Autism in women

For many years women and girls with autism have been missed or misdiagnosed due to outdated 
stereotypes surrounding autism. It is often understood that those with autism are prominently boys 
and men and are rarely women. Societies understanding of autism is mainly ruled by stereotypes and 
assumptions. The reason the majority of women and girls get missed or misdiagnosed is due to the fact 
that women often 'mask' their autistic traits and conform to societies standards of 'trying to fit in'.

Autistic women are often described as being more anxious, depressed or socially awkward, leading 
them to a diagnosis later in life. Women tend to often have less 'obvious' and repetitive behaviours in 
comparison to men, and they feel a stronger pressure to fit in with society (this is called masking).

Masking is when a person performs or acts out a social behaviour that is deemed 'neurotypical' 
and hides behaviours that aren't deemed acceptable by society. Masking is the idea to fit in and 
camouflage with your peers. Women often do this, which is why they are harder to diagnose as 
they don't show 'typical' autistic traits and qualities. 

For years I didn't realise that I was masking, and once I did it made a lot of sense. I felt and do still 
feel the pressure to fit in with the behaviours and acts that society deems 'normal'. Having a need 
and desire to want to blend in and be my true self and stick out.

I am not a professional, just someone who has autism. In no way am I saying that if you 
experience several or all of the below, you are autistic. If you think you or someone you 
know may be autistic, please contact a professional for further information. 

Afraid to stand out
Enjoying being alone
Avoiding eye contact
Feeling out of place
Taking things literally
Fixating on the little things 
Struggling with different foods
Misunderstanding social rules
Benefiting greatly from a routine
Masking true emotions/feelings
Coming across as blunt or rude
Constant and heightened anxiety
Being obsessive over things or people
Difficulty understanding emotions/feelings
Excessively talking about their hobbies/interests



  1. It's a disgrace how women are being misdiagnosed when it comes to autism. I've never heard of the term 'masking' and I've certainly learned a lot from this post lovely x

    Lucy Mary

    1. It's crazy when you sit and think about it all. Even with having autism myself, I only learnt about masking in the last couple of years, despite having done it my whole life x

  2. I've worked in an industry that aligns with ND children and have learnt soo much from it. The masking was something I really had no clue about but knowing more about it has helped me in everyday life.
    You're an amazing person and mother!

    1. Thank you! Masking is so hard to describe to people and for others to understand x

  3. I've heard a lot about women and girls masking and being undiagnosed with autism. It's really sad that so many women go undiagnosed. Thank you for sharing your story! You're brilliant!


    1. Thank you! I really hope as the years go on, society and professionals get more understanding with autism and with women in particular x