Flying under the radar: Girls and Women with Aspergers Syndrome

Flying under the radar: Girls and Women with Aspergers Syndrome

In Australia, approximately 1 in 100 children are born with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). ASC is a recently defined lifelong developmental condition and affects people regardless, of age, colour, race or socio-economic status. It is now referred to as a spectrum condition, meaning that the condition affects the person in different ways, even though there are common areas of challenges across all people with Autism.
Aspergers Syndrome (AS) or High Functioning Autism (HFA) is a form of Autism, characterised by challenges in social communication and interaction and restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities, including sensory issues (DSM5, 2013).

Hans Aspergers, an Austrian paediatrician, originally described Aspergers Syndrome in 1944. He originally believed that girls were not affected. However, further clinical evidence led him to revise his statement. In terms of statistics, Kanner (1943) studied a small group of children with autism and found that there were four times as many boys as girls. Ehlers and Gillburg (1993) found the similar ratio of four boys to every girl, in their study of children in mainstream schools in Sweden.

Aspergers Syndrome appears to be more common among boys than girls, when the research is reviewed. However, recent awareness of genetic differences between males and females, and the diagnostic criteria largely based on the characteristics of males, are currently thought to be responsible for females being less likely to be identified. Attwood (2000), Ehlers and Gillberg (1993) and Wing (1981) all acknowledge that many girls and women with Aspergers Syndrome are never referred for assessment and diagnosis for AS, or are misdiagnosed, and are therefore missed from statistics and research. Many girls and women do not meet diagnostic criteria, as the criteria are based on the behavioural phenotype of boys. There exists a critical need for diagnostic criteria to reflect the female phenotype.

Questions have been raised about the ratio of males to females diagnosed as having an autism spectrum condition (ASC), with a variety of studies and anecdotal evidence citing a range from 2:1 to 16:1. Here in Australia, I have seen a rapid increase in the number of girls and adult women referred for a diagnosis and/or support.
The following are some of the identified different ways in which girls and women tend to present from boys (Gould and Ashton Smith, 2011; Attwood, 2007; and Yaull-Smith, Dale (2008):

• Girls use social imitation and mimicking by observing other children and copying them, leading to masking the symptoms of Asperger syndrome (Attwood, 2007). Girls learn to be actresses in social situations. This camouflaging of social confusion can delay a diagnosis by up to 30 years.
• Dale Yaull-Smith (2008) discusses the ‘social exhaustion’ that many females experience, from the enormous energy it takes pretending to fit in.

• Girls, in general, appear to have a more even and subtler profile of social skills. They often adopt a social role based on intellect instead of social intuition.

• Girls often feel a need and are aware of the cultural expectations of interacting socially. They tend to be often more involved in social play, and can be observed being led by their peers rather than initiating social contact. They often only have one or two close friends and/or may find boys easier to get along with.

• Cultural expectations for girls involve participating in social communication, often made up of social chit-chat or surface-type conversation. Girls with Asperger Syndrome find this type of communication exhausting, tending to desire having conversations that have a function to them. Girls on the spectrum are also are socially confused by teasing, bullying, and bitchiness, and the teasing that often occurs at school.

• Girls often misunderstand social hierarchies and how to communicate with others based on the level of the hierarchy that the person is on. This can tend to get girls in trouble with adults.

• Girls have better imagination and more pretend play (Knickmeyer et al, 2008), with many involved in fiction, and the worlds of fairies, witches and other forms of fantasy, including imaginary friends
• Whilst the interests of girls on the spectrum are very often similar to those of other girls, it is the ‘intensity’ and ‘quality’ of the interest which can be unusual. For example, many are very focused on their animals, celebrities or soap operas.

• Girls and women on the spectrum are generally skilled in one on one social relationships, but are uncomfortable and anxious in large groups of people.

• Girls may have great difficulty in attempting to explain their difficulties in social situations and/or groups. Instead, they may skip school, complain of headaches or stomach aches or refuse to go to school.

• Girls facial expressions tend to not match their moods. They may say that are fine, but on the inside they are unhappy, anxious or both.

