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, 49 (6), 2389-2402

A Qualitative Exploration of the Female Experience of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)


A Qualitative Exploration of the Female Experience of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Victoria Milner et al. J Autism Dev Disord.


Autism spectrum disorder is thought to be a predominantly male diagnosis, however recent research suggests a smaller gender disparity in prevalence than previously assumed. Accounts of the female experience of autism are important to help reduce likely male-bias in current understanding and recognition of autism. Eighteen autistic females and four mothers of autistic females took part in discussions with a topic guide around diagnosis, impact and coping. A thematic analysis was conducted. Five themes were identified: fitting in the with the norm, potential obstacles for autistic women and girls, negative aspects of autism, the perspective of others, and positive aspects of having autism. We hope that greater understanding of the experiences of autistic females may lead to improved awareness, diagnosis and support for women and girls.

Keywords: Autism; Experience; Female autism; Gender; Sex differences.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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