Know any bright girls who are inflexible, argumentative and emotionally over-reactive or who shut down at times? Who’ve been called oppositional, avoidant or attention seeking? Who can’t quite fit in with peers? They may have “Asperger’s,” NVLD, or be on the autism spectrum.
“High functioning” girls on the autism spectrum often “look typical” to the casual observer. They’re different from the stereotype of boys on the spectrum. Even when girls have more spectrum traits than boys, professionals frequently don’t see them as autistic, but rather as rigid, attention-seeking, avoidant, manipulative, quirky, arrogant, anxious, depressed, borderline, or as having ODD or ADHD.
Why is a correct diagnosis so important? Because a proper diagnosis allows us to better understand and help these girls, rather than blame them. Instead of constantly criticizing them, we can listen with an awareness of spectrum issues, understand and anticipate their needs, and provide the accommodations and environment that will help them better navigate the mainstream world. If the girls feel more accepted for who they are, they can have higher self-esteem and learn to advocate for themselves more successfully.
Licensed psychologist Marcia Eckerd, PhD, will discuss why girls are so often misinterpreted and under-diagnosed and why an accurate diagnosis is important for the girls themselves, educators, clinicians and especially parents.
Materials: Identifying and Helping Girls with Asperger’s and NVLD (PDF Format)
—The Explosive Child, by Ross W. Greene, PhD
—Raising Human Beings, by Ross W. Greene, PhD
—Neurotribes, by Steve Silverman
—Aspergirls, by Rudy Simone
—Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder, by Sarah Hendrickx
—Nonverbal Learning Disabilities at School, by Pamela B. Tanguay
Articles written by Marcia Eckerd:
— Detection and Diagnosis of ASD in Females
— Why Girls Are Missed for Diagnosis and Why That’s So Important
— Evaluating Your Child for NLD
— Are We Giving Autistic Children PTSD From School?
— Why HIGH FUNCTIONING Creates Misunderstanding of Autism
— Do Parents and Teachers “Get” Children with AS/HFA? (These Children Lack the Insight or Social Skills to Explain Themselves)
More About Marcia Eckerd
SPED*NET Wilton does not provide medical or psychological
advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material in this webinar
is provided for educational purposes only.