Exploring the link between biological sex and autism diagnosis

By: Corey O’Leary, 23ABC. Posted at 6:18 PM, Apr 13, 2023 and last updated 6:18 PM, Apr 13, 2023.

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April is Autism Awareness Month, and 23ABC is highlighting the various issues that the community faces, including the apparent differences between men and women when it comes to diagnosing autism.

Autism is a complex diagnosis and has a variety of impacts on those diagnosed. Autism can present very differently in different people, and one of the more striking differences is between the biological sexes.

“Boys have more overt and more aggressive and disruptive symptoms. Girls tend to be a little more passive, so they slip underneath the radar,” said Omni Family Health Pediatrician Dr. Anu Rao. “Girls are very good at mimicking other girls, so they can put on a mask of socially appropriate behavior when they are at school and so on, so that makes it even more difficult to diagnose.” …

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