Women And Girls With Autism Spectrum Disorder – Review

Book Review of

Understanding Life Experiences from Early Childhood to Old Age

by Sarah Hendrickx
Jessica Kingsley Publishers

I felt privileged to chair the session that Sarah Hendrickx did at the Nation Autistic Society’s Conference which was held at Harrogate on 7 and 8 March 2017. Her keynote presentation was also very thought provoking.

This book has a foreword by Dr Judith Gould and I totally agree with her that this book does add to our knowledge how Autism Spectrum Disorder may present differently in women. It also looks at females from childhood to older age. It is informed by both academic research and personal stories, focusing on how women with Autism Spectrum Disorder experience diagnosis, childhood, education, adolescence, friendship, sexuality, employment, pregnancy, parenting and ageing. Any professional working in the field of Autism, in my opinion, should read this book. As Judith Gould, and here I quote “an added problem is that most current diagnostic assessments do not consider sex differences and only give examples of the male profile of behaviour. The knowledge and experience of an enlightened clinician are essential in both asking the right questions and interpreting the data to provide an accurate outcome”, and I am delighted and privileged to be working with all my colleagues in Axia-ASD limited who recognise this.

For me, attending the National Autistic Society Professionals Conference, the theme of which was ‘working in partnership’ reinforces what we are trying to do in Axia, that is listening to people with respect and empathy and try not to judge. I am so pleased to be working with the post-diagnostic support group in planning our Conference in 2018 which will be very much how people mask and hide because that is the only way they can function in a world that is at best confusing and often frightening and we are hoping that key professionals will come along to that Conference so that they can hear this message.

Dr. Linda Buchan
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
& Director of Axia ASD Ltd.

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