Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Does Autism Affect More Boys Than Girls

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Diagnosis Due To Misbehavior

Autism Affects 4X More Boys Than Girls Here’s Why

Diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder often occurs at school and will often come about because inappropriate behavior has called attention to the child. Statistically males are more likely to engage in behaviors that brings them to the attention of school authorities, so possibly female students are more likely to slip under the radar when it comes to a mild Autism Spectrum Disorder being diagnosed. This also opens up the possibility of male students with behavioral problems being mistakenly diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder by an inexperienced practitioner. There have also been accusations made of schools being motivated to diagnose Autism and Aspergers syndrome in borderline cases in order to attract more funding.

As with many aspects of Autism,Aspergers syndrome and other Autism Spectrum Disorders, more research is needed before causes of this gender imbalance can be stated with certainty.

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Do Girls Mask Autism Symptoms

When people push their symptoms down to avoid detection, its called masking. Some researchers believe that girls with autism are adept at hiding their troubles, even though they persist. That could keep them from getting the help they need.

Experts say masking can involve:

  • Interests. Autism sparks an obsessive interest in a limited number of topics. For boys, maps, mathematical equations, or other adult-seeming topics could be the target. Girls, on the other hand, might like things that seem gender-appropriate, like unicorns or horses.
  • Social skills. Girls with autism tend to make more eye contact and smile more frequently than boys with autism do.
  • Order. Routines and structure can be comforting for people with autism. In girls, this can be overlooked as stereotypical female cleanliness.
  • Imitation. Some girls with autism know that theres something unusual about how they interact with the world. They learn to just copy their peers as much as possible.

Girls adept at masking pay the price. Researchers say they have higher depression and anxiety levels in adolescence than their peers. If they never get the right diagnosis, they could be treated for conditions they dont have with poor results.

Gender Distribution Of Autism Disease

Why autism is more common in males, but not correlated with x chromosomes, researchers have explained that a percentage is considered a low value by many, but when it is looked at generically, it is too much.

Because of the presence of two x chromosomes in daughters, daughters are more likely to recover from this mutation if this genetic mutation occurs, but boys are more likely to have sex with the mother when the x chromosome is taken from the mother by taking the y chromosome and the mother sends the mutated x chromosome to the baby they explain.

After this situation is determined, it is aimed that as a result of the studies done, it will cause to develop in the field of medicine so that such situations can be detected in the time of the baby mothers womb. By examining the chromosomes of the baby in the mothers womb, it can be clearly stated whether it has Downs syndrome or not. Work towards this is continuing to develop in the field of autism every passing day.

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Are Genes To Blame

Physical differences between boys and girls are more than skin deep. The science says that a female brain is structurally different from a male brain, and her chromosomal makeup is different too. Those two factors could offer protections.

The cortex, the outer layer of the brain, is full of nerves responsible for:

  • Memory

Women have thicker cortices, when compared to men. A 2017 study suggests that a thin cortex, regardless of gender, raises autism risks.

If women have a naturally thicker cortex, the thinking goes, they have built-in protection from autism. They have a bit of tissue to spare, so the disease might be in a mild form for them, if it appears at all.

Women also have a different hereditary makeup compared to men. Women have two X-chromosomes, while males have only one. Researchers found a mutation on the X-chromosome associated with autism. Since women have two, a faulty version could be overruled by the cleaner part of the pair, and that provides enhanced protection.

Studies like this are preliminary. Researchers need to do more work with:

  • Cells. Association doesnt prove cause. Studies that pinpoint exactly how these changes either lead to or protect against risk are required, and they are performed with cell.
  • Controls. Studies involving neurotypical people are critical, as researchers need a control set to compare to.
  • Study length. Short studies with small data sets arent as valuable as long studies that track information over an extended period of time.

Does Autism Affect The Brains Of Boys And Girls Differently

Does Autism Affect Women The Same Way It Affects Men ...

Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. Autism spectrum disorder impacts the nervous system and affects the overall cognitive, emotional, social and physical health of the affected individual. According to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, brain organisation differs between boys and girls with autism. The study was published in ‘The British Journal of Psychiatry’.

The preponderance of boys in the brain-scan databases also set up a mathematical challenge: Standard statistical methods used to find differences between groups require that the groups be roughly equal in size. These methods, which underlie machine-learning techniques in which algorithms can be trained to find patterns in very large and complex datasets, can’t accommodate a real-world situation in which one group is four times as large as the other. “When I tried to identify differences , the algorithm would tell me every brain is a male with autism,” Supekar said. “It was over-learning and not distinguishing between males and females with autism.” Supekar discussed the problem with Tengyu Ma, PhD, assistant professor of computer science and of statistics at Stanford and a co-author on the study. Ma had recently developed a method that could reliably compare complex datasets, such as brain scans, from different-sized groups. The new technique provided the breakthrough the scientists needed.

