Female Autism Checklist

What Is the Female Autism Checklist?


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    If you are reading this article, you must be looking for the female autism checklist. Even the prevalence of autism is almost the same in both genders, but females are diagnosed less often due to a variety of reasons.

    The reason behind this is that females develop coping strategies to hide this disorder. Given that, there is a female autism checklist that can be used to identify this disorder in females.

    This article lays out this checklist whereby the reader can judge the symptoms in herself on in other people.

    What is the autism behavior checklist?

    What is the autism behavior checklist? An autism checklist for behaviors is used to identify the specific behaviors in an individual whether he or she is your child, a family member, a classmate, or a relative. It is the best practice to diagnose this condition at a young age.

    After these behaviors are spotted or identified in you, you can move to the next step of consulting a mental health professional or medical doctor who can devise the proper and standard way for the official diagnosis of the disorder.

    A history of neuro-developmental conditions in your family, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or other psychiatric issues, you must look into the possibility of having this disorder. You must consult and assist health professionals for the further evaluation and official diagnosis.

    What is Autism?

    Autism or autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that results in developmental disability in people, whereby they have problems in social communication, verbal and nonverbal communication, relationships, and self-regulation.

    Autism is a complex and lifelong developmental disability that appears during early childhood. There are multiple causes of autism which include genetic, nongenetic, and environmental factors.

    Levels of Autism:

    Autism has a different effect on everyone and can be broadly categorized into the following types:

    • Level 1 Autism

    • Level 2 Autism

    • Level 3 Autism

    Impact of Autism:

    Autism impacts a person in the following areas:

    • Social interaction (impacting social skills)

    • Social communication (impacting verbal and nonverbal communication)

    • Social imagination (Understanding thoughts, actions, and feelings)

    How is autism different in women?

    Although this condition appears equally in both men and women, there are some differences while we look into the stats while comparing autism in both genders.

    No. of cases:

    Studies indicate that women are 5 times less prone to the development of autism. This means that the number of cases in males is fivefold more than in females

    According to a study conducted by Terry S. Burgha in 2009 found that out of the adults surveyed, 1.8% of males were diagnosed with autism while only 0.2% of females were diagnosed with the disorder.

    Less severe symptoms:

    Autism research indicates that the symptoms of autism that appear in females are less in severity as compared to men. It leads to the symptoms not getting diagnosed, together with the mental health issues like generalized anxiety sense in the females.

    Problematic behaviors:

    The males during their childhood are more disruptive and problematic in their behavior. As a result, they receive more attention and get diagnosed more often. On the other hand, females are more repressive in their behavior and go undiagnosed.

    Frequency of genetic mutations:

    Through studies, it is found that the number of genetic mutations required in males for autism to appear is far less as compared to females. This means that females require a lot more genetic mutations tha males for autism to appear.

    Behavioral patterns:

    The behavioral patterns of females are different from those of the males, through which females learn the tactics or coping skills to hide the underlying characteristics related to autism.

    How do I know if I’m an autistic woman?

    There is a female autism checklist that can help a female to identify the symptoms in herself. If more symptoms appear in you as a woman, you must consult a medical professional to go for the official diagnosis as per the diagnostic criteria.

    What is the female autism checklist?

    Below given is the female autism checklist that can help identify the presence of the disorder in you or any of your loved ones. This list is devised by Samantha Craft after years of observations helping 1000+ people.

    Please be aware and NOTE that this female autism checklist is UNOFFICAL and just meant for information and educational purposes. For the official diagnosis, medical professionals must be consulted who will diagnose the condition as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

    Deep thinking:

    This is one of the attributes of females who have the underlying disorder of autism. Some of the associated attributes are listed under:

    • A deep thinker

    • A prolific writer, drawn to poetry

    • Highly intelligent

    • Perceiving things at multiple levels including her own thinking processes

    • Analyzes existence, the meaning of life, and everything else, continually

    • Serious and matter of fact in nature

    • Doesn’t take things for granted

    • Doesn’t simplify things

    • Everything is complex

    • Often gets lost in her own thoughts and checks out (blank stare)


    • Naïve

    • Honest

    • Experiences trouble with lying

    • Finds it difficult to understand vindictive behavior, manipulation, and disloyalty

    • Easily fooled and conned

    • Feelings of confusion and being overwhelmed

    • Feelings of being misplaced and/or from another planet

    • Feelings of isolation

    • Abused or taken advantage of as a child but didn’t think to tell anyone

    Escape and friendship:

    • Survives overwhelming emotions and senses by escaping in thought or action

    • Escapes regularly through fixations, obsessions, and over-interest in subjects

    • Escapes routinely through imagination, fantasy, and daydreaming

    • Escapes through mental processing

    • Escapes through the rhythm of words

    • Philosophizes, continually

    • Had imaginary friends in youth

    • Imitates people on television or in movies

    • Treated friends as “pawns” in youth, e.g., friends were “students” “consumers” “members”

    • Makes friends with older or younger females more so than friends her age (often in young adulthood)

    • Imitates friends or peers in style, dress, attitude, interests, and manner (sometimes speech)

