Sunday, May 7, 2017

How girls and boys with autism differ....a collection of links

In response to a question on the Facebook companion page to this blog (thanks, Ragon!), I decided to look at various articles about the differences between girls and boys with autism, and give a list of links.  I'm not endorsing the articles here by including them---just trying to provide a variety of takes on the topic!  Three big points seem to keep getting mentioned---of course that less girls than boys are diagnosed with autism, that girls with autism tend to be diagnosed later, and that girls show autism differently, with less repetitive behaviors and more typical special interests.  There's a lot of talk about the brains of autistic girls and boys being different, and some about how the ratio is less skewed in children with intellectual disabilities.

If you have any articles you've found useful I didn't include (there are MANY out there!), let me know about them---I will probably do another post like this at some point.


http://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/gender.aspx

A pretty good piece.  It cites a lot of research, and does talk about how when there is an intellectual disability as part of the autism, the ratios get closer to 1 on 1.  But also a lot about how Aspergers type autism is harder to see in girls.

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/09/girls-and-boys-with-autism-differ-in-behavior-brain-structure.html

About the brain differences between girls and boys with autism, and about how boys tend to have more repetitive behaviors than girls.

http://www.icare4autism.org/news/2012/04/differences-in-autism-symptoms-for-boys-and-girls/

A short general review, including notes on how girls are more affected academically than boys, but tend to have less sensory sensitivities and repetitive behaviors.

https://www.verywell.com/differences-between-boys-and-girls-with-autism-260307

A list of differences between boys and girls with autism.  It mentioned as do several other articles that when girls have a special interest, it tends to be more typical than boys special interests--for example, being into music rather than train schedules.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/autism-it-s-different-in-girls/

This is a longer and very interesting piece, although it does have a lot of the "girls with autism are harder to notice" type talk.  But it has a lot of fascinating ideas, like that girls with autism have brains that are more like typical boys than like boys with autism, and the idea that it might seem like girls are more severely affected than boys because it takes more clear-cut autistic behaviors for a girl to get diagnosed at all.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/04/health/mental-health/autism-sex-differences/

Talks about the differences in ratios in more pronounced autism, and about how sometimes autism in girls can show itself as severe shyness

http://www.health24.com/Medical/Autism/About-autism/girls-and-boys-have-different-autism-profiles-20161027

An interesting note about how girls and boys with autism both often have the same genetic mutations, but girls need twice as many as boys for the autism to be manifested.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/the-invisible-women-with-autism/410806/?utm_source=SFTwitter

A long article that is quite well done, with three girls showcased, each with a different level of functioning and different issues as a result.  Talks about how girls are diagnosed later, as a rule.  A personal note---tells about a US researcher with a $13 million grant to study the differences between boys and girls with autism.  I hope there are some blockbusters findings from that study, as $13 would certainly go a long way in providing respite and recreations activities for the girls affected.

https://iancommunity.org/ssc/girls-autism-hiding-plain-sight

A lot about how girls with autism appear more typical than boys...but with the interesting note that girls tends to show more autistic behaviors at home than at school or elsewhere in public.

http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/autism_spectrum_disorder_in_girls.html/context/1037

This is a good summing up type article, with a lot of the points other articles raise in bullet form.

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