Autism is relatively ‘new’ condition if you compare it to, say, dementia. It has only been recognised since the 1940s (Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger) and studies didn’t really progress any further until the 1970s (Michael Rutter, Lorna Wing, Judith Gould). Most studies in the early days were done on boys. It’s only really in recent years that more research is being carried out on women and girls, hence we still don’t really know much about ASD in females.
How many people in the UK have ASD? Roughly 1 in 100
What is the ratio of ASD in males to females? Could be anywhere between 16:1 and 2:1(!)
These figures were taken from the National Autistic Society.
There are some problems with these statistics however – the main one is that Autism Spectrum Disorder is often a hidden disability, i.e. you can’t always tell if someone has it. Some people therefore, will never be diagnosed. So in reality no one really knows how many people and how many females have ASD.