It’s often assumed that learning difficulties are diagnosed in childhood, but many people reach adulthood without their disorders being discovered. This is especially true for women. Studies show that men are nine times more likely to be diagnosed with high-functioning autism than women.
One of the main reasons for this discrepancy is that women are simply better at masking their social differences. “Women watch others and mimic behaviour; they learn how to fit in,” says Stephanie Lau, an educational and developmental psychologist with a special interest in neurodevelopmental disorders.