Autism in Boys and Girls, Women and Men Throughout the Lifespan
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a clinical syndrome. ASD is not a distinct condition but the extreme of a continuum that goes from “normality” to “autistic conditions”. In this chapter, the huge differences in clinical expression, gender differences, as well as differences as development progresses will be discussed. To start with, we will look into the notion of developmental psychopathology in which, along with the intrinsic gender factor, the external interaction with the environment plays an important role. Then we will look closely into the different clinical expressions on the different dimensions, to subsequently look into the diagnostic difficulties that lead to late detection in women and high functioning individuals. To finally see which consequences these findings have on our diagnostic assessment, clinical management and families of those with ASD.
KeywordsAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Gender differences Brain development Phenotype Genotype
- American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and statistical manual III (1981) DSM III-R (1987) DSM IV (1994) and DSM 5 (2013).Google Scholar
- Asperger, H. (1944). Die autistischen psychopathen im kindersalter. Archly für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, 117(1), 76–136.Google Scholar
- Baird, G., Douglas, H. R., & Murphy, M. S. (2011). Recognising and diagnosing autism in children and young people: Summary of NICE guidance. BMJ, 343, 130–136.Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S. (2009, March). Autism: The empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1156(1), 68–80.Google Scholar
- Beadle-Brown, J., Murphy, G., Wing, L., Gould, J., Shah, A., & Holmes, N. (2002, June). Changes in social impairment for people with intellectual disabilities: A follow-up of the Camberwell cohort. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32(3), 195–206.Google Scholar
- BMJ. (2016). 353, i3028.Google Scholar
- Brody, L. R. (1999). Gender, emotion, and the family. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Cicchetti, D. (2016). Developmental psychopathology (3rd ed., Vol. 4, 4656 pages). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous Child, 2, 217–250.Google Scholar
- NICE Guideline on Autism in Adults. (2012). ASD in Adults. http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG142.
- Ozonoff, S., Iosif, A. M., Baguio, F., Cook, I. C., Hill, M. M., Hutman, T., et al. (2010). A prospective study of the emergence of early behavioral signs of autism. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49(3), 256–266, e251–e252.Google Scholar
- Rajendran, G., & Mitchell, P. (2007). Cognitive theories of autism. Developmental Review, 27(2), 224–260.Google Scholar
- Rivet, T. T., & Matson, J. L. (2011). Review of gender differences in core symptomatology in autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5(3), 957–976.Google Scholar
- Rosenberg, R. E., Kaufmann, W. E., Law, J. K., & Law, P. A. (2011). Parent report of community psychiatric comorbid diagnoses in autism spectrum disorders. Autism Research and Treatment, 2011, 405849.Google Scholar
- Russell, G., Steer, C., & Golding, J. (2011). Social and demographic factors that influence the diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders. Journal of Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 46(12), 1283–1293.Google Scholar
- Siklos, S., & Kerns, K. A. (2007). Assessing the diagnostic experiences of a small sample of parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 28(1), 9–22.Google Scholar
- Simonoff, E., Pickles, A., Charman, T., Chandler, S., Lucas, T., & Baird, G. (2008). Psychiatric disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence, comorbidity and associated factors in population-derived sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(8), 921–929.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- van Wijngaarden-Cremers, P. J. M., van Eeten, E., Groen, W. B., van Deurzen, P. A., Oosterling, I. J., & van der Gaag, R. J. (2014). Gender and age differences in the core triad of impairments in autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(3), 627–635.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- van Wijngaarden-Cremers, P. J. M. (2015). Gender: Comorbidity and autism. Ph.D. thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen. repository.ubn.ru.nl/bitstream/handle/2066/142158/142158.pdf.
- Wolff, D., & Wolff, S. (1995). Loners: The life path of unusual children. London: Routledge.Google Scholar