Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have a male predominance ranging from 4:1 among individuals with autistic disorder to 9:1 among individuals with Asperger’s disorder. It has been suggested that diagnostic biases are involved in the skewed sex ratio, which may leave females with ASD undiagnosed.
To examine whether there are sex differences in the timing of the identification of specific diagnostic categories of Autism, Asperger’s syndrome or PDD-NOS.
Survey data were collected in the Netherlands from 2275 individuals with ASD. Timing and procedure of diagnosis were compared for males and females with autism, Asperger’s syndrome and PDDNOS.
Among participants < 18 years of age, females with Asperger’s syndrome were identified later than males, despite parents’ report of first concern at similar ages. No delays in identification were found for individuals with ASD and PDD-NOS, or among participants ≥18 years of age.
Among children and adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome, females are diagnosed later than males, which can result in increased family stress and critical delays in treatment initiation. Strategies for changing clinician behaviour to improve recognition of ASD in females are needed.
See more of: Clinical Phenotype
See more of: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Phenotype