Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Aspie Girls

I never watch the news so I missed this coverage of girls with autism spectrum disorders. Watch the video. Experts theorize that girls are underdiagnosed because we focus more on socialization with girl children.
According to Shana Nichols, a psychologist at the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism, a girl's autism might even pass unnoticed if a test for conversational ability is kept short enough.

"You might be able to engage in a back-and-forth conversation with a girl to a greater degree than with the boys," said Nichols. "In a one-to-one, five-minute conversation in passing, they could greet you and answer a couple of questions back and forth. But when you go beyond that, then you begin to see the hole or the gaps in her social understanding."
You would think that the higher expectations for girls' social skills would throw the autism into sharp relief, but that allegedly doesn't account for our having trained girls to be people-pleasers.
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