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It is well documented that people with a diagnosis of ASD are at greater risk of developing mental health difficulties without the appropriate support. Anxiety disorders and depression are extremely common. Other mental health difficulties which are frequently experienced include: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Catatonia, Disassociation and Eating Disorders. https://www.autism.org.uk/about/health/mental-health.aspx
The impact of these mental health issues can often be monumental resulting in school refusal and poor educational attainment, an inability to secure & maintain employment, high levels of familial stress, long-term reliance on benefits and social care/health services.
It was thought that women and girls were less likely to be autistic. However, recent research has highlighted the challenges in identifying autism in women and girls. It is now recognised that many autistic females or those who demonstrate the less traditionally obvious traits of autism are not recognised. This can result in misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, or women and girls not being diagnosed at all. https://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/gender/stories.aspx
It is often said that the differences that autistic women and girls experience are of a more subtle presentation, or may appear so to others. Some autistic women and girls feel that they are masking their autism to try and hide the fact that they feel different. They may copy behaviour from others around them, and can be exhausted by the constant effort to appear similar to other people, or might be unaware they are ‘masking’ in the first place. This more subtle presentation of autism is also a major barrier to clinicians and other professionals recognising autism and understanding the experiences of autistic women and girls.
As a result of this many women report feeling unsupported and not fully understanding themselves potentially resulting in mental health problems (National Autistic Society). At South London Psychology Partnership we are highly experienced in diagnosing ASD in girls and women.
All fees are costed on an individual basis. Contact us at South London Psychology Partnership.