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Autism In Boys Vs Girls: Brain Scans Reveal Underlying Reason For Gender Differences In Autism Symptoms

Autistic behavior is different in girls than boys, say Stanford University School of Medicine researchers. Their new study not only provides evidence suggesting girls with autism spectrum disorders have distinct characteristics, it also links such gender differences directly to the brain.

Autism is characterized by three core symptoms: social impairments, communication difficulties, and repetitive/restricted behaviors. Yet, when it comes to high-functioning autism, the boys outnumber girls by four to one, noted the authors. While no one understands the reason for this gender imbalance, many researchers suspect girls with autism may simply display less severe impairments than boys.

The team of Stanford researchers explored this possibility in their current study. For data, they turned to two separate repositories. First, they queried the National Database for Autism Research, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health, using these parameters: ages 7 to 13 years, phenotype ASD, and IQ greater than 70. Their search came up with 128 girls and 614 boys.

Examining the data, the research team discovered the boys and girls shared similar low scores for social and communication behaviors however, the girls had scores much closer to the normal range when they were measured for repetitive and restricted behaviors. What might brain scans reveal about these differences?

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Sex Differences In Genetic Contributions To Asd Risk

Biological theories for the sex difference in ASD prevalence most frequently take the form of a multiple-threshold multifactorial liability model , in which females have a higher threshold for reaching affection status than males . Thus, genetic studies operating under this model hypothesize that females with ASD are likely to be carrying a higher heritable mutational âloadâ than affected males. This model predicts that relatives of female probands should be at increased risk for ASD as compared with relatives of male probands, which is supported by a recent twin study . In contrast, other studies have failed to support the genetic loading hypothesis, including a study of 882 families and another recent study of high risk siblings of autistic probands that found that only the sex of the sibling was a significant predictor of their future ASD status . However, a new study of more than 9000 dizygotic twin pairs from population-based cohorts provides the most conclusive demonstration of female-protective factors to date, showing that siblings of autistic females exhibit significantly greater autistic impairments than siblings of autistic males . This finding also supports a role for heritable variation in ASD liability under the threshold model.

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The Effect Of High Functioning Autism On Gender Orientation

The Autism Europe conference in Edinburgh had research presentations on the topic of gender dysphoria and its connection to high functioning ASD. Dr. Mark Stokes from from La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia spoke about his recent study examining this topic. The results from the international study found a higher percentage of those with ASD have gender distress, ambivalence and/or neutrality.

When compared to controls, individuals with ASD demonstrated significantly higher sexual diversity, reported gender-identities incongruent with their biological sex, and higher gender-dysphoric symptomatology.

The ASD group reported higher rates of asexuality decreased heterosexual attraction and contact increased homosexual attraction ASD females reported higher homosexual contact and were not concerned with the gender of their romantic partner. ASD individuals who were gender non-conforming reported better relationships with their opposite-sex peers during their schooling years than their gender-conforming peers did. The ASD group reported poorer mental health than controls and belonging to a sexual or gender-diverse group worsened this effect.

Increased non-heterosexuality in ASD may particularly fit predictions from the Extreme Male Brain theory of autism. An androgynous self-concept, gender ambivalence and dissatisfaction with culturally-dictated sex-roles emerged as major themes, which together may permit more fluid sexual-identities.

Are Expectations The Cause

Girls with autism are underdiagnosed and they’re different from boys

We reinforce ideas of gender with our expectations of boys and girls. Some researchers and experts believe that our interpretation of how girls and boys should behave can hide some autism symptoms and amplify others.

In 2019, researchers examined this issue. Their study set included:

  • Parents. The researchers examined adults raising children with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Twins. More than 30,000 children were included.
  • Established data. They used published studies as controls.

The researchers found that boys with autism had higher autism-specific scores than their female counterparts. However, the girls with autism had much different test results than neurotypical females.

In other words, the boys scored high on autism metrics. But the girls were very different than their peers, even when their autism scores were low.

Differences become prompts for bullying. Research like this suggests that girls with autism might get missed in standard tests, even when their peers can identify that something is amiss. Do we perpetuate that problem by allowing girls to bully one another?

Other research centers on bias. Do we assume more boys will have autism, so we screen them more frequently than girls?

In one study, researchers followed children from infancy. Periodically, the children had autism tests, and the difference between boys and girls persisted. Some say the tests are to blame.

Autism screening tests might look for symptoms that are traditionally male, such as:

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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 mimic 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 .

While girls with ASD are less likely than boys to also be diagnosed with ADHD and conduct problems, they are more vulnerable to internalising problems, such as anxiety, depression and eating disorders. As we learn more about autism in females, we appreciate just how important timely diagnosis, effective support, and understanding can be.

