Dr. Volkmar explains how autism and Asperger's syndrome affects women.
Interestingly, on balance and again, there are all kinds of exceptions to this but on balance, women with classic autism tend to do not quite so well as men, and we don’t understand why. Although the speculation is that because of the strong genetic basis, so that may take more of whatever the genetic hit, as it were, is to cause autism in girls and women, and as a result they are more likely to be cognitively impaired. So there’s a much higher rate of associated mental retardation, intellectual disability in women with autism.
Women with Asperger’s are a slightly different story although they are also less common.
About Dr. Volkmar, M.D.:
Fred Volkmar, M.D. is the director of the Yale University Child Study Center and Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology at Yale University, where he heads the university's autism research and autism clinic. He is also Chief of Child Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital. His research focuses on understanding the fundamental nature of autism and developing better guidelines to diagnose autism and related conditions.