The stereotype of a person with Asperger's is often a socially awkward little boy with a gadget or train obsession. Because of this enduring stereotype, and because the disorder is 10 times more prevalent in boys and men, doctors often miss diagnosing Asperger's in girls because it manifests itself differently. According to Newsweek, doctors report "girls with Asperger's seem to have less motor impairment, a broader range of obsessive interests, and a stronger desire to connect with others, despite their social impairment." For instance, while boys with Asperger's may be into things like vacuum cleaners or oscillating fans, girls may be egregiously obsessed with horses or books. In addition, Aspie girls ( pictured above left) "are more adept at copying the behaviors, mannerisms and dress codes of those around them, than Aspie boys tend to be."Because of societal pressures towards girls in general, while Aspie boys will often become aggressive and act out, Aspie girls will frequently internalize their feelings of social disconnect. But, because these girls are so desperate to try to fit into a world they don't quite understand, experts say they are easy marks for sexual predators. Ami Klin, director of Yale's autism research group tells Newsweek, "They will be more susceptible to rape, abuse and drug addiction because of their social deficiencies and because they aren't getting the right guidance." Clinics and schools that specialize in Asperger's have started having groups specifically for girls. For one such group in Utah, says Newsweek, "the first things the girls, who range in age from early teens to late 20s, wanted to know: how to plan a dinner party and how to hold a dance." Catching the disorder early is a huge help for the Aspie girls. Liane Willey, whose daughter was diagnosed with Asperger's at age five, tells Newsweek that her daughter's early treatment was so successful, "If I introduced you to my three daughters today, you wouldn't be able to tell which one has Asperger's." The only thing they may not be able to do is win a modeling competition sponsored by Tyra Banks…and that's probably for the best. More Than Just 'Quirky' [Newsweek] Related: America's Next Top Model: Asperger's Syndrome ANTM: A Mildly Autistic Girl In Mildly Offensive Blackface
I'm sorry if this is insensitive, but...if you can't be detected as being Asperger's, does that really require mental treatment? I was under the impression that there is no clear diagnoses of the disease (bloodtest, etc) and really, treatment was about helping children cope with social situations? So if they're doing borderline fine, why label them this way?
I think I'm just sick of parents insisting their kids have a mental impairment because they've read so many articles insisting that such-and-such behavior is abnormal. I used to babysit and I would see completely normal kids carted off to therapy or the doctor for the most mild of personality traits.
Also, what kid knows how to hold a dinner party?