Just because you can’t see autism, doesn’t mean it’s not there, says Sarah Hendrickx. Inside might be another woman just waiting to go home and do a little flap.
A few years back, in my early 40s, I was diagnosed as autistic. By this time, I had written six books on autism, completed a Masters degree in autism, delivered nearly 1,000 autism training/conference sessions and worked with several hundred autistic people in a professional capacity.
You may think it strange that it took me so long to work out but it’s less of a conundrum when you understand the history of autistic females, of which I am one of many with this late diagnosis.
Historically, autism has been considered to be a predominantly male condition. This has never been true. Original samples in research papers focused on male children. This was perpetuated over the years and resulted in the development of a profile of autism based largely on characteristics seen in boys.
And guess what? If you’re essentially looking for the components of a boy, you’ll find a boy. So, you can see that if your starting point is skewed, with the subsequent decades of research producing an increasing evidence base, along with generations of diagnostic clinicians who have been taught using this skewed evidence base, this leads us to an inaccurate autism diagnostic ratio of males and females.
Read the rest here: What you see is not what you get: life as a female autistic – Standard Issue