Autism has long been considered a boys' condition, but there is more to this story. The truth is, autism looks different in women and girls. They're much better at "pretending to be normal" by masking their autistic characteristics.
How can we look behind the mask to recognize autism, when it has been so well camouflaged? Recognizing Autism in Women and Girls: When It Has Been Hidden Well provides the perspective needed to see how autism manifests in gendered ways, allowing for a more accurate diagnosis.
In addition to describing each point in the diagnostic manual to include feminine presentations, Dr. Marsh has created “Seven Fictional Female Figures” who've been misdiagnosed because they also display symptoms of other similar conditions. She describes their behaviors, both obvious and hidden, from early childhood to adulthood, and demonstrates how these behaviors meet diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder. The "Behind the Mask" section provides helpful questions to ask during the autism assessment process to allow the professional to recognize autism, even when it has been successfully masked. In addition, each chapter contains "In Her Own Words," written by autistic women who describe their personal journeys from masking to diagnosis, and what it means to them. Being recognized at last for who they truly are frees autistic women to stop hiding behind a mask and begin opening doors to success.
About the Author:
Wendela Whitcomb Marsh is an award-winning author and autism assessment specialist. In addition to her newest book, Recognizing Autism in Women and Girls: When It Has Been Hidden Well, she has written The ABCs of Autism in the Classroom: Setting the Stage for Success for educators, and Independent Living with Autism: Your Roadmap to Success for autistic adults. She co-authored Homeschooling, Autism Style: Reset for Success with Siobhan Marsh, and Autism Parent Handbook: Start with the End Goal in Mind with Dr. Raun Melmed. People on the spectrum, especially women and others who struggle to be recognized, are among her favorite people. Dr. Marsh lives in Salem, Oregon, where she owns PIPS for Autism, LLC: Promoting Independence and Problem Solving. Learn more about her books and speaking at www.WendelaWhitcombMarsh.com and about her telehealth autism assessment services at www.pipsforautism.com.
Dr. Temple Grandin is one of the world’s most respected experts in the fields of autism and animal behavior and livestock handling. As a toddler, she had speech delays as well as other signs of severe autism. Many hours of speech therapy and intensive training ultimately enabled Temple to speak. Mentoring by a high school science teacher and exposure to her aunt’s ranch in Arizona motivated her to pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer. She is a prolific speaker, internationally best-selling author, and Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. In 2020 she was honored as a Top Ten College Professor in America. In 2010, Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, named her in the "Heroes" category. She was also the subject of the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning semi-biographical film Temple Grandin.