Sex Differences in the Timing of Identification Among Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders
To examine differences by sex in the timing of identification of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), survey data were collected in the Netherlands from 2,275 males and females with autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and PDD-NOS. Among participants <18 years of age, females with Asperger’s syndrome were identified later than males. Among participants ≥18 years of age, females with autistic disorder were identified later than males. In more recent years, girls with Asperger’s syndrome are diagnosed later than boys, confirming earlier findings. In adults, the delayed timing of diagnosis in females with autistic disorder may be related to changing practices in diagnosis over time. Strategies for changing clinician behaviour to improve recognition of ASD in females are needed.
KeywordsAutism Identification Sex Asperger’s syndrome Diagnosis
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders–autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, United States, 2008. MMWR, 61, 1–19.Google Scholar
- Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek. (2008). Provincie op maat. Den Haag: CBS.Google Scholar
- Kopp, S., & Gillberg, C. (2011). The autism spectrum screening questionnaire (ASSQ)-revised extended version (ASSQ-REV): An instrument for better capturing the autism phenotype in girls? A preliminary study involving 191 clinical cases and community controls. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 2875–2888.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nederlandse Vereniging voor Autisme (NVA). (2008). Een plek om te leven. Een onderzoek naar de leefsituatie van mensen met autisme (A place to live. A study on the daily circumstances of individual with autism). Bilthoven: NVA.Google Scholar
- Shattuck, P. T., Durkin, M., Maenner, M., Newschaffer, C., Mandell, D. S., Wiggins, L., et al. (2009). Timing of identification among children with an autism spectrum disorder: Findings from a population-based surveillance study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 48, 474–483.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar