The Autistic Journalist

Using words to explain the mind

Autism and ADHD not taken seriously for girls

with one comment

Unique challenges are presented to anyone that enters into existence in this world. Females endure the tougher and more painful process of giving birth, deal with a consistent barrage of stereotypes that attempt to persuade them to look a certain way, live their life where the presence of breast cancer is always a possibility. Now a researcher in Sweden says girls with autism or ADHD may not be taken seriously by healthcare professionals, who may downplay or misinterpret their problems.

Not much is explained in the story from UPI, but it’s not poor journalism. A neighbor of mine works on the UPI sports beat and informed me that several writers post short stories for syndication in Internet and newspaper feeds.

However, the story does provide another international insight into autism. Whether this downplay of issues is only present in Sweden or throughout the world, it doesn’t take long to find possible explanations. I’m not an ADD or ADHD expert, but autism is far more prevalent in males than females (four boys for every girl, according to the latest research). Not surprisingly, you’ll find a lot of male subjects on autism profile stories. Ironically, the most prominent autism figure of today is female: animal doctor and professor Temple Grandin. Grandin doesn’t shy away from speaking about the subject, but for those not familiar with her work or the disability in general, there’s a potential to misinterpret the disability as something that only afflicts boys.

Most papers or Internet news sources will likely run the feed and think little more of the subject, but there’s definitely a story potential to see how girls with autism or ADHD are treated in countries where both disabilities are heavily addressed.

Written by TheSportsBrain

October 6, 2010 at 7:39 pm

One Response

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  1. United Press International was always one of my favourite news presenters (I may have confused it with the Syndicate!).

    There was a good discussion on The thinking person’s guide about autistic girls not being diagnosed enough. And there came up several interesting resources.

    Robinson Peete, Holly. [2010] Eight facts on autism. Retrieved 7th October 2010.

    About Sweden specifically: yes, the Nordic countries can often be clued up. The Autisme Europe conference was in Oslo in 2007. Also, there was an empowerment group in Finland, started by a Finnish woman.

    (Gunilla Gerland is a name you’ll often hear. She is the author of A Real Person: Life on the Outside).

    Have known several under-diagnosed and under-served women with ADHD. And ADD (the inattentive variant).

    Adelaide Dupont

    October 6, 2010 at 8:31 pm

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