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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Autism in girls article

Here's an article about how autism differs in boys and girls. There's been a lot of news about autism out there the last few days. I try to keep up with it to some extent, although I avoid getting obsessive about it. Articles that talk about autism in girls, of course, capture my attention.

A few interesting points in this article----It talks about how with a higher "degree of cognitive impairment" (it seems forbidden to say such things are retardation or low IQ), the ratio changes from 5 boys to 1 girl to something closer to 1 to 1. Autism doesn't hit girls as often, but when it does, it often hits harder. The article speculates that this might be because in higher functioning girls with autism, their innately high level of social skills masks the signs. I can see how that might be. The article also says girls on the spectrum have less repetitive behaviors and less sensory irritability. This fits Janey. She does a lot of repeating of phrases, but not a huge amount of repetitive behaviors like spinning. She has a pretty low level of sensory irritability, too, except for certain sounds. She never minds things like sticky hands or being barefooted. She actually probably seeks out sensory things, which I know can be an issue too, but a different kind.

I wish I could find a study to enroll Janey in specifically about autism in girls. I'd love to have our family be part of learning more about this subset of autism.

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