Often thought of as a predominantly ‘male’ disorder, autism has long gone unidentified, unnoticed and unsupported in girls – sometimes with devastating consequences for their social and mental well-being. As current research reveals a much more balanced male-to-female ratio in autism, this book provides crucial insight into autistic girls’ experiences, helping professionals to recognize, understand, support and teach them effectively.

Drawing on the latest research findings, chapters consider why girls have historically been overlooked by traditional diagnostic approaches, identifying behaviours that may be particular to girls, and exploring the ‘camouflaging’ that can make the diagnosis of autistic girls more difficult. Chapters emphasize both the challenges and advantages of autism and take a multidisciplinary approach to encompass contributions from autistic girls and women, their family members, teachers, psychologists and other professionals. The result is an invaluable source of first-hand insights, knowledge and strategies, which will enable those living or working with girls on the autism spectrum to provide more informed and effective support.

Giving voice to the experiences, concerns, needs and hopes of girls on the autism spectrum, this much-needed text will provide parents, teachers and other professionals with essential information to help them support and teach autistic girls more effectively.

part I|2 pages


chapter 1|7 pages

Where are all the autistic girls?

An introduction
ByBarry Carpenter, Francesca Happé, Jo Egerton

chapter 2|7 pages

What does research tell us about girls on the autism spectrum?

ByFrancesca Happé

part II|2 pages

Girls and autism

chapter 3|7 pages

The advantages of autism

A personal journey
ByKatie Buckingham

chapter 4|8 pages

Raising the voice of the lost girls

ByCarrie Grant

chapter 6|12 pages

Black girls and autism

ByVenessa Bobb

chapter 7|9 pages

Girls Group

Respecting the female identity of girls with autism in a school setting
BySharonne Horlock

part III|2 pages

Girls, autism and education

chapter 8|12 pages

Leadership issues in the current educational climate

ByRona Tutt

chapter 9|8 pages

Building a specialist curriculum for autistic girls

BySarah Wild

chapter 10|14 pages

Included or excluded?

School experiences of autistic girls
ByJane Friswell, Jo Egerton

chapter 11|10 pages

Girls who ‘can’t help won’t’

Understanding the distinctive profile of Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) and developing approaches to support girls with PDA
ByRuth Fidler

part IV|2 pages

Autism, adolescence and social networks

chapter 12|8 pages

What do we know about the neuroscience of autism in girls and women?

ByMeng-Chuan Lai

chapter 13|13 pages

Mental health and girls on the autism spectrum

ByTina Rae, Grace Hershey

chapter 14|10 pages

Friendships on the autism spectrum

ByFelicity Sedgewick, Liz Pellicano

chapter 15|11 pages

Help us make our own way

Talking to autistic women and girls about adolescence and sexuality
ByGillian Loomes

part V|2 pages

Autistic girls

chapter 16|15 pages

Girls for the future

Transitions and employment
ByJo Egerton, Helen Ellis, Barry Carpenter

chapter 17|7 pages

Supported teachers supporting girls

A whole-school model of support for the education of young people with autism
BySarah-Jane Critchley

chapter 18|8 pages

Run the world, girls

Success as an adult autistic female
ByRachel Townson, Carol Povey

chapter 19|8 pages


A call for action
ByWenn Lawson