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News: Girls and Autism


“I had an impression of what autism looked like, and it was nothing like my girls” Carrie Grant 

Where are all the autistic girls? This important question opens up a new and vital discussion about autism and gender. Bringing together diverse voices and perspectives, this ground-breaking book challenges assumptions about autism and has far-reaching impact for our understanding of girls’ mental health overall. 

· Reframing the debate about autism has never been more important. Until now the ratio of boys to girls with autism was assumed to be 4:1 but recent research reveals it is closer to 2.1. So why have girls been so dramatically overlooked and what is the untold impact that this has had on the girls who have fallen under the radar? 

· What has been wrong with diagnostic practice, and how might some autistic girls’ ‘camouflaging’ leave them without adequate support and vulnerable to severe mental health issues such as depression and self-harm?  

· ‘An outmoded notion of autism as a ‘male disorder’ is affecting the educational opportunities of autistic girls, most of who are in mainstream schools. How can these girls best be supported to flourish in education and employment?’

· Tackling these questions from multiple viewpoints, the contributors look at the biggest challenges faced today by autistic girls and women but also reveal a vast range of positive attributes of the condition, showing how- with the right support- autism should not be regarded as a ‘disorder’ at all. 

· Bravely defying the status quo, Girls and Autism brings together the lived experience of autism from first person and parenting perspectives with the voices of leading experts on the subject to reach radical new conclusions about what autism is and why girls have been so invisible in research until now. 

With contributing voices ranging across the fields of mental health, psychology, neuroscience, education and parenting, this book is an invaluable source of personal insights, knowledge and strategies, which will enable those living or working with girls on the autism spectrum to provide more informed and effective support. From Katie Buckingham, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at 16 showing how she has found advantages of her condition, to Carrie Grant’s powerful and moving description of raising two autistic daughters,  each contributor brings a unique and thought-provoking perspective to this vitally important subject. 

About the editors:

Barry Carpenter, CBE, OBE is professor of mental health in education at Oxford Brookes University, UK.

Francesca Happé, FBA, FMedSci is professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK.

Jo Egerton is a schools research consultant, running school-based research courses for teaching school alliances and academies.

Girls and Autism: Education, Family and Personal Perspectives, edited by Barry Carpenter, Francesca Happé and Jo Egerton is out now, published by Routledge in paperback for £29.99.


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