Symptoms of Autism: Girls vs. Women


Understanding the symptoms of autism is challenging. No two people are the same and that means autism spectrum disorder will impact them differently. Though most people on the spectrum experience different symptoms, there are some generalities that seem to hold true, especially when looking at the symptoms experienced by girls as opposed to those experienced by boys. Here’s what you need to know.

Girls Often Exhibit Social Challenges Later On

Boys with autism often show difficulty interacting with others early on in their lives. But girls don’t. They can often interact with their peers and manage social situations with relative ease through childhood. It’s only in adolescence where societal pressures change that the difference really becomes more pronounced.

Girls Have Broader Interests

One of the most common symptoms of autism is the tendency to fixate on a single topic almost to the point of obsession. But this is far more common for boys than it is for girls. Girls, especially when they’re young, tend to have broader interests. This can make it easier for them to interact with their peers and participate in group activities that boys may find challenging.

Girls Are More Prone to Depression

Unfortunately, many girls and grown women with autism struggle with depression and mood disorders. This makes it important that parents and caregivers consult with an experienced team to help manage their symptoms throughout their lives. The sooner these issues get dealt with, the better girls will be able to cope with their symptoms.

Girls Are Less Likely to Strike Out

In cases of severe autism spectrum disorder, some individuals become overly physical. This means lashing out when something bothers them or growing violent because they can’t control their emotions. Girls seem to experience this less frequently.

Girls Can Focus More in Standard Settings

For many boys, staying focused on tasks when there are other stimuli and activity happening around them can be tough. Many girls with autism are still able to focus without having to deal with the same levels of distraction as their male peers. This helps them do better in traditional academic settings.

Girls Are More Likely to Understand Non-Verbal Cues

Non-verbal communication is difficult for most people with autism. But it’s almost always more difficult for boys. Girls tend to respond to and better understand non-verbal cues. This means if you point at something or glance in a particular direction, they’re more likely to know what you’re doing and why.

Every Person is Different

These are generalizations and the symptoms of autism your friend, daughter, or sister experiences may be different. Autism is different for every person and there may be symptoms those you know show that aren’t on this list or even on the internet.

Contact Us to Learn More

If you’re worried that your child may be on the spectrum, don’t wait. Schedule a consultation and let our staff help. The sooner you can learn about the diagnosis and develop strategies to help your loved one cope with the stresses they face, the better off they’ll be. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.