• Girls tend to be more passive-aggressive (avoid social activities, refuse requests from others or refuse to complete tasks,), tend to blame themselves and/or internalise their feelings and anger and have less ADHD.

Girls on the autism spectrum are more likely to come to the attention of health professionals due to difficulties with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, behavioural problems and/or social skills challenges. The presenting problem then becomes the ‘diagnosis’, with the larger picture and explanation for feeling “different” is missed.

Women with Autism are most likely to have had a long history of misdiagnoses, often with borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, depression, selective mutism, OCD, but somehow those labels just didn’t seem to fit adequately. Up to 42% have been misdiagnosed (Gould, 2011).

Many women with an autism spectrum condition are not being diagnosed and are therefore not receiving the help and support needed throughout their lives. Having a diagnosis is the starting point in providing appropriate support for girls and women in the spectrum. A timely diagnosis can avoid many of the difficulties women and girls with an autism spectrum disorder experience throughout their lives. Who should I take my child or myself to see? Ask your doctor, psychologist or paediatrician how many girls with Autism they have seen. They must have seen as least 50 girls with AS, due to the ‘social echolalia’ or the camouflaging of social confusion that females on the Spectrum engage in.

Three Common Female Autism Myths and Advice

1. Girls and women cannot socialise. Actually, many girls and can socialise quite well, just not for as long. They tend to suffer from social exhaustion or a ‘social hangover’ from longer periods of socialising. All persons on the spectrum need solitude to recharge their batteries.
Advice: Let your family or friends know that you need a solitude break, to allow you to recharge your batteries. Let them know that this is how your regain your energy.

2. Girls and women lack empathy. Actually, there are different types of empathy. Girls and women have high emotional empathy, being highly sensitive to the emotions of others, also known as referred emotion, the actual feeling of others feelings. This can be quite overwhelming for the person experiencing it. Being overwhelmed by feeling others emotions makes it challenging for them to process or ‘read ‘the subtle social signals (tone of voice, subtle expression on face)
Advice: Learn to accept and trust your intuition. Learning a variety of interventions to help manage or cope with high empathy is important.

3. Girls and women with autism cannot lie. Girls and women with autism can lie, but they usually do it badly. They tend to lie to the detriment of all concerned or lie as a quick fix because they do not know what to do, so they will deny, even when it’s plainly obvious that they are. In addition, females tend to tell the truth when it is not socially acceptable to do so or be truthful with their emotions, when it may not be the best time or place to show those emotions.
Advice: Social stories for “white lies” and the appropriateness of “emotional truth” are useful intervention tools.

About Tania Marshall

Tania holds a Masters of Science in Applied Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She regularly provides diagnostic assessments, support and intervention.

Tania is currently working on her fourth book. She is co-authoring a book for professionals tentatively entitled “Assessment of Autism Spectrum and Asperger’s in Females: Comprehensive diagnostics and treatment planning for girls and women with autism spectrum conditions across the lifespan”.

To enquire or book assessments, problem solving sessions and/or support, please e-mail Tania at

Tania is also completing the first three in a series of books on female Autism. Her book series is available for purchase at

To enquire about interviews, articles, workshops, or translations/translating of her books, please email Tania at

book series2Tania Marshall©, 2013-2014. All rights reserved. Aspiengirl and Planet Aspien are trademarked. Thank you.

44 thoughts on “Flying under the radar: Girls and Women with Aspergers Syndrome

  1. Very Interesting!
    I’m learning an awful lot!
    A lot of this applies to me, but it it because I have ADHD?

      • There is also the Empathy with animals. Animals will come to me. as a wildlife carer its important. I can read them without words. people and creatures tend to attach themselves to me… I am a loner… I love it, my hubby works away :). I spend hours everyday alone singing and listening to music( while I tackle the whirlwind of mess left behind by my children…), I love to help people, but always need my space. I get so drained by people around me and it gets worse as I get older. at least I am beginning to understand why I didn’t fit in, and why I don’t care. 🙂

  2. I identify with so much of this. Yes, I have very high empathy but don’t understand where the emotion of another person is coming from. I have to ask because I can’t read the facial expression, body language or intention of the person. It can get very frustrating for them because they don’t want to stop feeling the strong emotion long enough to explain to me what I may have done, said or not done to cause it.