    • Obsessively collects and organizes objects

    • Mastered imitation

    • Escapes by playing the same music over and over

    • Escapes through a relationship (imagined or real)

    • Numbers bring ease (could be numbers associated with patterns, calculations, lists, time, and/or personification)

    • Escapes through counting, categorizing, organizing, rearranging

    • Escapes into other rooms at parties

    • Cannot relax or rest without many thoughts

    • Everything has a purpose

    Comorbid Attributes:

    • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

    • Sensory Issues (sight, sound, texture, smells, taste) (might have synesthesia)

    • Generalized Anxiety

    • Sense of pending danger or doom

    • Feelings of polar extremes (depressed/over-joyed; inconsiderate/over-sensitive)

    • Poor muscle tone, double-jointed, and/or lack in coordination (may have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and/or Hypotonia and/or POTS syndrome)

    • Eating disorders, food obsessions, and/or worry about what is eaten

    • Irritable bowel and/or intestinal issues

    • Chronic fatigue and/or immune challenges

    • Misdiagnosed or diagnosed with a mental illness

    • Experiences multiple physical symptoms, perhaps labeled “hypochondriac”

    • Questions place in the world

    • Often drops small objects

    • Wonders who she is and what is expected of her

    • Searches for right and wrong

    • Since puberty has had bouts of depression (may have PMDD)

    • Flicks/rubs fingernails, picks scalp/skin, flaps hands, rubs hands together, tucks hands under or between legs, keeps closed fists, paces in circles, and/or clears throat often

    Social Interaction:

    • Friends have ended friendship suddenly (without female with AS understanding why) and/or difficult time making friends

    • Tendency to overshare

    • Spills intimate details to strangers

    • Raised hand too much in class or didn’t participate in class

    • Little impulse control with speaking when younger

    • Monopolizes conversation at times

    • Brings subject back to self

    • Comes across at times as narcissistic and controlling (is not narcissistic)

    • Shares in order to reach out

    • Often sounds eager and over-zealous or apathetic and disinterested

    • Holds a lot of thoughts, ideas, and feelings inside

    • Feels as if she is attempting to communicate “correctly”

    • Obsesses about the potentiality of a relationship with someone, particularly a love interest or feasible new friendship

    • Confused by the rules of accurate eye contact, tone of voice, proximity of body, body stance, and posture in conversation

    • Conversation are often exhausting

    • Questions the actions and behaviors of self and others, continually

    • Feels as if missing a conversation “gene” or thought-filter

    • Trained self in social interactions through readings and studying of other people

    • Visualizes and practices how she will act around others

    • Practices/rehearses in mind what she will say to another before entering the room

    • Difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others

    • Has a continuous dialogue in mind that tells her what to say and how to act when in a social situation

    • Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, inappropriate, or different from others

    • As a child, it was hard to know when it was her turn to talk

    • Finds norms of conversation confusing

    • Finds unwritten and unspoken rules difficult to grasp, remember, and apply

    Finds refuge when alone:

    1. Feels extreme relief when she doesn’t have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, answer calls, or leave the house but at the same time will often harbor guilt for “hibernating” and not doing “what everyone else is doing”

    2. One visitor at the home may be perceived as a threat (this can even be a familiar family member)

    3. Knowing logically a house visitor is not a threat, but that doesn’t relieve the anxiety

    4. Feelings of dread about upcoming events and appointments on the calendar

    5. Knowing she has to leave the house causes anxiety from the moment she wakes up

    6. All the steps involved in leaving the house are overwhelming and exhausting to think about

    7. She prepares herself mentally for outings, excursions, meetings, and appointments, often days before a scheduled event

    8. OCD tendencies when it comes to concepts of time, being on time, tracking time, recording time, and managing time (could be carried over to money, as well)

    9. Questions next steps and movements, continually

    10. Sometimes feels as if she is on stage being watched and/or a sense of always having to act out the “right” steps, even when she is home alone

    11. Telling self the “right” words and/or positive self-talk (CBT) doesn’t typically alleviate anxiety. CBT may cause increased feelings of inadequacy.

    12. Knowing she is staying home all day brings great peace of mind

    13. Requires a large amount of downtime or alone time

    14. Feels guilty after spending a lot of time on a special interest

    15. Uncomfortable in public locker rooms, bathrooms, and/or dressing rooms

    16. Dislikes being in a crowded mall, crowded gym, and/or crowded theater


    1. Sensitive to sounds, textures, temperature, and/or smells when trying to sleep

    2. Adjusts bedclothes, bedding, and/or environment in an attempt to find comfort

    3. Dreams are anxiety-ridden, vivid, complex, and/or precognitive in nature

    4. Highly intuitive to others’ feelings

    5. Highly empathetic, sometimes to the point of confusion

    6. Takes criticism to heart

    7. Longs to be seen, heard, and understood

    8. Questions if she is a “normal” person

    9. Highly susceptible to outsiders’ viewpoints and opinions

    10. At times adapts her view of life or actions based on others’ opinions or words

    11. Recognizes own limitations in many areas daily, if not hourly

    12. Becomes hurt when others question or doubt her work

    13. Views many things as an extension of self

    14. Fears others opinions, criticism, and judgment

    15. Dislikes words and events that hurt animals and people

    16. Collects or rescues animals (often in childhood)

    17. Huge compassion for suffering (sometimes for inanimate objects/personification)

    18. Sensitive to substances (environmental toxins, foods, alcohol, medication, hormones, etc.)

    19. Tries to help, offers unsolicited advice, or formalizes plans of action

    20. Questions life purpose and how to be a “better” person

    21. Seeks to understand abilities, skills, and/or gifts

    Sense of self:

