Aspergers Symptoms in Boys and Girls
The Sometimes Hidden Symptoms of Being Aspie
Typical Aspergers symptoms are commonly thought of as a indications of an autistic spectrum disorder, especially in boys.
This is because for every girl diagnosed with the syndrome, there are eight to ten boys diagnosed. When researchers are collecting subjects for studies, it is common for girls to be left out since there are so few of them to study.
This has resulted in far more information regarding Aspergers syndrome (AS) in boys than in girls. Researchers are just now starting to realize that the number of girls with the syndrome could be far higher than ever imagined.
It is now believed that girls with Aspergers syndrome —often referred to as Aspie girls— have been going without a proper diagnosis. This is because the Aspergers symptoms displayed by girls tend to be different from the standard Aspergers symptoms expected from boys.
Aspergers Symptoms in Boys
Boys diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome have difficulty relating to others and showing sympathy for others. They are socially awkward and tend to gravitate toward particular subjects of interest.
For example, a boy with this disorder may know thousands of facts about spiders but have no human friends. They tend to become obsessed with one subject and immerse themselves into learning as much as possible about that subject. They seem to have less desire to connect with others and may have trouble understanding emotions.
This syndrome can be very stressful and confusing in the social arena. Aspies have trouble predicting the actions or thought patterns of others and may not understand why others behave the way they do.
They are often misinterpreted as being rude or inconsiderate of others and most of them need behavioral therapy and routine stress relief to function socially.
Aspergers Symptoms in Girls
There are some girls that have been diagnosed with this syndrome, but they are far underrepresented.
While it was once believed that boys were just more likely to be afflicted with Aspergers syndrome than girls, some grown women are now being diagnosed with the syndrome.
It is believed that many girls go undiagnosed because their Aspergers symptoms are a bit different than the symptoms of boys. For instance, here are some noted differences:
- While boys become obsessed with topics that seem abnormal compared to other children, girls take on obsessions that seem normal for their gender. For example, some girls with the disorder will play with dolls well beyond the age most other girls lose interest. Playing with dolls seems normal, while a boy’s obsession with crickets or the planet seems odd.
- Girls tend to desire connections with other girls. While boys with the syndrome tend to stick to themselves and not understand others, girls are believed to copycat the behaviors of other girls. They do not understand why they are behaving in certain ways, but they learn to mimic other girls to fit in.
Aspergers symptoms in girls are similar to those of boys, but they are harder to detect. Girls are better at adjusting behaviors to blend into social circles.
Since their obsessions are not typically on alarming subjects and they are able to copy other girls to fit in, parents may not know that they need special help.
There will be signs that the girls with this disorder are a bit different from other girls, but they often make friends and do not set off alarms that something is really wrong.
Living without Diagnosis
It may seem like a good thing that Aspie girls are able to blend in and adjust their behaviors in order to make social connections.
Unfortunately, these girls may be doing themselves more harm than good by blending in. Since their symptoms are not as noticeable, they are much less likely to be diagnosed and receive the treatment and stress relief they need to understand themselves and the world around them.
Living with this syndrome undiagnosed can be very stressful. Girls struggle to develop a sense of who they are as individuals, because they live their life copying others.
While they appear to be normal in many aspects, they do not fully understand what is happening around them and why others are behaving as they do.
They never fully understand why they feel different than others, and they never get the stress relief and therapy they need to become full functioning, understanding members of society.
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