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  • Writer's picturedrdonnahenderson

Hiding in Your Office: Girls and Women on the Autism Spectrum

Here is a link to an online workshop through the Maryland Psychological Association:

Workshop description: Over the past 20 years, the prevalence of autism has risen from 1 in 150 to 1 in 59.  This is due at least in part to our more sophisticated understanding of individuals at the high end of the autism spectrum (previously referred to as having Asperger’s).  Still, boys and men continue to be diagnosed far more frequently than girls and women (approximately 4:1).  It has always been assumed that the prevalence of boys with autism is naturally greater than girls, but recent research clearly demonstrates that many girls and women on the spectrum are being misdiagnosed or missed entirely.  In the past ten years, there has been a burst of research on girls and women with autism, particularly those at the high end of the spectrum, and it has become clear that they present differently from their male counterparts socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.  Moreover, research demonstrates that these girls and women are highly vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.  While many are therefore seen by clinicians, their autism diagnosis is often not recognized, which significantly impacts their ability to make progress.  Receiving a proper diagnosis can be utterly life-changing for this population, so it is essential that all clinicians working with girls and women are updated on the ways to (a) recognize the subtle presentation of autism in general and (b) understand the ways that girls and women present differently.  This workshop will provide that clarity.

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