This by no means a comprehensive list, it is simply a reference point, not a diagnostic tool. If you identify with a majority of this list and wish to receive a diagnosis, consult a medical professional, preferably a specialist in autism spectrum disorders who has had experience diagnosing women.
Tends to analyze everything constantly
Often straightforward and practical in nature.
Often gets lost in own thoughts and zones out (may display a blank stare)
May appear naive or innocent (despite not being so)
Prone to honesty, has difficulty lying
May struggle to understand manipulation, disloyalty, vindictive behavior and retaliation.
May be gullible and easily taken advantage of, misled, or conned.
May have feelings of confusion and isolation in relation to others
Escapism frequently used to relax or avoid overwhelming situations.
Often holds fixations, obsessions, and extreme interest in specific topics.
Finds comfort in escaping through imagination, fantasy, and daydreaming.
Often has slower reaction times due to need for mental processing.
May have had imaginary friends as a child.
Frequently imitates (takes social cues from) people on television or in movies.
May obsessively collect, organize, count, categorize, or rearrange objects.
Often highly adapted to social imitation.
May find math and numbers easier to deal with due to logic and lack of objective answers.
May struggle to relax or rest due to many racing thoughts.
Often has comorbid conditions, such as OCD, anxiety, ADD or ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.
Often has sensory processing disorder (sight, sound, texture, smells, taste)
May have dyspraxia (Poor muscle tone, lack of coordination and depth perception)
May have dyslexia
May have an eating disorder or food obsessions
May have been misdiagnosed or diagnosed with other mental illness or possibly labeled a hypochondriac.
Tends to drop small objects
May frequently engage in “stimming” (self-stimulation) i.e., flicks fingernails, flaps hands, drums fingers, rubs hands/fingers, tucks hands under or between legs, clenches fists, twirls hair, taps foot/shakes leg, sways side to side, spins in circles, bouncing up and down, rocking, etc.
May use various noises to express herself rather than using words.
May have a tendency to over-share with friends and sometimes strangers
May have little impulse control when speaking
May accidently dominate conversation at times.
Often relates discussion back to self (sharing as a means of reaching out)
May be incorrectly seen as narcissistic
Often sounds eager or over-zealous at times.
May feels as if she is attempting to communicate “correctly.”
Often struggles with and is confused by the unwritten social rules of accurate eye contact, tone of voice, proximity of body, stance, and posture in conversation.
Eye contact often takes extreme focus, which may lead an individual’s eye contact to be darting and insufficient, or over-the-top staring/glaring.
May have difficulty regulating voice volume to different situations. Is frequently observed as being either too loud or too quiet.
Conversation, specifically small talk, can be exhausting.
May have trouble focusing on/engaging in conversation that is not centered on one’s primary interests.
May observe and question the actions and behaviors of self and others continually.
May have difficulty with back-and-forth conversation
Trained self in social interactions through readings and studying of other people.
Visualizes and practices how she will act around others and before entering various social situations.
Difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others.
Has a continuous dialogue in mind that tells her what to say and how to act when in a social situations.
Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, or different from others.
As a child, it may have been hard to know when it was her turn to talk, may still be true as an adult.
Often finds the norms of conversation confusing.
Tend to say what they mean. Are often brutally honest, coming off as rude when they do not mean to be.
May feel misunderstood and tend to over-explain/ramble in an attempt to compensate for possible miscommunication.
Feels extreme relief when she doesn’t have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, answer calls, or leave the house.
Feelings of dread about upcoming events and appointments on the calendar.
Knowing she has to leave the house causes anxiety from the moment she wakes up.
The steps involved in leaving the house are overwhelming and exhausting to think about.
Must prepare herself mentally for outings, excursions, meetings, and appointments.
Question next steps and movements continually.
Often needs a large amount of down time or alone time.
May feel extremely self-conscious and uncomfortable in public locker rooms, bathrooms, or dressing rooms.
Tends to dislike being in crowded areas.
