Women and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Diagnosis and Implications for Treatment of Adolescents and Adults

  • Renée M. GreenEmail author
  • Alyssa M. Travers
  • Yamini Howe
  • Christopher J. McDougle
Autism Spectrum Disorders: Treatment, Services, Outcomes, and Community Functioning in Adolescents and Adults (ES Brodkin, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Autism Spectrum Disorders: Treatment, Services, Outcomes, and Community Functioning in Adolescents and Adults


Purpose of Review

We review the recent literature regarding the implications of gender on the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in women and adolescent females. We also discuss important clinical observations in treating this population.

Recent Findings

Growing research supports gender specificity in ASD symptom presentation. Differing phenotypes, psychiatric co-morbidities, and level of “camouflaging” (behavioral coping strategies to conceal symptoms for use in social situations) are thought to further contribute to the discrepancy in prevalence rates and resulting misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis in adolescent females and women.


Both nosological and cultural factors appear to be contributing to differences in the diagnosis of ASD in women. These differences in presentation have important implications for late diagnosis, treatment of ASD, and the quality of life for women with autism.


Autism spectrum disorder ASD Women Female Adults 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renée M. Green
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alyssa M. Travers
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yamini Howe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christopher J. McDougle
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Lurie Center for AutismMassachusetts General HospitalLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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