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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Why Do Girls Show Signs of Autism Later Than Boys?

Autistic traits for the same group of children and adolescents was measured at ages 7, 10, 13, and 16. 
Boys who showed high levels of autistic traits at age 7 tended to remain consistent over time, demonstrating similar traits at older ages.
Girls, on the other hand, showed a marked increase in levels of autistic social difficulties between the ages of 10 and 16.
Mandy said the findings were surprising, as previous medical wisdom stated that girls and women with autistic traits tended to “camouflage” them as they got older.
“If anything, I expected to see a decline in autistic symptoms in girls over time,” he said. “What’s very interesting is that there was one person who suggested the opposite, and that was Hans Asperger himself. There’s this rather intriguing sentence from this paper he wrote in the 1940s, where he’s wondering why we never see girls with what he would call ‘autistic psychopathologies.’ And he said, ‘Well, maybe it’s because these traits don’t show onset until adolescence with females.’ And nobody tested that idea. So it’s intriguing that that would be what we appear to have found on this occasion.”