Myths, barriers and reasons females may be unable to obtain an Autism diagnosis


Currently, I am writing two books, “AspienPowers” and “Behind the Mask”. Quite often, as I am writing, certain memories or themes from my years of work come to the forefront of my mind. In my clinic work with individuals who are discussing their history’s or reasons they are seeking a diagnosis, I have come across a variety of barriers (other than cost) to a diagnosis. I also discuss briefly in my second best selling book I am Aspienwoman that other people may not believe the person once they receive a diagnosis.

Briefly, these include:

“My doctor told me I am a professional working woman so I couldn’t possibly have Autism/Aspergers”.

“I was told I have children, am a good mother and am functioning quite well, so why would I want a diagnosis? He refused to refer me”.

“I went in for an assessment and they gave me child assessment forms to fill out. I couldn’t answer most of the questions”.

“The majority of professionals I called said they only work with children”.

“My psychiatrist said I make great eye contact and talk well with him, so I couldn’t have Autism/Aspergers”.

“The local Autism Society had no-one they could recommend who was trained and experienced in working with Autistic females”.

“The professional I went to see said I couldn’t have Aspergers because it is no longer in the DSM5”.

“The professional I see said I only have anxiety, depression and social anxiety which I have had all my life (from birth). I tried to explain the sensory issues, my Irlen Syndrome and my gender fluidity, to no avail”.

“Ï was told I am a professional actress, making money and working and that I did not fit the profile (the male profile) of Autism/Aspergers”.

“I was told I present too well to have Autism/Aspergers. I am a professional model and I love make-up, clothes, fashion design and shoes, but I have always had social problems. I was told because I am well  liked by others that I could not possibly have Autism/Aspergers”.

“I was told by a professional that Autism/Aspergers is a ‘male’ thing”.

“I was told I have Social Communication Disorder and that’s all. I know that’s not all I have, so I am going for a second opinion”.

“I was told I am too social and therefore it’s impossible for me to have Autism”.

“I didn’t/don’t know how to drop my mask (with my psychologist) and only managed to get an anxiety diagnosis”.

“I have spent so much time teaching myself social skills, reading books on social skills, going to drama classes, that no-one believed me until I saved my money up and saw someone who is both a psychologist (and has worked with many females) and an author (writes about females)  for many years”.

“My daughter met two of the 3 criteria on the ADOS but has no RRP’s, so she did not receive a diagnosis”

“They said my daughter has some traits but not enough, so she now has a label of ‘Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder'”

“My daughter is a Jekyll and Hyde and did not receive a diagnosis because she is so well-behaved at school”

To Be Continued…more coming soon


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Copyright Tania Marshall, 2014-2016

5 thoughts on “Myths, barriers and reasons females may be unable to obtain an Autism diagnosis

  1. In Adelaide, about 5 years ago, when I wanted a diagnosis, I discovered that there was a 6 month waiting list, at least . I felt that I couldn’t deprive a child of help so did not pursue it further. As”luck” would have it, I had a major mental downfall, and found that my local G.P. super clinic had a psychologist who assessed people with Autism, so was able to be referred to him . This resulted in a life changing outcome.

  2. I am from an European country. My sister is 15 years old and I suppose that she can have something similar to my condition (I am diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, schizotypal disorder and OCD). I suppose that she may have a sort of PDD because her general presentation, behavior and emotionality looks “suspected” to me. For me her voice is somewhat man-like or child-like. She had very good grades in school, but her brother once said something like she looks as she would be 10 years old (I read that emotional age of Aspies tends to be two thirds of biological or something like that). Brother named her character as “bad”, she can be rude. When she was in elementary school (was about 7 – 9) she might have interest in horses (rather ponies). She spends very much time with the computer. She liked to draw somewhat “manga-like” drawings of cats(?) She told me something like that she does not feel need of being loved by parents. She may be viewed by parents and brother as just impolite or rude, but I do not exclude the possibility than she can be autistic in some way.

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