New autism study finds that girls are diagnosed later than boys

A new study, Gender Differences in Diagnosis and Social Characteristics of Children With Autism (ASD) from a US Registry, has found that girls with Asperger’s syndrome are diagnosed six months later than boys.

Nearly 10,000 children with autism were involved in the research study, that sourced data from the Interactive Autism Network registry. On average, boys were diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, at 7.1 years old, compared to 7.6 years for girls.

The study found that boys were more likely to have mannerisms associated with autism, such as hand flapping and repetitive behaviors.

Dr Paul H Lipkin who was involved in the study told that for those children with  “frank autistic disorder, there was no difference in age of diagnosis.”

Shana Nichols, clinical psychologist and owner of the Aspire Center for Learning and Development in Melville, New York was not surprised by the findings. She told that many of the girls who arrive at the centre are aged between 10 -12 years and have simply got by alongside their peers. She further adds, “parents often say they’ve noticed their daughters aren’t quite as attuned to the social nuances ­­­­– although they’re good at faking it.”

*Chen B, Marvin AR, Lipkin PH. Gender Differences in Diagnosis and Social Characteristics of Children With Autism (ASD) from a U.S. Registry. Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. 2015.

The study abstract can be found at http://www.abstracts2view.com/pas/view.php?nu=PAS15L1_4545.2

Source: Lisa Esposito on the US News website: Girls Get Autism Diagnosis Later Than Boys

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