The reality is that many autistic people slip under the radar when it comes to diagnosis. Depictions of autism frame those who have it generally white and male, with some patronizing puzzle pieces added in. The media encourages this framing through the overwhelming amount of fictional, white, male, autistic characters (such as in Rain Man, Adam, Mozart and the Whale, Dear John, and others) which become the fixed idea of autism in many people’s minds. Along with that, the medical field has largely focused on the way in which these white boys present their symptoms, and their symptoms end up as the yardstick of the diagnostic criteria.Using social scripts many autistic girls create set sentences and words to say in social interactions in order to pass as allistic. This takes a lot of effort and can exhaust autistic girls; however, to the casual observer they appear to have the ability to socialise and so are overlooked. But it cannot be wholly assigned to that. After all, not all girls play the same, not all girls are brought up the same, not all girls are raised as girls, not all autistic girls are verbal or create scripts, so how is it that girls are so under diagnosed compared to boys? We have to consider the fact that many people and doctors just do not comprehend girls being autistic; it is seen as an entirely male disorder. Most studies of autism focus on autistic boys; most books on autism, fiction or not, are about autistic boys; most discussions centre autistic boys. Girls are left out, and the ramifications are massive.
This is important.