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, 48 (5), 1698-1711

What About the Girls? Sex-Based Differences in Autistic Traits and Adaptive Skills

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What About the Girls? Sex-Based Differences in Autistic Traits and Adaptive Skills

Allison B Ratto et al. J Autism Dev Disord.

Abstract

There is growing evidence of a camouflaging effect among females with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), particularly among those without intellectual disability, which may affect performance on gold-standard diagnostic measures. This study utilized an age- and IQ-matched sample of school-aged youth (n = 228) diagnosed with ASD to assess sex differences on the ADOS and ADI-R, parent-reported autistic traits, and adaptive skills. Although females and males were rated similarly on gold-standard diagnostic measures overall, females with higher IQs were less likely to meet criteria on the ADI-R. Females were also found to be significantly more impaired on parent reported autistic traits and adaptive skills. Overall, the findings suggest that some autistic females may be missed by current diagnostic procedures.

Keywords: Adaptive skills; Autism spectrum disorder; Diagnosis; Sex differences.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Sex differences in parent-reported autistic traits on the Social Responsiveness Scale. Note: results shown with standard error bars
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Sex differences in parent-reported adaptive functioning on the Vineland-II Adaptive Behavior Scales. Note: results shown with standard error bars

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