Girls with Autism are diagnosed later than Boys: Study

Girls with Autism are diagnosed later than Boys: Study

A new study has revealed that girls are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a condition that affects social interaction and communication, later than boys. According to the study, it happens because females exhibit less severe symptoms compared to boys.

The study also stated that females have different symptoms than males, which could be the reason why they are diagnosed later with the disorder. Paul Lipkin, director of the interactive autism network at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland, said that the findings of the study suggested that females with the disorder differ from males in key symptoms and behaviors.

Lipkins said, "Since the problems experienced by girls are in social cognition and require social opportunities, they are much more likely to be unnoticed until the elementary school years."

During the study, researchers analyzed data from an online registry that include about 50,000 persons and family members affected by the disorder. While analyzing the data, the researchers found that females were diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder at a mean age of four years compared to 3.8 years for males.

The researchers also found that girls struggled more with social cognition and ability to interpret social cues. On the other side, boys had more severe mannerisms like repetitive behaviors. According to the researchers, they found that boys, who age between 10 to 15 years, also had difficulties with the ability to recognize social cues and use language in social situations.

The researchers said the study suggested that the symptom differences in males and females may not only lead to delayed diagnosis in females, but potentially missed diagnoses altogether. According to them, it is necessary to understand the various ways children with ASD present.

The study has been presented on Tuesday at the Paediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego.

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