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Pre-school girls and boys with autism spectrum disorders

Participants: Gunilla Westman Andersson, Christopher Gillberg & Carmela Miniscalco.

Background: The male:female ratio is raised in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Previous studies have suggested that girls are generally diagnosed later in life than boys, and symptoms of ASD in girls may differ from symptoms in boys. Research also suggests that early detection and early intervention is important for children with ASD.

Method: The study formed part of the AUDIE project (AUtism Detection and Intervention in Early life). 40 children (20 girls, 20 boys), under age four years participated in the study. Most of them were recruited through population screening. They were matched by age and developmental quotient, and comparisons were made as regards clinical diagnosis, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-diagnosis, developmental quotient, adaptive behavior, language skill and global disability.

Results: No significant gender differences were found in our sample. There were strong correlations between results obtained in different developmental areas. The results suggest that either gender differences may not be as clear as earlier findings suggest, or that there may be girls who will not be identified in early years with current screening instruments.


Andersson, G.W., Gillberg, C., & Miniscalco C. (2013). Pre-school children with suspected autism spectrum disorders: Do girls and boys have the same profiles? Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 413-422.



Page Manager: Anna Spyrou|Last update: 1/15/2013

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-07-14