Autism in Girls and Women: Developing Social and Personal Relationships

Sarah Hendrickx

About the Presenter

Sarah Hendrickx is Autistic and has worked at Axia-ASD since 2017, diagnosing both NHS and private clients after having previously carried out non-clinical autism assessments independently and for the MoD since 2011. Sarah has also trained psychiatrists in the diagnosis of autism in females and delivered over 1000 autism training workshops and conference presentations. Sarah has written 6 books on autism: employment, sex and relationships, alcoholism, girls and women on the autism spectrum and also on the adult neurodiversity spectrum.

In March 2017, AANE held a ground-breaking conference focusing on Autistic women titled, “Hiding in Plain Sight: Shining Light on Women with Asperger/Autism Profiles.” 

In this presentation from that conference, world-renowned speaker and Autistic self-advocate Sarah Hendrickx shares her insights on why Autistic women & girls continue to be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. One of the many reasons includes women typically not fitting into the very narrow criteria used to diagnose autism. While her presentation uses the term “a female presentation of autism” and similar gender specific phrases, current discussions are moving away from describing traits as “male” or “female.” The idea of “externalized features” or “internalized experiences” acknowledges why individuals of any gender identity may go unrecognized as Autistic. (Read more here.

As Sarah herself says in this presentation, “…this is not strictly gender related. There are obviously boys and girls and those of other genders who flit between these profiles… We are talking about tendencies in a population.”

Sarah shares her insights on the subject of social connections and friendships for Autistic women throughout the lifespan.

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