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Are there gender differences in Autism and Asperger Syndrome?

  • Most researchers agree that Autism and Asperger Syndrome is more common in boys than girls.
  • Other research, however, has shown that girls who exhibit core “autism deficits similar or indeed identical to those seen in boys” may not be diagnosed as on the Autism spectrum because they exhibit different behavioral patterns.
    • The whole autism behavioural phenotype may — unwittingly — have become copied from typical male cases.
    • Girls in this position are most likely diagnosed with an obsessive-compulsive, conduct, learning, or any other of a number of disorders.

Sources: S. Bauer “Asperger Syndrome: General Information and Across the Lifespan”; S. Baron-Cohn, R.C. Knickmeyer, & M.K. Belmonte (2005). “Sex Differences in the Brain: Implications for Explaining Autism”;  S. Kopp & C. Gillberg. “Girls With Social Deficits and Learning Problems: Autism, Atypical Asperger Syndrome or a Variant of These Conditions”.