    • In my family… when We watch a movie, everyone looks to see if I’m tearing up, as I only have to see sadness in someones eyes to cry.:( I’m the joke. lol music does it too.

  3. Pingback: ASD or PDA or should it be Extreme Male Brain V Extreme Female Brain | Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome an autistic spectrum disorder

  4. I too can relate to a lot of this … a solitude break!! My partner cannot understand why I sit up so late at night after he has gone to bed, and now I know how to explain it. Thank you.

  5. I am trying to find out if I have aspergers. My daughter has been studying online for a degree in autism and special needs children. She told me she thought I had aspergers. First I said, no I don’t think so. Then for 3 days I researched a lot and think I probably do. I am 56 years old, and it explains how my life has been a lot. I don’t have anyone to talk with about it or anyone who understands about it. I hope I can find a friend or support group to be involved in besides fb. Thank you for listening. Mariposa

    • Hello Mariposafree, thank-you for your message. Female Aspergers is a relatively new area with new support groups popping up here and there. I have found that support or services often depends on where the individual lives. You may find it helpful to join a female Aspergers Association? There are a couple of large American ones that I know of and are easy to find on the Internet. I hope this is helpful. All the best.

      • Hi Tania..I didn’t know how to leave you a comment ,but I needed too..I have had a suspicion that I have asbergers for about 2 years but most of the things on line till you brought this list forward have been basic…thank you for this list of symptoms…I always say..I have raised my children wonderfully and have 11 grandchildren but feel so immature and ungrown up myself..I am now 64 years old and still very childlike..when I read your list the other day I broke down and cried way from deep within my soul..I could put a check next to every symptom in every category except maybe about 8 of them on the lists..I cried for all the scared lonely years of anxiety as a child,,.. I cried for the,high school dance when I hid in the locker room because I was so afraid to come out and dance and social skills it seemed..wouldn’t know what to say mingling in the girl clutches at the dance..felt like I always wanted to be invisible..just let me be here but PLEASE don’t notice me!..misunderstood, teased and broken hearted..a all TOTALLY makes sense now..but in a way the answers seemed to have freed my soul..because know I know why and can try to love myself and feel worthwhile and live my life for who I am instead of always watching to see how I should be….trying to understand things I couldn’t..the mask has been very heavy on my face all these years..maybe now I can take it off and become somewhat visible, somehow, feel that I am worthwhile and there was a true verified reason I was the way I was..weird, different, from another planet…I lost myself in my art and listening to music and 3 very good friends I did have through life…why because they were dyslexic and challenged and a great bond formed for many years..I could talk to them, felt safe with them because somehow I could feel they were almost just like me..I have an autistic grandaughter, also blind..I have an autistic cousin on my dads side, and an autistic aunt..I feel my youngest daughter is aspie, and her son Nicholas.., also my oldest grandaughter Amanda..I feel she is an extroverted challenged aspie..23 years old..most of the others seem ok except for the anxiety disorder that seems to run rampant in the family and allergies..I have milk, wheat, gluten, corn soy, yeast allergies to boot..I also was a change of life baby and feel when a woman’s hormones and body are all twisted up how can they produce a normal child..I also have above average high intelligence, yet lack in so many areas..Ty for listening..I will be getting my MD to send me for assessment..My husband Always use to say..Carol when you get out of your environment you can’t function as well or get anxious….and so it is….but now it doesn’t matter if I fit in or function outside my environment..because I know why and can live with that..but stayed alone so much because I didn’t fit in.??MUCH thanks to you Tania for opening my eyes..

      • Dear Carol,

        thank-you for your message. Your words are all too familiar, heard in my daily private practice. Those that know my work, know that I am very pro diagnosis, at any age. Some of those reasons are the ones you speak of in your comments. Try and find someone who specializes in females. You’ve been through enough to get to this point. All the best.

