Asperger in women significantly underdiagnosed

More and more Finns are being diagnosed with developmental disorder Asperger’s syndrome. While the number of cases for women has increased sevenfold in the last two decades, the number of cases for boys and men has tripled, according to the Department of Health and Welfare (THL).

Mika GisslerTHL’s research professor said increased awareness of the condition has contributed to the increase in cases.

Today, more and more people in public are also talking about living with the disease, including as a teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, technology entrepreneur Elon Musk and the actor Anthony Hopkins.

In the last five years, about 4,600 people in Finland have been diagnosed with Asperger’s disease. One-third of these cases were among women, suggesting that women with autism spectrum disorder have been significantly underdiagnosed. The country’s autism association Autism Finland said that parents who suspect their children are in the book are increasingly contacting the organization.

Symptoms of Asperger include difficulty communicating and interacting in social situations, repetitive patterns of behavior, and attachment to certain interests. However, symptoms vary by gender, and girls often have better social skills than boys.

"Girls are often able to mask typical symptoms. They can learn to play a certain role in different situations. These roles may be based on the behavior of the most popular girl or TV character in the class," Gissler explained.

He also said that the interests of Asperger girls are generally more in line with the interests of typically developing girls, making adults more likely to miss autistic symptoms.

Source: The Nordic Page


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