High Functioning Autism in Females

When I read the article below it stirred up so many memories and feelings of frustration that I felt compelled to reblog it here.

I don’t have a daughter, but of course I am a daughter and I believe I am probably somewhere on the autism spectrum. When I was a young child (50+ years ago) nothing was known about Aspergers syndrome and autism was the result of “frigid mothers”. Kids didn’t have “behavioural disorders” they were just plain naughty and undisciplined – everything was blamed on bad parenting – and people never took their shy, awkward, socially clueless daughters to be assessed by a psychologist. So, I bumbled through life as best I could – as everyone does – but always wondering how other people “knew stuff” that I didn’t but was somehow supposed to know, and why I was often told by my mother in her angry/frustrated/scolding tone, “You’re old enough to have more sense!”

When trying to get a diagnosis for my 3rd son (then aged 2 years, now almost 21) I told our paediatrician that I was worried my boy might have Aspergers Syndrome, but my ideas were dismissed by the doctor who told me it was parenting issues. I argued that as I already had 2 older sons I was quite capable of knowing that there was something different about my 3rd son, but still I was not taken seriously. Two years later he started preschool and the teachers noticed his differences as well and cautiously took me aside and very nervously explained what they had observed about his atypical behaviour. They were expecting me to be upset about this news but were surprised when I was PLEASED with what they told me. FINALLY my concerns about him were validated and proper assessment was begun via a paediatric centre recommended by the preschool which eventually led to a diagnosis by a psychologist with the Autism Society of NSW (now ASPECT). Throughout this time I was doing a lot of reading about autism and Aspergers syndrome, including reading first hand accounts by adults with high functioning autism, or Aspergers Syndrome. In many cases it was like reading about my own life experiences and it was then that I finally realised (at age 38) that I too was most likely an Aspie! It explained so much about why certain things in my life had unfolded as they had. It also gave me new insight into the rest of my family, with some individuals standing out as also being somewhere on the spectrum, especially as they had children with certain ‘quirky’ behaviour, some being diagnosed with ADHD. We were always a delightfully weird and eccentric bunch, each with our own challenges, and finally I knew why.

Edit: November 2015 — the blog I referred to in the post above was removed from the author’s website. 😦  However, there are many other interesting and informative articles written by “seventhvoice” specifically about girls/women and Asperger’s Syndrome at:

Women’s Asperger’s Syndrome Awareness Blog

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One thought on “High Functioning Autism in Females

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  1. Thank you so much for reblogging my article and for sharing your amazing response to it. Your story is beautifully told and sadly the attitudes you encountered when attempting to seek help for your third son are all too common an experience for many mothers. I hope that by exposing the practice of medical professionals of invalidating maternal concerns, a change in consciousness will come. I’m so glad that you’re son has been correctly diagnosed and that you have learnt more about yourself and your own potential as a result.

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