Boys are at higher risk for ASD than girls.

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iheartmegahitt
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09 Jun 2011, 12:42 pm

What do you think of this ratio? I think it doesn't matter. I mean I've seen more women here with ASDs than I have with men. It makes me wonder how they came up with these kind of ratios. I mean its almost like saying 20 people with ASDs were tested and only say, 5% of them were diagnosed with Mental Retardation and 10% of them had ADHD, you know?

I think anyone can get ASDs without there being gender issue involved. Why does being a man make you more likely to get autism than a woman?


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09 Jun 2011, 12:45 pm

It's more often diagnosed in boys than girls. And yeah, that doesn't mean it's more likely for boys than girls.



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09 Jun 2011, 12:49 pm

I know. Most people tend to confuse that and think, "Oh well that means a girl won't get it as often". To be honest, it just don't make sense how they can come up with these kind of things. It shouldn't matter really.


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09 Jun 2011, 1:01 pm

A few months ago I linked an article here that said girls with ASDs and ADHD were not taken as seriously by clinicians as boys were.

Whatever the actual ratios between male and female for likelihood of ASDs, I think it's useful to say that girls are much less likely to be diagnosed with ASDs than boys are, which skews all of the ratios.



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09 Jun 2011, 2:04 pm

I just saw a news article about the genetics of autism. . But it was about some research that seems to indicate that there may be as many as several hundred genes involved in autism. It also appears that girls are more robust in handling issues with those genes. Basically, with at least with autism, girls have better 'resistance' to genetic abnormalities. It was a very interesting article. I should have saved the link.


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09 Jun 2011, 3:23 pm

Verdandi wrote:
A few months ago I linked an article here that said girls with ASDs and ADHD were not taken as seriously by clinicians as boys were.

Whatever the actual ratios between male and female for likelihood of ASDs, I think it's useful to say that girls are much less likely to be diagnosed with ASDs than boys are, which skews all of the ratios.


Totally agree with this statement.



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09 Jun 2011, 4:08 pm

I read somewhere that NT men act more Autistic than NT women, but not in the same sort of way with how the actual condition is. I'm not being sexist and I'm not having wishful thinking - I'm just repeating what I've read somewhere. It's just that I know quite a few men (especially older men) who have terrible mood swings, and aren't bothered about conforming, and lack a lot of empathy. My auntie's boyfriend is one example. He is socially normal, but when my auntie (the woman he loves) gets a little upset about something, he gives her no sympathy or doesn't even want any time for her when she's feeling a bit blue. He just gets up and storms off - which isn't very appropriate when somebody is feeling a bit upset about certain things. And my Dad, and my other auntie's boyfriend, are typically social with their friends and so on, but both hate crowded shopping centres. Most women I know can cope better going shopping in crowded shopping centres, but a lot of men I know hate it, and get very bad-tempered with crowds. Actually I reckon that my second auntie's boyfriend might actually be an undiagnosed Aspie, because he shows a lot more traits.
My friend's son got considered an Aspie when he was 15, but suddenly the doctors then didn't think he had AS at all - and it turned out he didn't have it at all, but seemed to show one simple trait, which was obsessing over his routine more than usual. His social skills are normal.

I may be wrong, and I'm NOT saying ''all men have AS''. I never said that. I'm not even hinting that. And those points I made aren't enough to meet the Autistic criteria, but I'm just saying that women seem to be able to have more empathy or sympathy than men. It might not be true. I've just read that somewhere about AS in a magazine.


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09 Jun 2011, 4:29 pm

Fewer girls probably do have ASDs than boys, just not as few as the diagnosis rate suggests.

Autism with severe learning disability and/or language delay is also diagnosed four times more frequently in boys than in girls, and it seems very unlikely that that would be due to bias in diagnosis. With mental retardation or severe delays comorbid it's not going to get missed any more frequently in girls than in boys, because it will be obvious that something is very different about them and so they'll get an assessment regardless of sex.

However, the ratio of diagnosis between the sexes in very high functioning people and AS is bigger than 4:1, it's around 10:1, and there is evidence that it really should be more like 4:1 as the low functioning ratio is, because while ASDs probably are more common in boys (as are almost all neurological conditions and learning disabilities, because the male brain is demonstrably worse at recovering from perinatal injury such as oxygen deprivation, in fact male babies even die at a higher rate than baby girls), underdiagnosis is also contributing to the discrepancy.



Last edited by roseblood on 09 Jun 2011, 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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09 Jun 2011, 4:33 pm

I can't find it now, but anbuend posted something once about misdiagnosis of girls with autism and severe learning and neurological disabilities.

That is to say, I wouldn't assume that everyone at a particular "functioning level" is more likely to be diagnosed when their symptoms are more likely to be misinterpreted.



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09 Jun 2011, 4:42 pm

Verdandi wrote:
I can't find it now, but anbuend posted something once about misdiagnosis of girls with autism and severe learning and neurological disabilities.

That is to say, I wouldn't assume that everyone at a particular "functioning level" is more likely to be diagnosed when their symptoms are more likely to be misinterpreted.

