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Autistic girls 'dodging diagnosis', academics warn

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Autistic females are passing “under the radar” because they are so effective at camouflaging their behaviours, academics have warned.

Around one in every 100 people are on the autism spectrum and there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, according to figures from the National Autistic Society.

However, for every four males who are diagnosed at an earlier age, there is just one female diagnosis and a new study suggests that this is because young girls are adept at hiding their autistic traits in order to “fit in”.

It has been termed “camouflaging” and it means many autistic young girls dodge an official diagnosis and therefore do not get access to support they may need.

The study has been published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders by researchers from the Centre for Innovation in Mental Health at the University of Southampton, Liverpool Hope University, and University College London (Wood-Downie et al, 2020).

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