Difficulty sleeping due to sensitivity to environment
May be highly intuitive to others’ feelings, although may not appear to react to them ‘correctly’ in social situations
May take criticism and judgement very personally
May frequently adapt her viewpoints or actions based on others’ opinions
Dislikes words and events that hurt animals and people.
May have had a desire to collect or rescue animals, usually in childhood.
Often holds great compassion for suffering.
May try to help, offer unsolicited advice, or formalize plans of action.
Imitates others without realizing.
May exhibit codependent behaviors.
May frequently reject or question social norms.
Chameleon-like in social situations. Often switches preferences and behaviours based on environment and other people.
May outwardly appear to have little investment in hygiene, clothes, or appearance, often prefers fast and easy methods of style.
Clothing style is likely more focused on comfort and practicality, especially in the case of sensory issues.
May possess a youthful appearance and/or voice.
May have trouble recognizing what she looks like and/or has slight prosopagnosia (difficulty recognizing or remembering faces).
The emotions of oneself and others may seem confusing, illogical, and unpredictable.
Expects that by acting a certain way certain results can be achieved, but realizes in dealing with emotions, those results don’t always manifest.
Often speaks frankly and literally.
Certain kinds of humor, such as sarcasm and metaphors, may be difficult to understand.
Can be confused when others ostracize, shun, belittle, trick, and betray.
Often has trouble identifying feelings in others unless they are extreme.
Trouble with the emotions of hate and dislike.
May have feelings of pity for someone who has persecuted/hurt her.
Situations and conversations sometimes perceived as black or white.
The middle spectrum of outcomes, events, and emotions is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood. (All or nothing mentality).
May notices patterns frequently.
May be fascinated by words or song lyrics.
Tends to best remember/learn things in visual pictures (visual thinkers).
May have a remarkable memory for certain details, i.e., may find it surprisingly easy to remembers exact details about someone’s life.
Executive function is often a challenge
Learning to ride a bike or drive a car may be rather difficult.
Anything that requires a reasonable amount of steps, dexterity, or know-how can rouse a sense of panic.
The thought of repairing, fixing, or locating something can cause anxiety.
May have a hard time finding certain objects in the house, but remembers with exact clarity where other objects are.
May frequently second-guess oneself and ask a lot of questions before engaging a task or situation
This list was compiled from various personal accounts and symptom lists. It is subjective and does not include every identifiable trait. Nor is it entirely medically accurate. Please do your own research into AS before self-diagnosing.
When reblogging, feel free to add additional traits you believe to be common in AS females that will be useful for others to know.
Friendly reminder that Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month is next month, and that you shouldn’t support Autism $peaks or Light It Up Blue.
Autism $peaks is a hate group that doesn’t listen to Autistics, and wants to eliminate us. Listening to actual Autistics, and donating to The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), is the best way to help and support Autistics.
Thank you. :)
So here is an important resource that everyone with autism should be aware of. I’ve been much more comfortable going out in public the last week knowing I have this in case anything happens.
These cards are made for free by the Disability Independence Group, and you can customize yours with your most likely reactions (I am most worried about going non-verbal in stressful situations, so I included that in my form, and they added I am prone to mutism).
Once again, these are FREE, and they can be a huge help in a situation you aren’t expecting.
I got this card after I went nonverbal in a very bad situation. I was yelled at and told I could talk, locked up, and put in an intensive unit with scary people that made things worse. I would not have expected this before, but it all could have gone much differently if I had this card to relay the necessary information. So for that reason, I’m spreading this and reminding you that if a situation like that is possible, you should get one. There’s no harm since it is free, and although I hope you never have to use it, it is always good to be prepared.
…people do not seek out diagnosis lightly. They have done their research and come to their conclusion solidly before approaching anyone for a diagnosis. As professionals, we must be respectful of the fact that these people are generally not time-wasters. They have more knowledge of themselves - and often their condition - than we do.
Sarah Hendrickx, Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder (2015)