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Autistic Traits In Adults Female

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What Are The Benefits Of An Adult Having An Autism Diagnosis

Understanding the Lived Experiences of Women with Autism

If you think that you might be autistic yourself, or you think an adult family member or friend may be on the autism spectrum but they have never had a formal assessment or diagnosis, you might question whether there is any point in doing so now, particularly if autism does not seem to be impacting on functional skills or daily living activities.

Ultimately, this is a personal decision. Many adults on the spectrum who do not have a formal diagnosis have fulfilling employment, maintain happy and meaningful relationships, and enjoy a good quality of life.

At the same time, some adults who have not been formally diagnosed can find life challenging in terms of how they connect and engage with others, or in maintaining consistent and meaningful employment, and as a consequence might feel isolated, confused and frustrated, and may be unsure as to why. This can ultimately impact on health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Some adults who have not been formally diagnosed can find life challengingand as a consequence might feel isolated, confused and frustrated, and may be unsure as to why.

Therefore, while it is a personal decision to seek an autism assessment, there may be a number of benefits to be gained from having a diagnosis of autism, regardless of the stage of life at which it occurs:

Many adults on the spectrum who do not have a formal diagnosis have fulfilling employment, maintain happy and meaningful relationships, and enjoy a good quality of life.

Autism In Women: Accommodations And Treatment

There is no universally prescribed medication for people on the autism spectrum. Prescription treatments more often address a comorbid condition, such as anxiety, mood disorders, ADHD, or seizures.

However, almost all autistic people are encouraged to try cognitive behavioral therapy . This talk-based counseling can help autistic adults identify and process the ways they experience the world differently. A therapist can help an autistic patient develop an understanding of social rules or learn how to advocate for themselves in a work setting.

It is important to note that an adult with autism can determine which new skills they want to learn and which personal differences they want to keep or change. By contrast, many young children placed in Applied Behavior Analysis therapy are trained to behave less autistic while still too young to parse out how being on the spectrum affects their sense of self.

Accommodations for people with autism include creating sensory-friendly spaces, establishing clearly defined social rules, and holding neurodiversity-based autism education in the community. In a work-place, there might be the provision of a job mentor or the flexibility to work from home.

High Functioning Autism In Women

Many times, you will hear the term high-functioning autism used interchangeably with Aspergers. However, those in the autistic community generally prefer neurotypical individuals to not use the term high-functioning when describing someone who is autistic.

Typically, when people refer to someone as high-functioning, they mean someone with autism that doesnt have an intellectual disability. However, this doesnt quite encompass the entire experience for those with autism. After all, there are several ways that autistic people find difficulty operating within societal frameworks that have nothing to do with IQ. The term high-functioning, then, tends to dismiss the struggles of autistic individuals.

Furthermore, research shows theres not a strong correlation between IQ and struggles to complete everyday tasks like tying shoelaces, getting dressed, or eating.

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Autism In Women: Dispelling Myths

The medical establishment has been slow to develop an accurate profile of autism in women with low support needs.

Though our knowledge of autism, especially in women, is increasing, it has been slow to make its way into the mainstream. Its why common myths like the following persist, and why we must work to raise awareness:

1. Is ADHD on the autism spectrum? No. there is a clear distinction between the two. ADHD and autism are separate neurological differences that can both exist in the same person. Scientists have suggested that the two conditions have a biological connection, which causes a high rate of comorbidity.

2. Autistic people feel little or no empathy. This is categorically untrue. Some autistic people report feeling their emotions more intensely than most. This stereotype seems more connected to the social nuance used to convey emotion/empathy than to the actual experience of it.

3. You can immediately tell if someone is autistic. There is no way to know whether someone is autistic just by looking at or talking to them. Still, many people cant accept the fact that someone who isnt obviously disabled could be on the spectrum. In fact, I often hear people say to me, You dont look autistic!

Even though we have a long way to go toward neurodiversity empowerment, I encourage potentially autistic women to explore the possibility. As our ranks grow, perhaps the worlds understanding of us will grow as well.

Why Are Girls Less Frequently Diagnosed With Autism

Autism Archives

The ratio of male:female autism diagnoses is thought to be about 4-3:1, although this likely does not reflect the true gender ratio of autism. It is also generally the case that when girls are diagnosed, it is later on than males.

Research suggests there may be a number of different reasons as to why girls are diagnosed with autism less frequently:

  • A bias towards males in the diagnosis process, with the specific needs of girls on the spectrum not sufficiently researched
  • When boys display characteristics of autism, these are more likely to be recognised by parents, carers, teachers or health professionals
  • Girls are thought to use masking or camouflaging more frequently than males, and are more reluctant to draw attention to themselves
  • Girls tend to be diagnosed as being on the spectrum at a significantly later age than boys.

