Women and girls with autism may have to confront greater challenges in terms of planning, organisation and other daily living skills compared to their male counterparts, according to a study.
"Our goal was to look at real world skills, not just the diagnostic behaviours we use clinically to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), to understand how people are doing in their daily lives," said Allison Ratto, psychologist at the Children's National Health System in the US.
Researchers observed that when parents were asked to evaluate a child‘s daily functioning, it was discovered that girls were grappling more with these independence skills.
This was not expected because generally, girls with ASD have better social and communication skills during direct evaluation, researchers were quoted as saying.
"The natural assumption would be that those communication and social skills would assist them to function more effectively in the world, but we found that this isn't always the case," Ratto said.
Researchers gathered data from parents from several assessment scales of executive function and adaptive behaviour.
The evaluation group included 79 females and 158 males fulfilling clinical standards for autism spectrum disorders, ranging in ages from 7 to 18 years old. The groups were then classified for intelligence, age and level of autism and Attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms.
They evaluated the participants for executive function- including the ability to plan, get organised, and work according to the plan as needed-and adaptive skills- ability to perform basic daily chores like rising and getting dressed or making small talk- in women and girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The study was published in the journal Autism Research.