Girls and Autism

Free Downloadable Resources  

Understanding The Spectrum – A Comic Strip Explanation


Understanding Girls on the Spectrum by Prof. Tony Attwood and Dr Michelle Garnett

“There are many pathways to diagnosis for girls and women, and we have found that these include: The initial diagnosis of a different condition, particularly, social anxiety, ADD or ADHD, selective mutism, depression including bipolar disorder, gender dysphoria, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or anorexia nervosa. This is a common pathway for adolescent girls. A common pathway for women is the diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder in one of their children, or another family member. Another common pathway for women is the Internet, discovering female descriptions of having Asperger’s syndrome, and resonating so well with those descriptions……”


Girls and Autism: Flying Under the Radar 2016

“This guide aims to: - introduce the debate around autism and gender - identify key issues for girls with autism spectrum conditions - provide practical school-based support strategies - share family, professional and academic perspectives.”


Why Autism Goes Unseen in Girls – And How You Can Spot It

Sarah-Jane Critchley

“……Like many autistic girls, she seems on the edge of things, rather than in the centre. She is struggling and yet you wouldn’t know it.  She is working so very hard to fit in, yet at a huge cost. She is overwhelmed and the effort is exhausting.”


Questionnaires - screening Girl’s on the Spectrum. Please Note this is not for diagnosis –it is to understand and become aware of the subtleties of girls presenting with Autism.

“A free resource; the world’s first screener for the female presentation of autism spectrum conditions, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, February 2018.

The Questionnaire for Autism Spectrum Conditions (Q-ASC) was developed by Attwood, Garnett, and Rynkiewicz (2011) to identify behaviours and abilities consistent with the female presentation of autism to support positive psychosocial outcomes and prognosis for girls into adulthood.”


Making Sense of Your Sensory Behaviour

This booklet has been designed to allow you to look at your own sensory world, to let you be more aware of your sensory likes and dislikes. It hopes to help you to see sensory ideas that help you become calm or be more alert, to be your best sensory self.  This will help you understand and help others, especially children, with sensory issues.


Making Sense of Sensory Behaviour

This booklet is designed to help us become more aware of the effects of sensory information and how it may impact on life skills and behaviour. By thinking and planning positive sensory experiences we can help understand how to best manage situations some young people find over/under-whelming.  Avoiding a disliked or upsetting sensory experience may help the young person with the sensory issue calm down and be able to take part in daily tasks.


A Young Girl’s Story

“I’ve known since I was a child that I could never be normal and was fine with all of that. It all started when I confided to one of my friends that I was autistic during our last year of elementary school. As a result, she started to teach me how to be a “normal” teenager girl……………”


Jessi C'Artoon: 'Girl in a mask' draws out school fears

“Jessi Crowther has autism and has for years drawn cartoons to express her hidden feelings. Following her recent move from primary to secondary education, she shared her drawings in the hope it would help other children.”


Social camouflaging in autism: Is it time to lose the mask? By Will Mandy 2019

“Many autistic people feel obliged to pretend not to be autistic. They invest considerable effort daily in monitoring and modifying their behaviour to conform to conventions of non-autistic social behaviour. This phenomenon has come to be called ‘social camouflaging’, also referred to as ‘masking’, ‘compensation’ and ‘pretending to be normal……”


Camouflaging: Girls and Women with Autism

“Until recently, the gender ratio for autism was estimated as four boys for each girl. However, clinicians are increasingly receiving referrals for diagnostic assessments of girls and women, and a recent research study has established a ratio of two to one (Rutherford, McKenzie and Johnston 2016). Why have we not previously diagnosed the true prevalence of autism in girls and women? The answer is that girls and women have so often successfully camouflaged their autism……”


Creating an Energy Bank account – audio interview and transcript of interview


Executive Functioning

Join  for free and download this free executive functioning poster which highlights each specific executive functioning skill. Skills highlighted include: planning, organization, time management, task initiation, working memory, metacognition, self-control, sustained attention, flexibility, and perseverance. This page can be used as a conversation starter and/or as a reminder for adults and pupils about the importance of executive functioning skills.


Anxiety and autism in the classroom

In this article, autism specialist and autistic adult Sarah Hendrickx discusses the topic of anxiety and autism in education. Sarah suggests instead of seeing anxiety as a separate and distinct issue we should focus on anxiety coming from an autism root and tackle it from this perspective.


Coping with anxiety - Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS ...

“Controlled breathing may sound easy, but it actually takes practice. Using controlled breathing effectively can help decrease the physical symptoms of anxiety. Often, people make the mistake of trying to breathe more when they start over-breathing, probably because they fear they are not getting enough breath……”


21 Aug 2018 - Selective mutism is an anxiety based disorder


You Need To Know is our UK-wide campaign launched in 2010 to make good mental health for children with autism a reality.

– 85% High anxiety levels, 36% depression, 27% suicidal thoughts. Approx 70% experience mental health issues as adults. Be aware it is common for children to meltdown with stress as soon as they reach the safety net of home. When stressed they may cry or demand attention like a very young child – particularly at home.