Girls are generally diagnosed later than boys.

Signs of autism in girls

Everyones lived experience of being on the spectrum is unique, but there are many characteristics of autism that are shared by both boys and girls, men and women alike.

However, there are also some signs of autism that are more commonly observed in girls and women, and which may account for the lower incidence of autism diagnoses in females. These can include:

Some characteristics of autism can lead girls on the spectrum to lack self-confidence and have poor levels of self-esteem.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder In Teenagers & Adults

A greater number of children identified with ASD has led to a growing interest in the transition to adolescence and adulthood. For most young people, including those with ASD, adolescence and young adulthood are filled with new challenges, responsibilities, and opportunities. However, research suggests fewer young people with ASD have the same opportunities as their peers without ASD.

  • High rates of unemployment or under-employment
  • Low participation in education beyond high school
  • Majority continue to live with family members or relatives
  • Limited opportunity for community or social activitiesnearly 40% spend little or no time with friends

In addition, individuals with ASD may experience changes in their ASD symptoms, behaviors, and co-occurring health conditions during adolescence and young adulthood. These changes can affect their ability to function and participate in the community.

Common Autistic Traits In Adults

Want to know what are autistic traits in adults? ASD can manifest differently in each sufferer. So what does undiagnosed autism look like in adults? Here are some of the main characteristic traits of ASD:

Adult male and women with autism may have inappropriate social skills and may not behave in an age-appropriate manner in social settings. Inability to decipher social norms and cues may be one of the most basic autistic spectrum traits in adults. This can not only affect their ability to pursue a career, but also impact their ability to form and maintain relationships. common autistic traits in male adults and autistic traits in adult females may wrongly send the message that they prefer to be alone.

Although some individuals may speak normally, they may have trouble expressing themselves or understanding what others are trying to say. They may prefer using short phrases or monosyllabic words and hence, communication typically has restricted functioning. They may even speak in a loud voice with a robotic tone.

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How To Begin A Diagnosis Process

Adults who suspect they or a loved one might be autistic can do a self-assessment test for adults. A person can find these tests online. While they cannot give a diagnosis, the tests are a good starting point.

A person seeking a diagnosis can take the results of such a test to a primary care doctor who will try to determine whether ASD may be present by:

  • enquiring about the symptoms, both current and during childhood
  • observing and interacting with the person
  • speaking to a loved one
  • checking for other physical or mental health conditions that may be causing symptoms

If no underlying physical condition can explain the symptoms, the doctor may refer the person to a psychiatrist or a psychologist to make an ASD diagnosis.

If symptoms are not present in childhood but begin in adolescence or adulthood, this may indicate a cognitive or mental health condition other than ASD.

It may be difficult to find a specialist who can diagnose ASD in adults. Individuals who would like a diagnosis for themselves or a loved one may need to do research to find a provider with experience diagnosing autistic adults.

Another option is to speak to a developmental pediatrician or child psychiatrist who is willing to see adult clients.

Being A Mother With Autism

Meet the Woman Diagnosed With Autism at 45 | Lorraine

Mothering for an autistic woman presents a number of challenges.

There are requirements for socializing her child, planning birthday parties, attending school meetings, etc.

These expectations might make the autistic mother compare herself to other mothers and feel inadequate.

Other mothers felt that their autism helped bring a positive sense of rightness to their abilities as a parent, and felt a sense of pride and determination.

Mothers with autism, in general, do not project their own needs and wants on their children, and simply accept and valuethem for who they are.

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Choosing School Or Work Over Socializing

Because people with autism often find social situations difficult or stressful, they may come up with excuses to avoid them, like work or studying.

“They may be extra rigid in their scheduling,” says Scott-Hudson. “In college dormitories, they often choose to stay in their rooms to avoid having to go to parties or other group activities and may choose to stay into study as a way to avoid social outings. Boys can do it, too, but girls tend to camouflage more of their social avoidance by saying ‘Aw, I’d love to go to the party, but I have to study!'”

How Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Play

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder tend to be less spontaneous than other kids. Unlike a typical curious little kid pointing to things that catch their eye, children with ASD often appear disinterested or unaware of whats going on around them. They also show differences in the way they play. They may have trouble with functional play, or using toys that have a basic intended use, such as toy tools or cooking set. They usually dont play make-believe, engage in group games, imitate others, collaborate, or use their toys in creative ways.

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How Is Autism In Women Treated

While theres no cure for autism, medications can help to manage certain related symptoms or disorders that may co-occur.