    • I am fifty and had a breakdown at my work after being bullied from my team with the sanction of management. This started intensely a few weeks after my 4th promotion. All the inputs simply did not compute: having work taken away from me, my team ignoring my requests for tasks, a dept head making references about my personal life of which he could have only heard hearsay about…the interim lead (there was a huge change in mgmt that often precipitates these things, I’ve read), accused me of all kinds of bad emotions, things my previous lead would never have done since we’d had a repoire of trust built over several years before she left….work after being bullied from my team with the sanction of management. This started intensely a few weeks after my 4th promotion. All the inputs simply did not compute: having work taken away from me, my team ignoring my requests for tasks, a dept head making references about my personal life of which he could have known nothing except from false hearsay. I suffered a major depressive episode. But I think my recovery is complicated by a lack of diagnosis of Aspergers which I am seeking now, once the funds are available to see a specialist in my city.

    • I am fifty and had a breakdown at my work after being bullied from my team with the sanction of management. This started intensely a few weeks after my 4th promotion. All the inputs simply did not compute: having work taken away from me, my team ignoring my requests for tasks, a dept head making references about my personal life of which he could have only heard hearsay about…the interim lead (there was a huge change in mgmt that often precipitates these things, I’ve read), accused me of all kinds of bad emotions, things my previous lead would never have done since we’d had a repoire of trust built over several years before she left….I can totally relate with Mariposa. I am fifty and had a breakdown at my work after being bullied from my team with the sanction of management. This started intensely a few weeks after my 4th promotion. All the inputs simply did not compute: having work taken away from me, my team ignoring my requests for tasks, a dept head making references about my personal life of which he could have only heard hearsay about…the interim lead (there was a huge change in mgmt that often precipitates these things, I’ve read), accused me of all kinds of bad emotions, things my previous lead would never have done since we’d had a repoire of trust built over several years before she left. I suffered a major depressive episode. But I think my recovery is complicated by a lack of diagnosis of Aspergers which I am seeking now, once the funds are available to see a specialist in my city.

      • Could I possibly have someone who manages the postings delete the posts from “C” for me? I would really appreciate it

    • Me too. I need Everyone in my home to go to bed so I can chillax. 🙂 All my kids are on the spectrum…
      I love friends on fb. When I need space I just close my Laptop. But I get what your saying.

  6. This is interesting to read as I have a 10yr old son with High Functioning Autism and I was wondering how does an adult get checked out as I was reading it was like someone was talking about me , strange but true !

  7. Hi Tania, you may be interested in this information regarding incidence of ASD in Australia. “A presentation at the inaugural ASfAR conference (7/12/2012) shows the national average autism prevalence in school age children exceeded 1.4% (1 in 62.5) by June 2012, based on Centrelink Carer Allowance data.” Here is the link to that information

  8. My 6 year old daughter is being referred to a specialized test because her pediatrician believes she has a combination of Aspergers and ADHD. I wanted to learn more about it and came across this and a few of your other blogs. I spent my entire life wondering why I was so different from all my friends, wondering why I spent 10 years as an anorexic, why I can’t seem to keep friends, why I spent my entire childhood being teased, and why I am so exhausted at the end of every day. I might possibly have Aspergers myself. For the first my life I realize that there is actually something wrong with me, and that there are answers to why I am the way I am. Thank you!

    • Ashlee, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with you, you’re just different. I know, my husband thinks something is wrong with me, too. But he can’t understand why not everybody should be like him, so, since he hasn’t managed to re-make me in his image (not God’s image) in the 35 years of marriage, something is wrong with me.
      BUT I am different, and there is NOTHING wrong with me.
      You might be able to use some help in figuring out how to function better in a world where everybody is supposed to conform to the arbitrary social rules somebody has thought up. But there is nothing inherently wrong with you.

