gender differences for autism
3 min · Special Needs
July 26, 2023

Gender Differences in Autism

The exact cause of autism is not known. It is not correct to say that there is only one reason. Medical research shows that autism can be caused by many different factors. Some genetic diseases are also considered to be the cause of autism. In addition to this according to brain sciences, the lack or excess of some chemicals between the cells carrying messages in the brain which effects the mental health may also cause autism.

The greatest factor in autism is considered to be genetic. The probability that the sibling of a child with autism has also autism is quite high. This probability is also very high in single twins. However, if it was only related to genetics, autism was expected to be seen in both single twins when autism is found in one of them. There are also cases where only one of single twin babies has autism.![gender differences]

Why are There Gender Differences In Autism?

Although the exact cause of gender differences is still unknown, it is thought that the genes from the father are effective. Autism may be inherited more frequently by genes that can only be carried from males to males which may explain gender differences. However, this is not a proven fact.

The frequency of autism varies according to gender identity. The frequency in males is about 4.2 times higher than in females. There are many reasons as to ASD is more prevalent in girls than boys. One is that autism develop in girls more slowly, and the fact that the symptoms of the disorder present differently in girls, making it difficult to detect. Autism should not just be seen as a mental health problem. Although in some children with autism can have mental retardation as a comobirdity, it may lead people to make generalizations, but please note that some are gifted individuals.

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How Do Developmental Disorders Accompany Autism Development?

If there are disorders accompanying autism, they can also affect the level of intelligence physiological responses. Attention deficiency and hyperactivity are the most common disorders accompanying autism. Other common disorders that individuals with autism experience are mood disorders and epilepsy. The most common age ranges for epilepsy are 0-5. Epileptic seizures also increase during adolescence. We can summarize other developmental disorders that can be seen in children with autism in 3 categories: Asperger syndrome is also a condition in the autism spectrum. But language development is better relative to autism.

Rett Syndrome is only seen in girls, so it depends on the sex difference. The head circumference being small is the most obvious symptom in this disorder and severe mental health retardation is observed. Children with disintegrative disorder are not recognized that they have autism until the first two years of age. Their development process is also quite normal. But later, the symptoms of autism start emerging.

If you recognize any specific symptoms in your child, be sure to note them and consult a specialist. The most common feature of children with autism is to avoid eye contact. We can say that they do not do this consciously, they simply can not establish eye contact. But you should also remember that there must be observed more than one symptom to decide that your child has autism.


  • Autism based on gender identity - differences in boys and girls:

Updated: March 2023


This article is examined by Clinical Child Psychologist and Ph. D. Researcher Kevser Çakmak, and produced by Otsimo Editorial Team.

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This post does not provide medical advice. See Additional Information.