Learning to Accept my Moments of Jealousy by Madeleine Ryan

“…..I rarely ever copied or mimicked my peers, because I wanted to be the best. I didn’t want to be like them: I wanted to be like the people that they admired. However, according to Dr Garnett, it’s quite common for girls and women on the spectrum to become “intensely jealous” of those around them who appear to be having it easier socially. “The jealousy toward the well-liked girl or the assertive boy can turn into wanting to be that girl, or that boy,” she says….”.

Recommended Reading


ASD and Girls - A guidebook for teachers

Abby Lloyd (local author)

This book covers the concerns faced by girls with ASDs and their parents, from periods and puberty to friendships and fitting in. Looking at these issues within the context of specific areas of difficulty for girls with ASDs, the authors provide families with the knowledge and advice they need to help the whole family through the teenage years.

“ASD and Girls - A guidebook for teachers - What mums and their daughters would like you to know.  I wrote this book with my daughter, initially just as a guide for the teachers at her school as she felt they did not all understand her. Other mums and their daughters then got involved with the idea and sent us their input too, so we decided to take it further and create a guidebook. Its aim is to help those working with girls to spot ASD and to understand the girls a little better. It is presented in a short and concise format to make it attractive and accessible to busy teachers.

To get as many of these guidebooks into schools as possible, I will send you a second copy for free if you can tell me which school or organisation it will be placed in. Please add a message at checkout if you require this extra book.” Abby Lloyd

Girls and ASD

Asperger's and Girls – 2006 by Tony Attwood  

A book describing the unique challenges of women and girls with Asperger’s Syndrome. In it you’ll find candid stories written by the indomitable women who have lived them.  

Aspergers and girls

Beating Anxiety: What Young People on the Autism Spectrum Need to Know by Davida Hartman

Many young people on the autism spectrum struggle with anxiety. This illustrated book will help you to identify what makes you anxious, and contains heaps of activities to calm your body and mind, stop unhealthy anxiety building up and head off anxious feelings in the future. 

Beating anxiety

Can You see me? By Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott 

Endearing, insightful and warmly uplifting, Can You See Me? is a story of autism, empathy and kindness.  

This book offers an autobiographical insight into autism, masking and PDA. 

Can u see me

Exploring Depression, and Beating the Blues: A CBT Self-Help Guide to Understanding and Coping with Depression in Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett 

Beating the blues

Girls and Autism 2019 by Barry Carpenter (Editor), Francesca Happé (Editor), Jo Egerton (Editor), Baroness Sheila Hollins (Foreword)  

“Often thought of as a predominantly ‘male’ disorder, autism has long gone unidentified, unnoticed and unsupported in girls – sometimes with devastating consequences for their social and mental well-being. As current research reveals a much more balanced male-to-female ratio in autism, this book provides crucial insight into autistic girls’ experiences, helping professionals to recognize, understand, support and teach them effectively.” 

Girls and autism

The Girl with the Curly Hair

"I have all of these books and can honestly say they are the most clear, concise, visual, informative and easy to read guide books on Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) I have ever bought. I use them as a parent of a daughter diagnosed with AS to enable me to understand her better and promote better communication between us but also as a professional working with families who have one or more children or young people diagnosed with AS or ASD in their families. These books are fantastic for parents and for older children, young people and adults on the Autism Spectrum to read whether newly diagnosed or on a journey of understanding AS/ ASD and how best to communicate and manage where they may experience difficulties on a daily basis or in a specific area of life in a predominantly neurotypical world The books also recognise positive attributes and strengths of neurodiversity and being on the autistic spectrum! Recommended for parents, professionals and anyone living with or loving someone, or with an interest in others, with AS or ASD." Parent of Girl with ASD

Girl with Curly hair

The Selective Mutism Resource Manual: 2nd addition 2016 

For anyone who needs to understand, assess or manage selective mutism, this is a comprehensive and practical manual that is grounded in behavioural psychology and anxiety management and draws on relevant research findings as well as the authors' extensive clinical experience. Now in its second edition and including new material for adolescents and adults, The Selective Mutism Resource Manual 2e provides: 

· An up-to-date summary of literature and theory to deepen your understanding of selective mutism. 

· A wealth of ideas on assessment and management in home, school and community settings so that its relevance extends far beyond clinical practice. 

· A huge range of printable online handouts and other resources. 

· Case studies and personal stories to illustrate symptoms and demonstrate the importance of tailored interventions.  

Selective mutism

The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic - 2020

by Siena Castellon (Author), Temple Grandin (Foreword)

"Never be ashamed of being different: it is this difference that makes you extraordinary and unique." This essential go-to guide gives you all the advice and tools you'll need to help you flourish and achieve what you want in life. From the answers to everyday questions such as 'Am I using appropriate body language?' and 'Did I say the wrong thing?', through to discussing the importance of understanding your emotions, looking after your physical and mental health and coping with anxiety and sensory overloads, award-winning neurodiversity campaigner Siena Castellon uses her own experiences to provide you with the skills to overcome any challenge. With practical tips on friendships, dating, body image, consent and appearance, as well as how to survive school and bullying, The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide gives you the power to embrace who you are, reminding you that even during the toughest of teen moments, you are never alone.”

The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide

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