      • you made me laugh. 🙂 My hubby doesn’t even try…. I just wish we could have some intelligent conversations without his eyes glazing over.
        Nonconformity is good…. Seeing the world through a different filter adds a different perspective missed by NT people.:)

    • Hi 🙂 I’m a Mum of 5. All are on the spectrum….All are male. I suspected Asperger’s but wasn’t sure…. until talking with my Sons Psychiatrist today… as he asked me an odd question, He asked me, How did I cope in school, having Asperger’s..? I went to deny in defence, but thought about it and retorted…. It was a nightmare….I loved school…hated the social bullshit. I was quiet and shy, but was bullied and excluded for being odd, smart and reactive and for being a little encyclopaedia…I got along better with teachers than with the horridly behaved turkeys scratching around on the playground.
      Today has been enlightening…… with many tears.
      But relieved to know, I was never alone,or born in the wrong century, time and place…..

  9. I’m researching some unusual medical procedures I went through as a wee girl in Scotland; my mum confirms the memories but died recently. Everything I’ve researched points to some sort of high functioning autism, which apparently was prevalent in Scotland; it would have been early 60’s. I’m seeking my childhood medical records from Scotland. I’ve been in tears reading all of these oh so familiar symptoms.

  10. My diagnosis was such a huge relief. The emotional transition is really tough though. I feel that I have to totally reconstruct a healthy emotional reaction based on the information I now have about my neurolgical diversity rather than continuing to rely on pretend emotions. The anxiety I am re feeling is sometimes so excrutiating I can see why I developed so many coping strategies. I suspect many women who have been misdiagnosed are suffering greatly as they try to manage this kind of emotional confusion and temporary relief from various medications. The terryfying risk for me prior to the diagnosis was the constant sense of failure I felt and sense of responsibility I actually felt on behalf of the professionals who were trying but failing to help me. Had I not been diagnosed, this feeling of constant failiure and inabilty to understand/survive the world would have led to my death. I had an amazing friend and GP, both of whom supported my application for a refferal for a diagnosis. I got it in three weeks plus six follow up sessions for the adjustment period which literally saved my life. I have to add that the most important quality in the professionals who were able to help me was not qualifications it was compassion. I have had to make different choices about work, relationships and definately book myself lots of time out. I hope one day, I might be able to contribute something positive to women on the spectrum who are struggling with the adjustment period and inherent mental health issues. When I see the bigger picture regarding this gift of deep feeling and almost super insight into the wrong ‘beingness’ of the world around me I know there must be a reason for it. Accepting it is the first step to embracing it. Sending healing love to all those out there on this journey, you are not alone, you are part of a growing tribe of repressed healers and visionaries, mount your unicorns with pride and enjoy this rich land of sensory exploration and imagination.

    • Oh, my god you have analysed my daughter without seeing her she is 46years old married with two children a fifteen year old girl which shall I say normal and a twenty year old son with autism or asperges syndrome and she deals with him beutefulland to think myself and the rest of the family have always treated her as being a bit stupid or slow but after reading your article I cried and cried because she has been saying to me how she felt and I dismissed and wanted her to think and do thinks my way or what I thought was normal all this years she has tried and tried every now and then she has said she wishes to have some time alone to think and reflect thanks again I am on my way to speak to my doctor to see what I can do to repair all the wrongs I have done as the same doctor has put her on anti depressant tablet which many times she wanted to stop and I told her not to!

  11. I’m fairl sure that some degree of autism is in my family and on both sides.

    I am the only one, though, to face it, where all others affected live in denial. This makes it harder for me. Instead of acceptance for my more obvious troubles, I have been met more with shame or inability of my parents to show more than only a small amount of encouragement.

    I very much need encouragement. My life has been a train wreck for years. I could at least cope enough to function, to earn a degree and to work. But then, as a young adult in one of my first jobs I was sexually harassed and it was condoned by the manager -I was also the only female working with five men on my own (and the managers had also set it up so that my supervisor was also the comapny’s sexual harassment officer). I believe that my supervisor picked up on my social naivety and figured he’d take advantage of it and punish me for being narrowminded and pruddhish – amd he basically gave me the message that I if I attracted hostility along the lines of sexual harassment that I either had to put up with it or leave. Exactly this happened and I put up with it for three weeks before avoiding coming in. It got as bad as the person following me onto the train and talking about rape.

