How to identify autistic girls – and what you can do to help

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Research into autism has focused almost exclusively on boys. And even though that is beginning to change, many girls are still going undiagnosed. Psychologist Felicity Sedgewick tells Dan Worth how teachers can spot the signs and provide support

How to support girls with autism

We now know with some confidence that autistic girls have mostly been left without a diagnosis. Historically, it was thought that autism simply had a higher prevalence among boys. Estimates of the ratio of boys versus girls being diagnosed vary from 2:1 to as high as 16:1 in some studies. The National Autistic Society says that the ratio of boys to girls supported in its schools is around 5:1.

That discrepancy is mostly down to the fact that the original researchers who looked at autism, in particular Hans Asperger, focused far more on boys. Subsequently, many of the diagnostic tools used ...

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