For years, experts mistakenly believed that autism only affected boys.
This means that hundreds of thousands of women and girls with developmental disorders have gone their entire lives undiagnosed.
Autism is an incurable, lifelong developmental condition that affects how people perceive the world and how they interact with others.
It affects about 1 in 100 people in the UK and is three to four times more common in boys than girls.
Girls are often diagnosed later than boys, so they miss opportunities for early support.
What are the signs and symptoms of austim in women?
Symptoms of autism in women are not much different from those in men.
However, researchers believe that women and girls are more likely than men to camouflage or hide their symptoms.
The NHS says it is often difficult to tell if a woman has autism because her behavior is not as pronounced as that of a man who may be autistic.
1. Mood disorders
Sharon Kaye-O’Connor, an autism psychotherapist, told Insider that women with autism are more likely to experience problems like anxiety and depression.
Women often try to hide these symptoms, leading to burnout.
The NHS says women have learned to mask signs of autism by imitating people who don’t have it.
2. Need for certainty
Having a need for certainty is another sign of autism that women can exhibit, explained Lister Brooks, clinical director of the National Autism Society in the UK.
This can make us feel anxious when we cannot control the outcome of a situation, Lister added.
3. Emotional disturbance
Lister explained that women with autism sometimes have trouble controlling their emotions.
This could mean they have trouble identifying what they are feeling, and often associate physical symptoms with emotional health. .
4. Sensory overload
This is also a sign of autism in women if they suffer from vision, hearing, or smell, Lister said.
For those who are suffering, this can be overwhelming and frustrating.
5. Concentration of attention
Jessica Myszak, licensed psychologist and director of The Help and Healing Center, said: These topics are much more common than those found in neurotypical women.”
6. Feel different
Kaye-O’Connor explained that women who suffer from autism feel compelled to hide their true selves and may have trouble understanding what makes them different.
To fit in, they might try to adapt to the same personalities as the people on TV, she added.
The NHS says women with autism can be quiet and try to hide their feelings.
7. Fighting Friendship
Dealing with social interactions can be a struggle for people with autism, experts say.
Lister Brooke said women with autism can form meaningful friendships, but added that these friendships can often feel like hard work.
8. Social fatigue
According to Myszak, women with autism often feel they need to work harder to get the same results as everyone else.
This can occur at work or in relationships with friends, and often leads to social fatigue.
The NHS says anyone who thinks they may have autism should see their primary care doctor.
The guidance states, ‘If you’re already seeing another medical professional, such as a doctor or therapist, you can talk to them instead.
“Having a diagnosis can help you get the extra support you need.”