Autism: The Female Profile
Strengths: Art Drama Horses Animals Unicorn Writing Loyal
The general consensus is that females with ASD exhibit:
- Tendency to socially mask or camouflage. Masking also known as camouflaging is a technique used by many individuals with autism to conceal their social difficulties. May mimic others.
- Increased social imitation skills,
- A strong desire for perfectionism
- Are more socially motivated with a desire to interact directly with others,
- When asking about developmental history a tendency to go unnoticed e.g., A tendency to be shy or passive,
- Better imagination compared to boys diagnosed with ASD
- Better linguistic abilities developmentally, and
- Play or Interests that focus on animals such as horses.
- Interest may be similar to other women but the intensity and time spent on activity may be significantly different.
- Females with autism may be interest in supernatural, psychology, learning about autism, soap operas, people and relationships, animals and compiling facts. However, they may also be interested in trains and technology and dinosaurs which are more typically associated with the male profile. It is therefore important to understand how much time they spend on such activities.
- Spending time with others: There is a misconception that people with autism do not enjoy spending time with others , however many people with autism particularly females enjoy this but find it exhausting. This exhaustion may be due to the mental energy used interpreting other people’s communicating and working out their responses.
- Social butterflies. Many female with autism appear to have friends but often they are out the periphery of many different friendship groups… acting as a social butterfly.
- May prefer the company of boys as the rules are easier, they are often less emotive and more truthful
- Restricted and repetitive behaviours can appear subtler in females with autism
- Interests: Fantasy and Imagination. Females with autism can have a tendency to create rich and elaborate fantasy words. Imaginary friends, can have difficulty separating fantasy from reality at times.
- Aspergirls, Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome by Rudy Simone,
- Pretending to Be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome by Liane Holliday Willey
References: 1. National Autism Society: Women and girls module2. Holliday-Willey, 19993. Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer, & Belmonte, 20054. Chakrabarti & Fombonne, 2001a; Fombonne & 2005)5. Kopp & Gillberg, 20116. McLennan, Lord and Schooler (1993) Photos Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash