The labeling of Women who do not fit neatly within the confines of society, as being ‘nutty’, ‘weird’, ‘batty’, ‘anti-social’, ‘loners’, ‘reclusive introverts’ or ‘eccentric’, when they may indeed be experiencing undiagnosed Female Autism, creates the kind of life long harm that ensnares Undiagnosed Autistic Women forever, within the confines of an artificially imposed, yet personally experienced prison, of societies making.
It’s high time that the name calling, isolation and double standards that lead to the abandonment and misdiagnosis of Women with undiagnosed Autism stopped.
It should no longer be considered acceptable for our society to be encouraged to acknowledge only those presentations of Autism that fit within the confines of Male Autism.
Autism is not a Male only condition.
Yet still today, if a male exhibits peculiar behaviors, or behaviors that are viewed as being out of the norm for males, they are automatically considered for an assessment of Autism.
Their behaviors are both attributed too, and understood as being part and parcel of the presentation of Male Autism, even before that assessment takes place.
As such, Autistic behaviors in males are considered excusable, simply because it’s perceived that they may be on the Autism spectrum.
Yet, when a Female exhibits similar sets of peculiar behaviors, or behaviors that are viewed as being out of the norm for females, she’s considered by others to be ‘weird’,’ unruly’, ‘unfeminine’,”highly strung’,’ intentionally disruptive’, ‘rude’, ‘bossy’ or ‘deliberately seeking attention’.
The one thing Women’s behaviors never seem to be automatically considered for, is an Assessment for Autism.
As a result, most Females on the Spectrum (either diagnosed or undiagnosed) are often punished socially, emotionally, economically and psychologically, for behaviors that they themselves may have no idea are unwelcome or are breaching social expectations.
Many girls and women are not even aware that they are on the Autism Spectrum until much later in life.
Nor unfortunately, are the people who often surround them in their daily lives.
Even their families, friends and peers often fall into the trap of re-attributing or reconstructing, the traits of Autism in Women, as personal behaviors that arise due to a perceived lack of self-discipline, ambition, sociability, maturity and in many cases, even sanity.
In short, when it comes to Women and Autism, it still seems that the overwhelming propensity amongst many in society is to perceive Female Autistic traits as evidence, not of Autism as they do in Males, but as evidence of some kind of personal female weakness, fault or issue.
This results in the re-labeling of Female Autistic behavior as being anything but…Autistic.
It seems that it is still far easier for those within our society to re-label Autistic Women with any number of demeaning personal faults, than it is to open their eyes to the possibility that the rates of Autism amongst Women, particularly older women, are much higher than anyone dared previously imagine.
Autism is not Gender Specific and therefore, nor should our understandings of it be.