Minding the Gap: Detecting Girls with Autism in Early Childhood


TitleMinding the Gap: Detecting Girls with Autism in Early Childhood

NameBrooke McMullen

Type:Developmental research


ASD has historically been considered a disorder predominantly seen in males (Carpenter et al., 2019; Estrin et al., 2020), and despite modern population studies indicating a more balanced male-to-female ratio of 2-3:1 (Lai et al., 2015), boys receive an ASD diagnosis four times more frequently than girls (Duvekot et al., 2017). Moreover, while the core characteristics of ASD are typically present in children before three years of age, (Carpenter et al., 2019) cognitively able girls are frequently unrecognized and undiagnosed in early childhood (Begeer et al., 2013; Petrou et al., 2018). Through a comprehensive systematic review, the present study aims to support the detection of girls with autism in early childhood by firstly, understanding how girls with autism present in early childhood, and secondly addressing the gender gap in ASD screening and diagnostics.