Monday, November 22, 2010
Girls less likely to be diagnosed with autism even if their symptoms are just as bad
Girls are less likely to be diagnosed with autism than boys even if their symptoms are just as bad. Previous research has shown that boys are four times as likely to have autism than girls but not everyone with symptoms of autism receives a diagnosis. Researchers from the universities of Bristol and Exeter used information from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children to look into this issue further. They found that even in children with similar levels of autism symptoms boys were more likely to be diagnosed with the condition. Although autistic symptoms were worse in children with older mothers these children were much more likely to receive a diagnosis suggesting that older mothers might be better at identifying problems in their children and more confident in dealing with health professionals. Ethnic origin, social class and marital status did not predict an increase in either autism diagnosis or symptoms.