Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 49 (6), 2389-2402

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

Affiliations

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

Victoria Milner et al. J Autism Dev Disord.

Abstract

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.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 2 PubMed Central articles

References

    1. American. Psychiatric Association . Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®) Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
    1. Attwood T. The complete guide to Asperger’s syndrome. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 2006.
    1. Baldwin S, Costley D. The experiences and needs of female adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Autism. 2016;20(4):483–495. doi: 10.1177/1362361315590805. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Bargiela S, Steward R, Mandy W. The experiences of late-diagnosed women with autism spectrum conditions: An investigation of the female autism phenotype. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2016;46(10):3281–3294. doi: 10.1007/s10803-016-2872-8. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 2006;3(2):77–101. doi: 10.1191/1478088706qp063oa. - DOI

Publication types

Feedback