Gender and Autism Stereotypes: Problems for Autistic Girls

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Since more boys than girls are diagnosed with autism, female autistic individuals face a lot of stereotypes about what autism “should” look like, based on what it tends to look like in the male autistic population. This is also true for gender-nonconforming autistic males and non-binary and trans* autistic individuals. I am glad that Blogging Astrid wrote a post about this important subject.

Blogging Astrid

Yesterday, I bought Parenting Girls on the Autism Spectrum by Eileen Riley-Hall. I’ve only read bits and pieces of it yet, but what struck a chord with me are the problems faced by both passive and aggressive autistic girls due to gender stereotypes and stereotypes about what autism should be.

First, most girls on the autism spectrum are passive. This can easily lead to them being ignored in a classroom or even at home. I notice this on my ward, too, because I’m fairly withdrawn. Because of this, my needs are not always met, as there are many patients who act out to get what they need. In the book, Riley-Hall talks about a girl in her daughter’s nursery who was so shy that she could easily be isolated if not for her attentive teacher. Passive autistic girls, according to Riley-Hall, need as much one-on-one attention as possible. This seems…

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