Girls with Asperger’s Syndrome

A look at the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome in girls, and why female children often go undiagnosed.

Asperger’s Syndrome has traditionally been thought of as a “male” disorder. Asperger’s is often overlooked in females, because professionals tend to look for symptoms only in male children. Many of the symptoms of Asperger’s also present differently in affected females.

One of the biggest obstacles that females aspies face is getting the correct diagnosis. Though it is thought that there are many more males with Asperger’s syndrome and autism, some researchers now believe that it is almost as prevalent in females, but that the majority of females go undiagnosed. 

Like their male counterparts, girls with Asperger’s syndrome tend to have “special interests” or areas of interest in which they are obsessed with. However, females may not have as strong of an interest in their “special interest” as males. It is also not uncommon for their “special interest” to be something more socially acceptable than the interests selected by male aspies. Whereas a boy with Asperger’s may become fascinated with train schedules, a female might be obsessed with horses or dolls. Because they may focus all of their attention on things that are normally seen as acceptable interests for little girls, the intensity of their interest may go unnoticed. 

Whereas boys with Asperger’s are often described as “little professors” because of their tendency to become experts on one particular subject, aspie girls are usually described as “little philosophers.” They may spend hours thinking about things such as whether everyone sees the color “green” as the same color or analyzing the meaning of concepts such as the “mind.” Girls with Asperger’s syndrome may appear odd to other children and adults, and may spend a lot of time living in a fantasy world. 

The social difficulties in female aspies may also not be as apparent, even if they are just as serious. Females are better at “scripting” social situations to be better able to fit in. This means that a girl with Asperger’s might be able to interact in an almost normal way by simply mimicking what those around her do in social settings. A telltale sign that a child is “scripting” is that they tend to mimic not only the words being said, but the inflection used. By monitoring a child for odd inflection and patterned speech, it may be possible to detect Asperger’s.

Some of the Asperger’s traits are also seen as more endearing or socially acceptable in girls than in boys. A child with Asperger’s may be more quiet and withdrawn. Since girls are expected to be more quiet and timid than boys, a girl with these traits might be seen as “sweet” or well-behaved. This can cause a diagnosis to be overlooked. 

In general, girls are better at hiding their problems and difficulties, so girls on the spectrum might never be noticed if the adults around them don’t take notice of their condition. Girls on the autism spectrum with a high IQ may be especially adept at hiding their symptoms.

It is important to make sure that girls with Asperger’s syndrome get the diagnosis and help that they need. 

To read about the unique set of challenges that adult women with Asperger’s syndrome face, read this article: Women with Asperger’s Syndrome

More articles of interest:

12 Common Myths About Asperger’s Syndrome

10 Crazy Theories on The Cause of Autism

Common Comorbid Conditions Associated with Autism

Wrong Planet: The Best Asperger’s and Autism Community on The Web

The Truth About Indigo Children and Starseeds

How The Indigo Child Concept Hinders Our Spiritual Advancement

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  1. interesting article.

  2. Great article, I learned something that I never knew about.

  3. Something new to pore

  4. Indeed, most interesting and well-written.

  5. Very interesting. Interesting how cultural perceptions of male-female roles pervade into even young minds.

  6. What a lot of CRAP on behalf of the medical fraternity and Big Pharmaceutical Cos. ( no offense to the writer). What are they going to think next to get you in their office or buy their product. If you do not behave exactly like a robot or computer (prescribed as normality) they are very quick to tag you with a female or male disorder. Children are living in a fantasy world most of the time. Fantasy and dreaming creates most of their brain network in early life. While Asperger’s and autism are real, medicos have no idea what really cause them or what autism or Asperger’s is. That’s where the word syndrome comes in. As in the majority of cases, their approach and therapy results in drugging children creating zombies and not healthier or better behaving children. So much for getting a correct diagnosis and treatment (Ritalin) in five minutes at your doctors office or on the request of their school that remotely resembles the above conditions. Is this an answer, on behalf of the well-being and future of our children?

  7. Meth, There is only behavioral treatment for Asperger’s, so BIG PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES have nothing to do with an Asperger’s diagnosis.

  8. interesting article.
    lots of people, whether kids or adults, are often over-medicated to shut them up because they don’t know how to cure them. this is true mostly for mental disorders or illnesses. i am sure it happens in other disorders and health problems, too.

  9. Asperger’s is a very real problem. There is no medication. Some of those with Asperger’s blend in fairly easily, just seeming a bit strange. This is a good article, and, I believe, quite accurate. The symptoms are often overlooked in girls. I think it may be over-diagnosed at times in boys, as it seems to be the new cool label, but it does exist and it is very hard for people and families who have to work around it.

  10. very informative article

  11. I think your article has evoked my interest in the problem. You may not be entirely correct but Yes! your thoughts are well connected. I am now going to go deep into the subject tho’. Thanks for the share!

  12. Thnx for explaining this in detail.

  13. I think I may have aspergers after reading this.

  14. Never heard of it it before.

  15. well detail article.

  16. Very interesting. Never knew about this before. Thanks for sharing!

  17. You clearly have no first hand experience with someone on the autistic spectrum. Most kids with aspergers are not medicated. It is the misdiagnosis of ADHD or other disorders that may cause a child with aspergers to be medicated when in fact the child needs therapies for sensory issues. Educate yourself before spewing inaccurate comments.

  18. wow it truly surprised me to read this article and how incredibly specific at the same time as so much like me this is especialy the part about thinkng weather other peopple see the same color as green and analizing what the mind truly is etc. and it has been very hard for me to adapt myself socially since i was in kinder garden. these last years i have learned to adapt by imitation but my asperger’s syndrome is very marked though it was never oficially diagnosed because i often thought as a little girl that i had to act perfectly normal around doctors or they would do something to me (no one told me this EVER, i just thouht so) so i always deceived them

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