secondary disorders that will be diagnosed by avoiding the primary reason. They will therefore suffer from depression or anxiety attacks, for example.

In addition, control criteria are often based on male symptoms and this does not help to take other particularities into account. Women with autism will experience communication difficulties, but they will still be able to make friendships more easily by adapting.

When dealing with an autistic girl, the subjects will often be classical and the gap will be barely perceptible. For example, they will play with Barbies but with the aim of reproducing scenes alone and not with friends. They will also be attracted by alternative worlds and contents that will help them understand how others work.

Imitation will therefore very often complicate the diagnosis of autism in women. Indeed, hiding certain behaviours and avoiding certain people will not help make the correct diagnosis. It is therefore important to take into account different elements in order to successfully identify a case of autism without confusing it with another secondary pathology that would be the result of the disorder.

A delay in diagnosing goes with great suffering


Women with autism disorders who have become experts in social disguise are often diagnosed as having personality, mood, and even eating disorders. Thus, the solutions that are brought to them as well as the social pressure demanded by their entourage and family, and often synonymous with great suffering: exhaustion, stress, anxiety, depression, …

Although this new awareness has improved the diagnosis of the spectrum of autism, women today often remain undiagnosed. So, take the time to be attentive to people with mild disorders, as this could be a case of autism that is hidden in women.