Is Autism More Common In Boys Youll Be Surprised To Know

Autism is a complex multifactorial disorder characterized by altered neural development, and is more frequently observed in males. There is no single reason that can explain such a bias clearly, but several hypotheses and explanations have been put forth.

Autism is a complex multifactorial disorder characterized by altered neural development, and is more frequently observed in males. There is no single reason that can explain such a bias clearly, but several hypotheses and explanations have been put forth.

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Why Autism Strikes Mostly Boys

Why does autism strike four times as many boys as girls? The answer may lie in specific biological shielding mechanisms that operate in girls, but not boys, even when both sexes have the same genetic defects associated with the disorder.

That conclusion leapt from the data in a study led by University of Minnesota researcher Nicola Grissom, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology. Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the study opens a door to understanding and one day better treating the disorder.

“Researchers have known about the ‘female protective effect’ in autism spectrum disorders for quite a while, but the reasons why girls might be protected while boys are vulnerable have remained mysterious,” Grissom said.

This effect means a boy has a 1-in-42 chance of being diagnosed, but a girl has only a 1-in-189 chance, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Those who do develop the disorder have difficulty in responding to rewards that would otherwise serve as cues that help shape social behavior.

What Are The Differences And Similarities In How Boys And Girls Experience Autism

Do More Boys Have Autism Than Girls?

Research suggests that the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, namely difficulties in social skills, difficulties in communication skills, and restrictive or repetitive behaviors, may look different based on the gender of the person with autism.

Autism is diagnosed more often in males than in females.

For every four males that are diagnosed with autism, only one female is diagnosed with autism.

Research questions the reason for this difference in rate of diagnosis in males versus females.

Some suggest that it may be due to the way autism is diagnosed the symptoms that are used as part of the diagnostic criteria.

However, there may be some level of reality in that males experience autism more often than females .

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What Are The Benefits Of Improved Understanding Of Autism In Girls

Research on gender differences could help in the development of non-biased diagnostic criteria and diagnostic instruments in future.

  • It will raise awareness among health professionals who are involved in early identification and diagnosis of autism. It would help diagnose women those who would otherwise be undiagnosed.
  • Understanding of how autism presents differently in females will also help in understanding their different needs and providing them with the right supports and interventions.
  • It could also help to understand whether transitions differ in both sexes and if yes, how do we help girls to have successful transitions?

Autistic Women And Girls

More men and boys are currently diagnosed as autistic than women and girls. This is changing slowly but surely, as more women and girls are being diagnosed as autistic.

Attitudes towards autism and gender are changing, although we still have a long way to go. Many autistic women and girls are still struggling to get the support they need.

Here, we explain more about the gender diagnosis gap, share stories from autistic women and girls, and share some theories on why more men and boys are being diagnosed as autistic.

You can also visit our gender identity page here, where we look at autism and gender identity in more detail.

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Not Just For Boys: When Autism Spectrum Disorders Affect Girls

Determined to find help, June raised her concerns with school personnel, psychologists and a doctor. They said her daughter was “quirky” and bright some said she had attention deficit, “executive function” or “sensory processing” problems. But it would take several years before she was finally given the diagnosis that explained everything: Asperger’s Disorder, a milder form of autism.

Researchers Found Key Differences In How Autism In Boys And Girls Develops

Autism in Girls vs. Autism in Boys | Autism

For the study, researchers took samples from both boys and girls between ages 8 and 17. The study included 45 girls and 47 boys with autism, 45 and 47 typically developing girls and boys, respectively.

The research team analyzed the brains of young people with and without ASD to determine how they process human emotion. Children with autism have difficulty reading social cues and the reactions of others. Previous studies on autism in boys discovered key differences in a part of the brain in children with autism.

In boys with ASD, the brain region called the posterior superior temporal sulcus appeared less responsive. This part of the brain helps with processing auditory and visual stimuli and is more active in kids without autism. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers confirmed this finding from prior studies on autism in boys.

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Why Are Boys More Likely To Have Autism

There has been something unusual and inexplicable about autism from the very beginning. When psychiatrist Leo Kanner was conducting some of the first studies that led to a formal diagnosis for the syndrome, he noticed something strange about his test subjects: there were more than four times as many boys that showed symptoms as girls.

Kanners initial observation has been confirmed repeatedly in autism spectrum disorder research over the years. Between four and five times as many boys as girls are diagnosed with ASD each year, and the same has been true for as far back as there are records. Through the modern surge in diagnoses and the intensive investigations into this phenomenon that followed, that ratio has remained relatively static.

Why are boys apparently more susceptible to ASD? With the causes and origins of the disorder themselves still only vaguely understood, its hard for scientists to provide a definitive answer to that question.

But recent research has begun to open up some hypotheses about the issue that might shed light on both autism and on some of the basic and ancient differences between the male and the female brain.

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