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Diagnosing Autism in Girls Harder Than Boys

Diagnosing Autism in Girls is Harder Than Boys

Is diagnosing autism in girls harder than identifying the disorder than boys?

Here is a YouTube video from ABC that talks about autism in girls.

Claiming that diagnosing autism in girls is much more difficult than in boys, one womans tells her terrifying tale. Read how she had to fight just to get the right diagnoses for her daughter much less get the therapy for her autism.

Doctors gave her books on discipline calling her a bad mom. They insisted she was obssessed by her childs health and had the mom evaluated for mental disorders. Her tenacity pulled her through and finally she got the help she needed.

Her story is being publicized in an effort to spread awareness of autism disorders in step with Autism Awareness Month. Her wish is that no mother or parent ever have to go through the travails she had to endure. Pamela Frost gives a great report on BayPost with a great interview with Mrs Wallis who explains why she believes diagnosing autism in girls is more of a challenge that boys.

She said girls with autism were much harder to diagnose than boys, and she believes early intervention is crucial – something Jade has now missed out on.

“If she’d had early intervention, she would have had cognitive therapy and she’d be able to have better speech by now,” Mrs Wallis said.

“She also wouldn’t have this anxiety. She’s got a long way ahead of her.”

For every 10 boys, one girl is diagnosed with autism but Mrs Wallis said the true ratio was more like four-to-one.

“Girls are going under the radar. The girls are the ones in class that are quiet, they are smart so they don’t need help, they are the ones sitting back watching everyone else, they are pretty much in their own world, so the teachers would say that your child is an angel.”

Diagnosing Autism in Girls

The frustration must be unbearable. You know something is wrong but you dont' know what it is.

We can’t help but wonder what state of dysfunction her family would be in if she had ceded to the conclusions of the misguided doctors. What kind of frustration she must have been feeling could only be shadowed by the frustration she may have experienced trying to treat autsim disorders as if they were disciplinary problems.

Her advice to other parents is to trust your instincts and don’t deny them just because some expert tells you to. Demand second opinions from specialists in the diagnosis of Austism Syndrome Disorders. Be determined and diligent in recording the symptoms you observe. Read the list to be aware of symptoms you need to take into account when diagnosing autism in girls and boys.

Some symptoms of autism to look for in babies/toddlers

  • Doesn’t like a change in routine;

  • Reflux/colic;

  • Terrible sleeper;

  • Screams at male voices;

  • Screams at lawnmower/hand dryer, in a busy restaurant/supermarket;

  • Sensitive to light and clothing;

  • Walks around on toes;

  • Flaps hands and arms;

  • Doesn’t feel pain;

  • Repetitive behaviour;

  • Can’t handle changes;

  • Hates being cuddled;

  • Not reaching development milestones;

  • Copies words rather than speaks them;

  • Doesn’t respond to own name;

  • No eye contact;

  • No facial expression or smile when someone smiles at them;

  • Doesn’t notice other children around them;

  • Will not share;

  • Meltdowns that go for hours or days;

  • Lines up toys/doesn’t play with them but will turn them around looking to see how they are made;

  • Hates having wet/hair washed;

  • Doesn’t know how to join in.

Please share this with others to spread awareness of autism and related disorders.

Do you have a child you observe with any of the above symptoms? Have you had any similar experiences having your childs autism detected? Do you believe that the figures are right and that diagnosing autism in girls is more of a challenge than boys?