    I hate this supervisor. Even more than the clueless fool who harassed me (and didn’t have the witt to even protect his own reputation …i actually believe he had aspergers traits himself in the form of a lack of seeing beyond himself or the overall bigger social picture). But the supervisor, foresaw this happening and simply removed any barriers to it and any protection of me -even though this is explicitly against the law.

    Years have passed. I avoided working for three years, chain smoking and trying to process what had happened. Then when I returned to full time work four years later I had developed social phobia. I then was fired twice, this time due to being constantly on edge. Everyday felt like I was going into war.

    My uni degree is pretty much useless now. I have since been able to work partly because of antidepressants and other times because of finding work as a cleaner working autonomously. …but I struggle still getting interviews for any work. On top of all of the past experience of rejection.

    I also have suffered for a very long time regarding difficulties keeping friends. University was an utter nightmare. But experiences since, largely because of the strain of securing long term work (that isn’t only low paid cleaning when I have a university degree) have also put pressure on any friendships I was in the process of forming.

    All of this is made more difficult to bare by the denial that all of my family lives in -whereby they either deny any autistic traits in themselves, yet treat mine (which I could not manage to hide) as being reasons for shame, or they tell me that I don’t really have any autism. At least the latter two show some support and acceptance of my hypersensitivity. Most of my family treats it as a thing of shame. …so just more rejection.

    But the most irritating, poignant bit of it all is that I know people who are uncannily similar to me, but who missed out on being bullied like I was and did not then suffer a big work history gap when still in their twenties, and so they got to grow some roots career wise.

    I missed this chance to grow any roots, to get any stability and real confidence, and even when I rally yet moe more time, the latest obstacle is now prejudice from society at large in the form of my resume being all but completely ignored.

    I know I have fallen through the cracks. That with just a bit of luck things could have been so different. And that worst of all, a bully supervisor saw me as easy prey and far from showing mercy for my obvious social naivety and stupidity, instead saw it as a rationalization to subject me to abuse. Not unlike a popular Queen Bee using underhanded tactics to set up and socially assassinate and torture a clueless nerd.

    Needless to say, I hope that this person contracts a life long serious illness that causes him massive unrelenting pain. Just as with one flip decision, he set my life on a path of severe anxiety and repeat rejection. …I woul say that I hope that he goes to hell, but seeing as he sent me there, I feel he deserves far worse.

  12. Tania, am so looking forward to your book specifically aimed at health professionals to help them diagnose correctly… wonderful news… My daughter is just about to start school shes been screened and assessed scored into classic autism on the ADOS test, speech very delayed; can only process 2 key words in a sentence; cognitive score very low yet there is no correct diagnosis or help set up for her in school… So until this changes I will keep her at home with me because she went to school for the morning yesterday and completely disintegrated into floods of tears when she was in the car… On questioning the teacher she had wandered from the classroom… PLEASE HURRY ON AND EDUCATE THESE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WHO WE AS PARENTS AND OUR SPECIAL CHILDREN, ARE AT THE MERCY OF ..

  13. Holy cow! Yes! Especially the referred emotion thing. But only with people I’m really close to, like my husband and son. It’s not confusing for me, it feels about the same as when you’re close a heater or freezer, it kind of radiates out to you. And it creates such a fertile ground for me to make “mother’s intuition” jokes. 😀
    I guess I just naturally close everybody else off and that’s why I don’t feel theirs as well. Usually when I’m around people that aren’t family I just want them to go away. Heh.

  14. I went to my therapist with my concerns. I would like to know how I can get a proper diagnosis? She told me I was only depressed and had anxiety and I’m being very delusional. I know in my heart that this is me and it’s always been me. The symptoms of Aspergers fits me so well that a lot of my closer friends pick up on it. Some have even suggested it to me. I struggle in areas that it seems normal people should have already grasp.

    I’m at a place in my life where I can’t just mask my symptoms. Masking hurt in the long run because I missed a lot of milestones essential for my transition into the real world. I just want to live a productive life. I’m happy as can be. But I know that I have to figure out how to support myself.