But medication is only one aspect of autism support. There are many types of physical, occupational, and talk therapies that can help you better interact with the world around you and manage your symptoms.

Getting An Autism Assessment

Pin on Autism spectrum

The highly experienced Diagnostic Team at Autism SA provides autism assessments for people of all ages and genders and there are a number of ways in which you can arrange an assessment for yourself or for someone in your care.

To learn more about this you can visit our Diagnostic Process page.

For more information you are also welcome to contact the Autism SA Infoline.

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American Academy Of Pediatrics

In a January 2020 report by the Council on Children with Disabilities, Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics of the American Academy of Pediatrics entitled Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder, stated

Intervention for young children also may be derived from developmental theory, which is focused on the relationship between the caregivers level of responsiveness and the childs development of social communication.

Through interaction with others, children learn to communicate and regulate emotions and establish a foundation for increasingly complex thinking and social interaction. Therefore, developmental models designed to promote social development in children with ASD are focused on the relationship between the child with ASD and their caregiver through coaching to help increase responsiveness to the adult through imitating, expanding on, or joining into child-initiated play activities. This approach may address core symptoms of ASD, such as joint attention, imitation, and affective social engagement.

Developmental models for intervention are focused on teaching adults to engage in nondirective interactive strategies to foster interaction and development of communication in the context of play. One such approach is known as DIRFloortime .

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Famous Women On The Autistic Spectrum

  • Dr Temple Grandin is a leading scientist in the human livestock handling industry best known for providing insights into how the autistic brain works. Her research and books have helped tear down the stigma around autism by helping others better understand how autistic people see the world.
  • Courtney Love singer of Hole, was diagnosed as mildly autistic when she was a young girl.
  • Daryl Hannah is an American actress who starred in Splash and Kill Bill. She said her autism has made her incredibly shy and fearful of large events.
  • Maisie Hill is the author of Period Power. She has said her autism diagnosis has helped her make so much sense of my life.
  • Anne Hegerty is an English TV quiz personality and a chaser on ITV game show The Chase.
  • Susan Boyle is a Scottish singer, who rose to fame after appearing as a contestant on the third series of Britains Got Talent.

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Autism Signs And Characteristics: A Checklist For Adults

While it is very often the case that people with autism are diagnosed when they are children or during their school years, there are nevertheless many adults who may be on the spectrum but who do not have a formal diagnosis of autism.

This may be because an individual thinks or knows that they are on the autism spectrum but have chosen not to have an assessment, or it could be the case that an individual is not aware that they are autistic because they have never been assessed at any point in their lives.

Vulnerability To Sexual Assault

Behind the Mask: Autism for Women and Girls | Kate Kahle | TEDxAustinCollege

Vulnerability to sexual assault is a well documented issue for girls and women with autism.

This is mainly due to their struggle with misreading cues, naivety and taking what others say and do at face value. They assume that other people have good intent because they themselves do.

This can result in serious danger when it comes to sexual situations.

Many of the women with autism reported multiple occasions where they had been abused, attacked and/or raped.

This has nothing to do with intelligence, but everything to do with social understanding. Many feel like theyre left with two choices: trust everyone or trust no-one.

Other women learned to protect themselves by listing certain requirements for potential partners.

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Communication And Social Understanding

The typical diagnostic characteristics of ASD can become less obvious in adolescent women, especially when it comes to communication and social understanding.

As they reach adolescence, young women become more intellectually able and self-aware, which helps them learn what is deemed unacceptable and what is required in social interactions.

In an attempt to receive social approval and fit in, young women with ASD would study the behaviors of others. As a result, they become better at predicting more accurately what others will do and imitating these behaviors themselves.

What Does Autism Look Like In Girls

Although every child with autism is different, here are some common characteristics in girls with autism:

  • A special interest in animals, music, art, and literature
  • A strong imagination
  • A desire to arrange and organise objects
  • Not wanting to play cooperatively with female peers
  • A tendency to âmimicâ others in social situations in order to blend in
  • An ability to hold their emotions in check at school, but be prone to meltdowns or explosive behaviour at home
  • Strong sensory sensitivities, especially to sounds and touch .

For autistic girls to thrive, itâs important they have access to a timely and accurate diagnosis, and the informed supports that come with it. A delayed or missed diagnosis can impede their education and development, as well as their social and community participation.

While boys with autism are more likely to have outwardly challenging behaviours, girls with autism are more vulnerable to internalising problems.

As our understanding of how autism affects females is still emerging, it is important parents and professionals alike stay updated on the best ways to specifically support girls and women on the spectrum.

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