What are the things they're misdiagnosed with? I ask because as I said, most similar and related conditions without a straightforward single genetic cause, including AD/HD, ODD, speech and language disorders and dyspraxia, are diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls. If the girls are being misdiagnosed with things that are also more often diagnosed in boys, it would still suggest a higher rate in boys, otherwise you'd expect more girls to be diagnosed with those things than boys because of all the misdiagnoses. High functioning girls more often go undiagnosed, as happened to me (with ADHD and possibly dyspraxia and ASD too - still undiagnosed with those), but as I said, severe delays are surely going to prompt a diagnosis with something in rich countries.



Last edited by roseblood on 09 Jun 2011, 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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09 Jun 2011, 4:47 pm

roseblood wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
I can't find it now, but anbuend posted something once about misdiagnosis of girls with autism and severe learning and neurological disabilities.

That is to say, I wouldn't assume that everyone at a particular "functioning level" is more likely to be diagnosed when their symptoms are more likely to be misinterpreted.

What are the things they're misdiagnosed with? I ask because as I said, most similar and related conditions without a straightforward single genetic cause, including AD/HD, ODD, speech and language disorders and dyspraxia, are diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls. If the girls are being misdiagnosed with things that are also more often diagnosed in boys, it would still suggest a higher rate in boys, otherwise you'd expect more girls to be diagnosed with those things than boys because of all the misdiagnoses. High functioning girls more often go undiagnosed, as happened to me, but as I said, severe delays are surely going to prompt a diagnosis with something in rich countries.


I don't know, if I could find it I could say.



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09 Jun 2011, 4:58 pm

The ratio is skewed because there are more cases of boys being diagnosed. It's probably because girls are better at hiding it. Also her behavior might be considered normal in her culture for females. For example a girl might act extremely quiet and submissive. People might pass it off as "She's just being shy". However if a boy were to act that way people would think there is something wrong. Since it's culturally acceptable for little boys (American) to be "loud and aggressive".

Other possible theories why it occurs more in boys then girls could have to do with the Y chromosome, or could be a high level of testosterone. (Saw some articles about this a long time ago. Don't have any links though.) It's a matter of time before they start blaming cheeseburgers and breathing as a cause. Just like everything else. /sarcasm



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09 Jun 2011, 5:08 pm

When I was at school, I was in a class of 30 people, and approximately 13 were boys and 17 were girls, and I was the only one out of the whole class who had an actual disability, and so was the only girl who had special needs, and no boys had a disability like AS but 5 boys had some learning difficulties and so had to have some extra help along with me, and none of the girls but me had learning difficulties. So there were 6 children out of 30 with needs for extra help, and the ratio there was 5:1 (out of 30 children). 5 boys and 1 girl.


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09 Jun 2011, 5:48 pm

The symptoms are different in males and females. Some females have more male behaviour such as outbursts, a lack of showing emotions or empathy, and all the other stereotypical male-brain traits.

It's hard to pick up ASD in females. Usually the ones that act out are first to get diagnosed. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 22/23 but then again I grew up in a time when autism was just the severe form. I did have meltdowns as a child but became passive as a teenager.


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09 Jun 2011, 6:14 pm

i think more men get diagnosed than women idk why this is exactly but i think the amount of women vs men is equal



roseblood
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10 Jun 2011, 8:05 am

Madao wrote:
The ratio is skewed because there are more cases of boys being diagnosed. It's probably because girls are better at hiding it. Also her behavior might be considered normal in her culture for females. For example a girl might act extremely quiet and submissive. People might pass it off as "She's just being shy". However if a boy were to act that way people would think there is something wrong. Since it's culturally acceptable for little boys (American) to be "loud and aggressive"

People who are more mildy affected, like me, will be better at hiding it, regardless of sex. What does it mean to be better at hiding it, if not to just have a milder case? There could be just as high a proportion of undiagnosed boys with mild cases as there are undiagnosed girls in the same position, it's just that experts have started looking specifically for atypical presentations in the female population, such as less bizarre special interests and the ability to mimic others, and so they're finding them there.

You could also argue that as it's more socially acceptable (or rather, less startling, precisely because people are more used to seeing various symptoms of developmental delay in boys whether they know what they are or not) for boys to have problems getting along with others, doing what they're supposed to do without complaint and being sensitive to others' needs, that there are probably lots of boys who are 'better at hiding it' (mild) who go undiagnosed because only when a girl acts like that would people think there's something wrong.

Again, I do think underdiagnosis of girls and milder cases in general is a real phenomenon, one that's affected me too, and it's good it's being investigated, I just doubt, given the evidence available, that there is in reality exactly the same percentage of girls as boys with ASDs.

Lots of non-neurological conditions affect men or women disproportionately, including common killers like heart disease and breast cancer. It's not an unfamiliar concept in the rest of medicine, it's only in neurology that people assume sex shouldn't make a difference, perhaps because it's not as obvious just how different the male and female brain and hormone levels are on average, as we can't see them. However, there are highly significant differences, and while other things including depression, generalised anxiety and PMDD affect women more than men (PMDD is exclusive to women, obviously) other conditions do appear to be genuinely more common in men, and there is even evidence suggesting why.