Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Sarah Hendrickx

My interest in this book is personal, having family members representing both the female and male side of Autism Spectrum Disorder, with the female members having had a harder time getting a diagnosis – so I jumped at reading and reviewing ‘Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder’ thirsty for information on the subject.

In our case, one adult female in her 60’s remains without a formal diagnosis, and two teenage nieces, aged 13 and 15 respectively are currently going through the diagnostic process (with one recent formal diagnosis) much later in life than my own son who was diagnosed aged 10. This has meant that my son was supported through the transition to secondary school, whereas the females have had none. The subsequent effort of ‘struggling on’ without help will inevitably have a huge impact on their later lives as adults, although of course we cannot measure it.

‘Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder’ is an intelligently written and very informative book, well-researched and full of facts and figures reflecting on the manifestations of ASD in male and female subjects, and the need for varying diagnostic criteria based on the differences between them.

I found this book very interesting, but it was quite heavy going, particularly bearing in mind the number of references to other works; a necessary requirement for a research based piece of writing requiring supporting information. Although only around 248 pages, the ‘layperson’ would possibly not sustain attention for the duration of the book, with the reading audience likely consisting of students, academics, and professionals working in this specific field .

Overall I applaud the author’s commitment to the subject; ASD is widely misunderstood in the Neurotypical world, even by mainstream school teachers, GPs and surgeries who may be the first approached in seeking an assessment, and who should therefore have a working knowledge of the condition in their everyday employment. To acknowledge further that what may diagnose ASD in a male, may not be the same as the deciding diagnostic factors in a female can only help towards further provision of the necessary support and care of more people with this condition, particularly from youth.

I give this book 3 stars out of 5.women-and-girls-with-autism-spectrum-disorder

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