ABSTRACT

A special interest is a topic to which an autistic person devotes their exceptional capacity for focus and on which they lavish their cognitive skills. The female presentation of autism has largely been ignored in research. If people are using tools designed to identify male autistics, and female autistics present differently, then it is not surprising that these tools do not identify female autistics. NASEN’s report on autistic girls flying under the radar notes that despite having social communication difficulties similar to, or at higher levels than males, “intellectually able girls and women with autistic spectrum condition have better social integration skills” than male autistics. Autistic women are more likely to channel their efforts into perfecting masking than autistic men. The effort of masking can lead to social exhaustion and has long-term mental health consequences.