Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Gender Differences in Aspergers

"It seems that there are more boys than girls with Aspergers. Is this true? If so, what accounts for the difference?"

Interestingly, different research studies list the ratio of males to females with Aspergers (High-Functioning Autism) as being anywhere from 4-10 to 1. That is, some research suggests that for every 4 males, there is 1 female. Other studies suggest that the male population is much higher (8-10) relative to females. Obviously, much research is needed in this area.

As there is no known specific cause of Aspergers as yet, doctors don’t know why there seems to be such a diagnostic difference between boys and girls. A couple things could account for this difference:
  1. There could be a hereditary or structural difference in boys that account for such a difference. There are other disorders associated mostly with boys, such as hemophilia, that have been found to be related to the genetic basis of the disease.
  2. There could be a difference in the way society and doctors diagnose Aspergers in boys and girls. The behavioral expectations between boys and girls are such that boys are less likely than girls to be “diagnosed” with shyness and could instead be diagnosed with Aspergers. Because the symptoms of Aspergers aren’t as readily diagnosable as some diseases, mistakes in diagnosis are possible.

As a side note, there have been several recent studies linking Aspergers in adults with gender identity disorder (i.e., a disorder where an individual feels like they are actually a member of the opposite gender they appear to be).

Much more research is currently underway to look for the causes of Aspergers and possible solutions to managing the condition.


Anonymous said...

When i first wanted my daughter evaluated for aspergers i had a school counselor tell me she couldnt have it for 2 reasons. 1 she wasnt a boy and 2 she wasnt obsessive over cars or trains. Lol!
about an hour ago via mobile · Like

Anonymous said...

we are going through this exact same thing, with trying to get a diagnosis. Aspiegirls is a great book that talks about the differences by daughters obsession reading. Girls show it differently but the chart and doctors don't acknowledge this often. I talk on my blog about this and what we are dealing with.

Anonymous said...

Every parent of an aspie has identified that my daughter shows clear signs of aspergers ... In fact my daughter original trip to gp was on the advice of a teacher who had a son with asp ... Two years later educational psychologist sees her and agrees ... However consultant has diagnosed autism as and I quote "she cannot have aspergers because she is female" I was stunned!

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness! I knew we weren't crazy! I was told its hormones by the CSE office! Since 2nd grade?? She is now in 4th and we are still fighting. Developmental pediatrician is up next!!

Anonymous said...

I am a 50 year old female. My mother was told that I could not start kindergarten when I was 5 years old because I "was not social enough." I was held back, even though, at age 7, I was "still not social enough." Well, I didn't want to go over and initiate conversation and play tea with the other girls; I thought I was going to school to read BOOKS not socialize. Things haven't changed. After getting my Univ. of WA degree in American history at the age of 47, I was diagnosed at the time with Aspergers. What a relief as I suffered for decades and knew it wasn't "just shyness." Girls are "quiet" sufferers and can frequently be suicidal when socializing is so important with girls and when getting jobs. I am glad I decided to go to college late in life; I had myself diagnosed and a thicker skin by then - I didn't care about social stuff when in college. It was great!

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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to read the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content