Create diagnostic criterion for autism spectrum disorder in females

Create diagnostic criterion for autism spectrum disorder in females

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Amanda Acke started this petition to American Psychological Association and

Misdiagnoses and under-diagnoses of females with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can lead to long term effects, most commonly autistic burnout. Only 1 female is diagnosed with ASD to ever 4-5 males, but the true ratio of ASD among these groups is closer to 1 female to every 2-3 males. It’s common for women with ASD to be misdiagnosed with disorders such as OCD, BPD, and eating disorders because these can all be seen in females who are diagnosed with autism. 

The DSM-5 is one of the most commonly use manual for assessment and diagnosis of mental disorders. While the DSM-5 does provide a diagnostic criteria for ASD, it is strongly based on male characterizations. For example, the first criteria for diagnosing a person with ASD is: person will have persistent deficits in social communication and social interactions. Although this can be seen commonly among the autism community, research suggests that not only do females care more about socialization, and therefore they mask behaviors in order to socialize “correctly”, but the ways that males vs females process social situation I completely different, and use different areas of the brain! The same areas that neurotypical males use to process social situations is the same area of the brain in which females with ASD use to process social situations. 

There clearly needs to be a new diagnostic criterion for ASD, that is specifically targeted towards what autism looks like I’m females. 

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