Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Girls with Aspergers

Do girls with Aspergers experience the same symptoms as boys?

The male to female ratio for referrals for a diagnostic assessment is about 10 males to each 1 female. However, the epidemiological evidence indicates the ratio is 4:1. This is the same ratio as occurs with Autism.

So far there have not been any studies that specifically investigate any variation in expression of features between males and females with Aspergers, but males tend to have a greater expression of social deficits with a very uneven profile of social skills and a propensity for disruptive or aggressive behavior, especially when frustrated or stressed. These characteristics are more likely to be noticed by moms/dads and educators who then seek advice as to why the youngster is unusual.

In contrast, females tend to be relatively more able in social play and have a more even profile of social skills. Females with Aspergers seem more able to follow social actions by delayed imitation. They observe the other kids and copy them, but their actions are not as well timed and spontaneous. There is some preliminary evidence to substantiate this distinction from a study of sex differences in Autism.

Females with this Aspergers are more likely to be considered immature rather than odd. Their special interests may not be as conspicuous and intense as occurs with males. Thus, they can be described as the "invisible" youngster (i.e., socially isolated), preoccupied by their imaginary world, but not a disruptive influence in the classroom. Although females are less likely to be diagnosed, they are more likely to suffer in silence.

An important issue for females is that during adolescence the usual basis for friendship changes. Instead of joint play with toys and games using imagination, teen friendship is based on conversation that is predominantly about experiences, relationships and feelings. The female teen with Aspergers may want to continue the playground games of the primary school and starts to reduce her contact with previous friends. They no longer share the same interests. There is also the new problem of coping with the amorous advances of teen males. Here conversation is acceptable, but concepts of romance and love as well as physical intimacy are confusing or objectionable.

In an attempt to be included in social activities, some Aspergers females have described how they have deliberately adopted a "mask-like” quality to their face. To others at school, they seem to continuously express a smile - but behind the mask – they are experiencing anxiety, fear and self doubt. They are desperate to be included and to please others, but cannot express their inner feelings in public.

Females with the classic signs of Aspergers in their primary school years usually progress along the Autism/Aspergers continuum to a point where the current diagnostic criteria are no longer sensitive to the more subtle problems they face. These females have a better long-term prognosis than males. They appear to be more able to learn how to socialize and to camouflage their difficulties at an early age.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook


Anonymous said...

Probably not, since two BOYS with asperger's rarely experience the same symptoms. I wish researchers would focus more on the individuality of spectrum disorders rather than constantly trying to generalize . . .

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of the things talked about in the article in my daughter. This has led to people not agreeing with the diagnosis. I think that its more about awareness that girls can present differently. We went to her doctor numerous times with concerns, which were overlooked. If it wasn't for a good friend that suggested that we have her evaluated, she wouldn't be getting the help that she needs.

Anonymous said...

Im the same my little girl has aspergers and she is 8 im dreading her gettin older ill be watching her like a hawk
35 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

My daughter with aspergers isn't like the "girl" they described she's like the " boy". I don't see a difference male or female.

Anonymous said...

Sounds a lot like my daughter, who is now 14.
14 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

‎"if you've seen one kid with Aspergers, you've seen one kid with Aspergers".......... And since soooooo many aspies also have ADHD,OCD, anxiety, PTSD, etc no two kids will EVER present exactly alike

Anonymous said...

I'm well aware of my Asperger's now as an adult female in my thirties, but I wasn't growing up. The early years, I had a lot of friends, but by 6th I was an outcast. I tried lying about having boyfriends or a twin sister in order to fit in, but that was a major fail. A person here or there was nice, but I didn't know how to be a good friend. By high school, I was a major slut. I didn't know how to fit in with the girls, but I found my nitch with the guys. That behavior ostracized me from the girls more. Later on, I learned to join clubs which allowed me to be a part of something which was what I was looking for all along. But, I still remember after twirling during halftime, a few of us girls went for happy meals. I thought ordering happy meals was silly, and thought is this what h.s girls really do? I once took a course in college on Interpersonal Communications, and that came at a time that I was mature enough to grasp it. That changed my life. I learned the rules for communication, and the rules for friendship. I clearly grasped why middle school and high school were terrible experiences. I wish I could go back in time truly understanding that knowledge. I hope this helps someone..

leo mcfee said...

I'm nineteen almost twenty I only got diagnosed a year or so ago and bye then I already had my mask so to mom always had a feeling I had autism of some sort but because I was home schooled growing up it was difficult to do anything about it,I learnt all the social interaction stuff from watching my brothers.I always find it difficult to interact with girls my age and I tend to get along better with kids younger than me and adults.when I was getting diagnosed (well trying anyway) it was difficult because I cept doing well on the test they said they say I had aspergers for sure because the signs were mixed up it wasn't until I turned eighteen that I finally started getting somewhere.its actually quite common for people to not or get misdiagnosed so I was acually diagnosed fairly quickly it was a relief to finally get the help and support I needed and I'm much happier and getting on with my life.

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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content