Researchers warned that girls camouflage their behaviors better and are flying under the radar of diagnosis.
According to the studies around one in 100 people are on the autism spectrum. Now autism diagnosis is made more frequently and at earlier ages in males, compared to females.
A study from the University of Southampton shed light on how females are hiding their autistic traits, in order to fit in, and failing to get the help they need.
In a social reciprocal behavior test, autistic females showed advanced social presentation compared to males, despite having similar levels of autistic traits.
A researcher at the University of Southampton says that raising awareness of camouflage could increase support for those who might need help after slipping the net.
We need to raise awareness of camouflaging in general, in school, and more because early intervention is the key to provide positive outcomes.
Some typical behaviors for children with autism include avoiding eye contact, repeating phrases, not responding to their name, adopting strict routines, struggling to understand others’ feelings, making repetitive movements, and more.
Autism has a lot of other strengths, including logical thinking, attention to detail, excellent memory, and more.
Autistic girls may be quieter and hide feelings, coping better in social situations, and not displaying stereotypical behaviors of autism.
A study involved 84 participants aged 8-14 years, included autistic and non-autistic from both genders.
Some of the autistic participants scored highly on autistic traits even with concerns by parents, they didn’t actually have a diagnosis.
To measure behavioral camouflaging, they did an interactive drawing, in which a researcher and the young person took turns to create a drawing starting with a simple line.
What we are trying to see is whether the child can work with you or not. Even changing the drawing to see if the child can be flexible with you, something hard for many children with autism.
Provided by University of Southampton