    1. Feels trapped between wanting to be herself and wanting to fit in

    2. Imitates others without realizing it

    3. Suppresses true wishes (often in young adulthood)

    4. Exhibits codependent behaviors (often in young adulthood)

    5. Adapts self in order to avoid ridicule

    6. Rejects social norms and/or questions social norms

    7. Feelings of extreme isolation

    8. Feeling good about self takes a lot of effort and work

    9. Switches preferences based on environment and other people

    10. Switches behavior based on environment and other people

    11. Didn’t care about her hygiene, clothes, and appearance before teenage years and/or before someone else pointed these out to her

    12. “Freaks out” but doesn’t know why until later

    13. Young sounding voice

    14. Trouble recognizing what she looks like and/or has occurrences of slight prosopagnosia (difficulty recognizing or remembering faces)

    15. Feels significantly younger on the inside than on the outside (perpetually twelve)


    1. Had a hard time learning that others are not always honest

    2. Feelings seem confusing, illogical, and unpredictable (self’s and others’)

    3. Confuses appointment times, numbers, and/or dates

    4. Expects that by acting a certain way certain results can be achieved, but realizes in dealing with emotions, those results don’t always manifest

    5. Spoke frankly and literally in youth

    6. Jokes go over the head

    7. Confused when others ostracize, shun, belittle, trick, and betray

    8. Trouble identifying feelings unless they are extreme

    9. Trouble with emotions of hate and dislike

    10. Feels sorry for someone who has persecuted or hurt her

    11. Personal feelings of anger, outrage, deep love, fear, giddiness, and anticipation seem to be easier to identify than emotions of joy, satisfaction, calmness, and serenity

    12. Difficulty recognizing how extreme emotions (outrage, deep love) will affect her and challenges transferring what has been learned about emotions from one situation to the next

    13. Situations and conversations are sometimes perceived as black or white

    14. The middle spectrum of outcomes, events, and emotions is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood (all or nothing mentality)

    15. A small fight might signal the end of a relationship or collapse of world

    16. A small compliment might boost her into a state of bliss

    Words, numbers, and patterns:

    1. Likes to know word origins and/or origin of historical facts/root cause and foundation

    2. Confused when there is more than one meaning (or spelling) to a word

    3. High interest in songs and song lyrics

    4. Notices patterns frequently

    5. Remembers things in visual pictures

    6. Remembers exact details about someone’s life

    7. Has a remarkable memory for certain details

    8. Writes or creates to relieve anxiety

    9. Has certain “feelings” or emotions towards words and/or numbers

    10. Words and/or numbers bring a sense of comfort and peace, akin to a friendship

    Executive functions and motor skills:

    1. Simple tasks can cause extreme hardship

    2. Learning to drive a car or rounding the corner in a hallway can be troublesome

    3. New places offer their own set of challenges

    4. Anything that requires a reasonable amount of steps, dexterity, or know-how can rouse a sense of panic

    5. The thought of repairing, fixing, or locating something can cause anxiety

    6. Mundane tasks are avoided

    7. Cleaning self and home may seem insurmountable

    8. Many questions come to mind when setting about to do a task

    9. Might leave the house with mismatched socks, shirt buttoned incorrectly, and/or have dyslexia and/or dysgraphia

    10. A trip to the grocery store can be overwhelming

    11. Trouble copying dance steps, aerobic moves, or direction in a sports gym class

    12. Has a hard time finding certain objects in the house but remembers with exact clarity where other objects are; not being able to locate something or thinking about locating something can cause feelings of intense anxiety (object permanence challenges), even with something as simple as opening an envelope

    Other symptoms:

    • Feeling extreme anxiety

    • Deep physical response

    • Extreme emotional reactions

    • Poor emotional regulation

    Samantha Craft Autism Checklist

    A female with autism, named Samantha Craft devised a female autism checklist to help females identify the presence of this issue in them. There are certain signs and symptoms that can be identified in females as the potential indicators of autism.

    Samantha is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and is also identifies herself as being on the autism spectrum. Her middle son is also on the autism spectrum.

    Wrapping Up What Is the Female Autism Checklist?

    In conclusion, the Female Autism Checklist is a valuable tool for identifying autism in girls and women. It is important to remember that autism manifests differently in females than it does in males.

    So this checklist can be very helpful in getting an accurate diagnosis. If you think you or someone you know may be on the autism spectrum, please consult a qualified professional for an evaluation.

    If you like this article What Is the Female Autism Checklist and would like to know more, please comment below.

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