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Asperger’s

Autism in Girls: Harder to Identify, But Still Very Real

Autism in Girls: Harder to Identify, But Still Very Real 150 150 se_admin

Autism in girls is not a topic often discussed. When talking about autism, usually the focus is centered around boys since they’ve been thought to be about three times as likely to develop it compared to girls. While that makes sense on the surface, some researchers believe this may be getting in the way of identifying autism in girls.

Generally, girls are diagnosed with autism about two years later than boys are. This isn’t because it kicks in later, it’s because girls are different from boys. One study has discovered that girls may actually be better at hiding their symptoms of autism than boys are, making it more difficult to recognize.

Study shows why autism in girls may be harder to identify

In a study recently published in the scientific journal Autism, researchers discovered why autism in girls often flies under the radar: social skills. Autism is known for making socializing difficult–but that’s largely based off of research conducted on men and boys. There’s very little research that specifically focuses on autism in girls.

Which is a huge problem, according to Psychologist Carolien Rieffe. She believes that if we continue to use boys with autism as the “clinical picture” for autism in general, then many girls will continue to go unrecognized and untreated. This is what motivated Rieffe to study autism in girls.

The researchers believe that their study shows autism in girls needs a different approach. While girls with autism may have a stronger grasp of social norms and cues, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re forming meaningful relationships or thriving socially.

Girls naturally tend to be more socially aware earlier on, which could explain why they are much better at masking the symptoms of autism than boys. This doesn’t mean that they’re not still struggling, though. They could still have a strong tendency to isolate if not treated.

This is why it’s so critical to conduct more research for autism in girls. It’s still a large grey area in the realm of autism and it’s causing many girls to go without ever receiving treatment or help.

If you believe your daughter is seriously struggling with autism or a mental health issue, it’s essential to reach out to a professional for further guidance.

Solstice East is here for your family

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of troubled girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, autism in girls, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment.

For more information about how we help with autism in girls at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

Often Ignored, Misunderstood: Asperger’s Syndrome in Girls

Often Ignored, Misunderstood: Asperger’s Syndrome in Girls 150 150 se_admin

Asperger’s syndrome in girls is not often discussed. The spotlight is usually on the boys because boys are three times as likely to develop it than girls–but that leaves these girls in a grey area where they’re frequently ignored and left untreated. It’s actually been shown that asperger’s syndrome in girls is diagnosed an average of two years later than boys.

This can be chalked up to a lot of things, but one of them is a lack of studies centered around asperger’s syndrome in girls. This not only makes treatments less effective for girls, but it leads to many girls with asperger’s never even receiving treatment.

Additional challenges that come with being a girl

Girls and boys are different. They have different needs, different struggles, different drives, different hormones–they’re different. Yet a girl with asperger’s is often treated the same way as a boy with asperger’s. This can also be linked back to a lack of research into the special needs and behavior associated with asperger’s syndrome in girls.

Some differences include female friendships, menstruation, puberty, and romance–those are just the obvious ones. When you dig down into actual instinctual behaviors and brain chemistry, that’s where it gets even more complicated; but few have looked into that when it comes to asperger’s in girls.

A few studies have looked into the differences sex/gender make when it comes to autism and unsurprisingly found that boys act differently than girls when living with it. While the core issues may be the same, the way that they navigate them and portray their struggles can vary.

It has been theorized that girls may be better at hiding symptoms of asperger’s than boys. Neurotypical girls tend to be more subtle in behavior than boys, so researchers think this may be the case with asperger’s syndrome in girls, too. It’s obvious more studies need to research the differences between boys and girls when it comes to asperger’s (and autism, in general).   

Solstice East treats asperger’s syndrome in girls

Girls with asperger’s syndrome frequently struggle with self-harm, disordered eating, anxiety, depression, and many other issues. If you believe your daughter may be having issues such as these, it’s critical to seek out professional help as soon as possible.

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of troubled girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, asperger’s syndrome in girls, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment.

For more information about how we treat asperger’s syndrome in girls at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.