  15. Diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, OCD, and PTSD,…and it seems the list just keeps growing. Now finally at the age of 62, it’s as if someone switched a light on for me! Thank you Thank you Thank you! I’m in therapy right now for all of the above, and was ready to cancel my last appointment. Instead I decided to present my therapist with what I’ve found on this site. While listening to her response (which was very accepting of what I was saying) I found myself analyzing HER. Luckily I caught myself right before opening my mouth to tell her I thought she might also be on the spectrum, which to me appeared to be so very obvious. While I do have another appt. scheduled with her,…I’m sure it will be my last because she hasn’t really offered me anything I haven’t already tried.

    My Aspergers husband is also in therapy (with a different therapist), and from what he says, isn’t making much, if any progress at all either. Although we are both on the Autism Spectrum, we are so very different. He’s a very calm passive good man with little to no empathy. I on the other hand am the complete opposite, feeling as if I will die if I spend one more moment in this emotional wasteland of our 12 year marriage. Our differences are so great that I might as well be an NT. Knowing that I am an Aspien Woman has helped us to some degree to understand the other,..although our differences seem to be insurmountable for me at this time. He’s very open to discussion,…. although it seems I’m the only one doing the talking. He will listen till the cows come home,….and when I ask if he’s heard me, and if he has anything to say about it;…he simply says that yes he’s listening, and repeats back to me the things I’ve said. The whole scenario always leaves me feeling exhausted and ashamed for expecting so much of someone who is simply doing the best he can. I know I should probably make some friends, and start living my life, but instead I isolate myself from the world. It’s a prison I’ve created for myself, but I don’t feel safe stepping out of it. There’s no motivation left to do anything but wait for this lifetime to be over. It’s not that I’m feeling sorry for myself,..just feeling so very tired of feeling, thinking, and analyzing everything to death! Tired of trying to find some semblance of “NORMAL” (whatever that is) in a world that feels insane to me. Still, I’m so very grateful to have found this site,…thank you Tania!

  16. I’ve always known my 11yr old daughter was different. Very different than any other firls. It’s been a battle snce she was 9 months. The crying for long spells, getting mad at a drop of a hat, OCD, questions for me for hours. …..I stumbled upon your Web site a few weeks ago. I’ve made an appointment with a psychologist from your list. Which will be in October. After reading all I did on your Web site, I felt convicted, yet at the same time, relieved, that I what I had thought all these years has been confirmed. I’m ordering your Aspeigirl. Would love to hear from other parents.

  17. Pingback: Aspie Naiveté: Avoiding the Shroud of Victimhood (Part 1: The Workplace) – The Aspien Way

  18. Reading this makes me feel a bit down because it’s so relateable. I didn’t ever consider autism until I found myself drawn to people in the spectrum when I was forced to be in a social setting (work). The honest and pragmatic view that my autistic friends have when it comes to the “details” was something I deeply empathized with. I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar 2 but I don’t trust the diagnosis because I am such a self-controlled and reclusive person. It never sat right with me and was given at a very hard time in my life.

    My father had Asperger’s and died when I was a teenager. My mother raised me to be very emotionally inteigent and polite, but I ended up being instead quite different with very “masculine” traits in my personality – especially in how I socialize and carry/assert myself. Oftentimes people think I am unfriendly or mad because I am direct and aloof, it hurts not knowing how to work better in this world. I’ve found my happiness in controlling my homespace, reading everything, and pursuing writing as a career. It took me longer than my peers to get somewhere despite having a fairly high IQ.

    I guess at some point in my childhood I decided to just stop talking, and since have always felt more comfortable in social settings where I don’t need to engage.

  19. Pingback: Flying under the radar: Girls and Women with Aspergers Syndrome Pamela Fech - My Blog

  20. Hello my name is Claire. I received a diagnosis just two months ago, at almost 38 years old. I am a bit overwhelmed in this time. I also can’t stop obsessing and over loading myself with information surrounding the topic. I found your articles very positive and informative and would like to extend my gratitude toward the great work you are doing. Thank you

  21. Pingback: Flying under the radar: Girls and Women with Aspergers Syndrome Mim Washburn - My Blog

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