July 23, 2021

If your son is autistic, have you considered that your daughter might be too?

Autism often looks different in girls, and can be extra hard to notice if you’ve mostly learned about it through a boy. So, how can you spot an autistic girl?

Notice if she’s unusually passionate about certain activities or topics – even if they’re “normal” things like art or movies.

Notice if she enjoys repetitive movement – even if it’s externally structured by a swing set, trampoline, or dance class.

Notice if she has trouble keeping more than one or two friends at a time – even if she feels satisfied with those friendships.

Notice if she has intense emotions after a crowded event – even if there were other plausible causes, like being tired or hungry.

Notice if she crashes after school – even if her teachers say she’s doing great in class.

There are many other ways to spot an autistic kid in general, but these are some clues that are easy to miss in girls. Another big clue is having an autistic brother – just don’t be thrown off by the ways that she isn’t like him.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.