Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Autistic and Female

Emily Willingham wrote a very interesting article about girls/women and autism a few months back in Forbes magazine.

I particularly liked this quotation: 

"The girls’ ‘protection’ might not come from protection against autism. Instead, it might come from being autistic in a different way from boys, a way that clinicians have yet to recognize, a way that leads researchers unknowingly to exclude autistic females from studies. It might not be that girls are better at “hiding” behaviors, as some suggest. Instead, their behaviors differ from those of autistic boys in ways that researchers are just beginning to understand."

The phrase "being autistic in a different way" jumps out at me.  

I was lucky.  I was diagnosed with autism at a young age.  Many Autistic girls are not as lucky as I was.  Many grow up feeling misunderstood because they have no clear understanding of what makes them unique.  I know I used to be lonely, before I understood why I was different.  I know my parents used to worry that there was something "wrong" with me.  My diagnosis changed all that.  My diagnosis was a definitive answer to the puzzle we'd been trying to solve.  

My heart goes out to all my Autistic "sisters" who are still trying to understand the beautiful mysteries that make them unique.

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