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


part II|2 pages

Girls and autism

chapter 3|7 pages

The advantages of autism

A personal journey

chapter 6|12 pages

Black girls and autism

chapter 7|9 pages

Girls Group

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

part III|2 pages

Girls, autism and education

chapter 10|14 pages

Included or excluded?

School experiences of autistic girls

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

part IV|2 pages

Autism, adolescence and social networks

chapter 15|11 pages

Help us make our own way

Talking to autistic women and girls about adolescence and sexuality

part V|2 pages

Autistic girls

chapter 16|15 pages

Girls for the future

Transitions and employment

chapter 17|7 pages

Supported teachers supporting girls

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

chapter 18|8 pages

Run the world, girls

Success as an adult autistic female

chapter 19|8 pages


A call for action